Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating: no
Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor: 4 out of 5
Service: 5 out of 5
Overall: 4.3 out of 5
Recommendation: Elegant place for afternoon tea, dinner, evening drink.
A3 is an modern bar and restaurant situated in the elegant Bellavita shopping center in the Sin Yi district. The dining space has a contemporary and retro chic design with the black and white checkerboard flooring. The service here is impeccable. You will feel catered from the moment you walk in. However, the prices here are are a little high, but I feel it is worth what you pay for. This is a great place to visit for a relaxing afternoon tea or a late night snack over some well concocted cocktails.
The dining space is sleek, modern, and posh. They have comfortable sofa chairs to lounge on the 1st floor and dining tables for proper meals on the 2nd floor. The checkerboard flooring is reminiscent of the 50's. The 50's were a classy time when gentlemen wore suits around town and ladies were treated and acted like ladies. You will immediately feel the class and feel like you were transported to another world. You already know that this restaurant will meet a certain standard as it is located Bellavita. Bellavita is known to be a upscale department store that offers the most exquisite of items. They have Aoki serving up innovative Japan-French fusion desserts alongside an array of impressive "food court" restaurants on the B2 floor. They have 4 floors of designer stores and a exclusive hair salon. It is no doubt that A3 is also recognized to be up to that standard.
I went for afternoon tea, so during this time, most of the patrons were in the 2nd floor area enjoying a good time of snacking and chatting. The table set up up here is also very comfortable. The padding on the chairs make you want to lounge here forever. The service here sets the bar high in the Taipei dining scene. Once I entered a server opened the door for me to enter and asked me if I had a reservation and I was led promptly to my table. The 1st floor server walked me toward the 2nd floor service who seamlessly guided mr toward my spot with the same warm and energetic service. I really felt welcomed and catered by their service staff and they were quick to introduce us with the menu, answer our questions, and move us along in our afternoon tea experience. I have been here mostly in the evening for drinks and snacks, and I get the same impression in terms of their service. They are not overstaffed and they run a good operation with services communicating via headsets. A3 offers the best service i've experienced in Taipei to date. I give them pretty high ratings in both decor and service, but onto the food.
The final tier has this chocolate-hazelnut cake, a pecan tart, cheesecake, and a layered crunchy pastry that is like a reconstructed strawberry pie.
This item was a piece of work. It is kind of like a reconstructed strawberry pie. The bottom is a layered pastry kind of like a baklava. Custard and a strawberry topped on the pastry, then the whole thing is sprinkled with confectioner's sugar. I could keep popping these over coffee forever. The pastry itself is so delightlfully crispy, buttery, and sugary that they could already be chomped on by themselves.Mix in some rich custard and fresh strawberries then you got yourself a heavenly bite.
Last but not least, the Crème brûlée. I ate this one last because I thought that this would be the one that topped it all off. I was wrong. It was good, the custard was rich and flavorful with the right amount of sugar. The small grapes were an interesting touch, but I did not care for the mint garnish. The only real problem I had with this is the bad job they did on carmelizing the sugar on top. Who wants to eat a creme brulee if it does not have a hearty and evenly spread flake of carmleized sugar coating the top? What I received was sparsely carmelized. You get parts where the sugar transformed into a planar carmel crust, but there were regions on custard that had brown sugar chunks chilling there unscathed. I could allow some survivers on top of a perfectly flambeed carmelized crust, but not straight chilling on my custard with a first degree burn. This item would be improved a lot if they had a even carmel crust.