Jul 19, 2011

Dazzling Thai Cafe


Dazzling Thai Cafe is a spin-off from the popular Dazzling Cafe Restaurants, but they serve Thai food instead of general "western" food minus the honey toast. They still offer a selection of their popular well concocted drinks. You will generally spend about 500 NT a person to eat here, as their entrees are around 280 NT each. If you are lucky you can get their two person meal set that rings in at 980 NT, but I do not recommend it because the food is not that amazing. This place offers average "modern thai" food that is neither amazing or disgusting. The decor and service is unmistakably dazzling.

Address:  台灣台北市松山區復興南路一段39號
                 No. 39, Section 1, FùXìng South Rd, Songshan District
Phone #: 02-8773-9229
Business Hours: 11:00-9:30
Website: Dazzling Thai Cafe Facebook Page
Price Range:   $$$
Accepts Credit Cards: yes
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: yes
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating:  yes
Alcohol: yes


Food Quality: 3 out of 5
Decor:  4 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 3.67 out of 5
Recommendation: Average "Modern Thai" food in dazzling setting.


The interior is has a circular cafe bartop in the middle. Tables surround the floor around the prep area with plenty of seating to accomodate most combinations of patrons. The decor is very much like the other shops with the characteristic white and black theme paired with faux dazzling light set ups. They seem to stick with their original flavor in terms of interior design. The servers are just as amiable, ready, and plentiful to cater to your needs. They check up on you regularly and there are enough of them to be available to your immediate needs. Dazzling Cafe has consistent quality in their service staff and interior design. The difference of Dazzling Thai Cafe is that they serve "modern thai" food and they do not sell the popular honey toast, which is their original claim to fame. However, much like the commentary on the food in the other locations, the fare is not that good: palatable and overpriced. I got the two person set meal for 980 NT which comes with 4 dishes and 2 drinks.
 Your drink selection is limited to 3 drinks, of which I got the thai milk tea. It was not as cinnamony as I would have liked, but it was a refreshing drink with a tad bit of milk to wash down the slightly spicy and sour dishes that were to come.
 The first dish was this egg and rice with spicy minced pork. I guess this is a dazzling thai version of minced pork rice that is not as succulent as the 30 NT minced pork rice you can get outside. The sauce was a bit spicy a tad sour and a bit sweet. It is a complex taste, but you can get this thing at other thai or yunnan cuisine restaurants. Their version was not particularly tastier, I could not decipher the difference between theirs and others places that I could order this dish, but I guess they have plus points for presentation and neatness in their plating. The food itself is not innately superior.
 The next dish is a plate of 10 chicken wings. They were dry and crispy outside, but moist and juicy inside. I guess the only thing that passes this off as thai is the sweet, sour, and spicy sauce they provide for you to dip your wings in. The sauce was so sparse and you could barely find a decent way to sauce up your wings that the majority of the wing is just the original dry wing. Although the chicken was fried pretty well, they could do a better job seasoning the wings so that you get the taste of the sauce all over the wings. I guess that method would be too sloppy and not fitting for the dazzling customers that don't want to get down and dirty with their meal. However, I noticed that the wings in Taiwan are generally not too sloppy and saucy, so they lack the flavor and satisfaction a messy basket of hot wings in the States would provide. Not to impressed by this one.
 The next dish is this stewed pork wrap. They give you lettuce, wonton skins, this stewed pork concotion, and this side of green spicy sauce. The lettuce could have been picked and prepared to be more wrap friendly. They were very curvy and hard to manage. That is not very cool. This dish was clean and crisp due to the lettuce and the wonton skins. The meat sauce added a lil more flavor and oils to the mix, but it was mostly lettuce dominated. This is a good palate cleanser to tone down the fried oily wings and the spicy rice. However, I don't think the price tag relflects what you get.
The last dish of the two person meal is this grilled pork dish. The grilled pork is flavored with the selfsame spicy sour sauce that is used on the chicken wings. The flavors of all these dishes are all very similar except for the change in meats. The pork was charred well on the outside and juicy on the inside as well. In terms of preparation and platinf they are spot on. In terms of value, I don't think this is the place to spend your dollars at for thai food (unless you are one of them 貴婦 who don't want to stray far from the botique shops at the breeze center).

I wish I could try their more traditional sounding thai dishes, at least their pad thai or something, before I make a judgment on this restaurant. However, based on their 2 person meal set, I don't think I would be in a hurry to come here for this again. The pad thai would have to be amazingly out of this world for me to spend 280 NT on it as well. Especially since something like pad thai should be around 150 NT or something. If you are pinching your pennies don't enter this restaurant for mediocre flavored but well plated "modern thai food".

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