Jun 26, 2011

Red Forest Teppanyaki 紅林鐵板燒

Address: 台灣臺大安區臨江街5號
                 No. 5, LínJiāng St, Daan District
Phone #: 02-2704-4166
Business Hours: 11:00-02:00 (conjecture)
Website: N/A
Price Range:   $$
Accepts Credit Cards: yes
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  no
Alcohol: yes


Food Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Decor:  2 out of 5
Service: 3 out of 5
Overall: 2.83 out of 5
Recommendation: Clean Cheap Teppanyaki Fix


In the Tong Hua nightmarket, there is a plethora of street food to choose from. In the midst of all the stinky tofu and skewered items there are a couple of hole in the wall teppanyaki restaurants to dine in. They are pretty much the same: similar seasonings, similar no frills service, and similar subpar ingredients. However Red Forest seemed like a more popular joint, so I gave it a try. The place is relatively clean, the food is prepared fast, and it offers that famaliar tasty Taiwanese teppanyaki vegetable and meat sauces.Red forest is a good place to get a quick and cheap Taiwanese style teppanyaki meal and is open late.

The interior here at the Red Forest is relatively clean and well decorated compared to the other Teppanyaki restaurants around this area. It's a very straight up service experience here. Get your menu clipboard and make your order. Give it to the chef and they will bring you your rice soup and appetitizer and the teppanyaki chefs make-to-order the rest of your items in front of you. They tried to squeeze in as many seats as they could so the dining space may seem really cramped, but you get enough space to do the job. I come to these types of places to get my Taiwanese Teppanyaki fix, not to smell the flowers. The prices at this joint are pretty cheap. All the items are under 300 NT and you get a pretty hearty meal.
When you first sit down they present you with some ready-made items like this container full of pickled radishes. They are nice to snack on and if you leave some with the hot food they make a good palate cleanser when you are consume too much heavily sauced items.
Another stocked item is the egg drop soup. It doesn't taste that great the soup is very bland. It is pretty much just pork stock with some egg in it. However, it does cleanse the palate when you had too much salty food. I also refrained to post the bowl of slightly dry rice that comes with the set meal, but you get the picture. Not a wowing side dish, but standard fare.
For every set meal you order it will also come with two vegetables. These vegetables are prepared in a way that is so irresistably addictive. The black pepper sauce they used to season the bean sprouts are just perfectly oily and with just enough kick from the black pepper to keep crunching on. The cabbage also is lightly seasoned with salt and is pervaded with the aroma of butter. Honestly, these vegetable sides are part of the reason I go to these Taiwanese-style teppanyakis.
The main difference between the set meals are the main entree. This is the tenderloin that is sold for 220 NT for the set meal. You get this entree all the above mentioned sides and pourly conconcted fountain drinks for under 8 dollars USD. The bits of meat were tender and seasoned with that crack-like black pepper sauce they use to season all their other red meats. It's a bit garlicky, a bit spicy, the flavors of the onion are suffused in the sauce, and the dominating flavors are the thick slighty sugary soy sauciness. The meat meat didn't have much bite to it though. I am sure the quality of the meat might be under question, but they do a good job of covering all the evidence of bad meat with a layer upon layer of seasoning.
 This next entree is the garlic chicken entree which costs 180 NT for a meal. This dish is prepared slightly differently than the red meats in that they add asian basil to the mix of standard ingredients. The basil gives the dish a semblance of the "three-cup" preparation style, but it's not really that pronounced. The chicken takes a little longer to cook, but they did a good job cooking it thoroughly and not over charring or over cooking it. They aren't that bad, but i'm not really one for chicken so I just tried it out to see if its basically cooked well. And yes, if you aren't that down for red meat this is the way to go and not too shabby.

There are plenty of places to get this type of Teppanyaki, but this place is just a little cheaper than places like Karen, but good enough to feel secure about its sanitation and food freshness. If you happen to need a cheap teppanyaki fix, you should give Red Forest a try. Also, it's open late, so if you are craving Teppanyaki at 1:30 in the morning, you might have no choice but to patronize Red Forest.

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