Monday, August 20, 2007
CLOSED! salad/japanese: SALAD KING
at Eslite Xin Yi Mall
11 Song Kao Road, B2
Kid friendliness: two small tables in the area, adjacent to food court seating. lots of kid friendly options for soups, fruit salads and noodles.
Visit reviewed: 6/24/2007
Bringing the Japanese styled deli salads to the Eslite food court, Salad King offers appetizer sized and combination boxes (NT$50-140) for someone looking for something cooler for the summer. I can't quite remember what was here in this spot before Salad King (was it hot dogs?), but it'll be interesting to see how long they can stick around. It does stand out with its clean deli style counter, but will Taipei stomaches want to eat salads?
At first glance, their four square combination boxes (NT$120) look quite similar to the Dean and Deluca with the option to add a soup for NT$20. Here choices are preset for you, unlike your ability to choose your own hot or cold foods at Dean and Deluca.
In their mini brochure, there are 4 preset boxes- (A) has fruit salad, smoked salmon, a mini shrimp salad and shrimp over noodles; (B) offers what looks like shrimp over salad, pasta, and I can't quite figure out the other two. I ended up getting (C) which has cold boiled pork slices on a pile of onions, soba noodles, caesar salad and shrimp over an egg potato salad. (D) is a vegetarian option with fruit salad, vegetable salad, rice noodles and some soy thing.
I wanted to love my (C) set, but I didn't. The pork was chilled, so was not tender. It was cold and bland despite the drizzling of some sort of soy sauce. The caesar salad had bits of bacon and parmasean cheese and was not bad. The mushroom soba was also bland. Egg and potato salad was not bad, but I wished the shrimp didn't have a head on it.
I also added the soup option and the soup of the day was a tomato soup. While it was a puree, it tasted creamy and rich, tasting maybe like it was made with chicken broth? I almost wanted a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it. While it was good with the flavors and texture, it was quite heavy and I couldn't finish it.
We also ordered an a la carte shrimp tomato thing (No. 15) for NT$70, which was had a shrimp on a bed of onions over tuna salad stuffed in a tomato. It sounds like a lot going on in one dish, but the flavors actually all went together and it might make a good snack.
While they do offer various types of mixed salads, fruit salad, and other cold options, it's all very Asian style, except for the caesar salad. In my dream world, Salad King would be a bit more California inspired, offering cobb, chinese chicken salad or bbq chopped salad, but there's nothing like that in sight.
If I tried it again, I would probably order the dishes I liked individually as not to get stuck with dud dishes in the combination box.