Tuesday, March 20, 2007

CLOSED! american: i recommend DEAN AND DELUCA

CLOSED! A/o 2011

DEAN AND DELUCA
at Breeze Center, B2F
N0.39, Fuxing S Road. Sec 1
Taipei 105
(02) 6600-8888 ext 7301


$-$$$

Sun - Wed 9 AM - 9 PM
Thur-Sat: 9 AM - 10 PM

website: deandeluca.com

visit reviewed: 3/12/2007



As "mall" food goes, Dean and Deluca can get pricey. But hey- it's Dean and Deluca- in Taiwan! So for a set lunch, NT$250 for fresh deli salads or hot American style food is quite a bargain. The NT$600 jar of jam- well, that's if you REALLY love spreadable fruit on your bread, right?

The clean classic layout makes it fun to browse the aisles for ultra-gourmet pastas, chocolates, cheese and other random gourmet foodie selections from NY and around the world. And maybe a great place to find a gift for your boss or that special someone.. but definitely the prices are more affordable to those that shop Tiffany's rather than the night market since it's more expensive than the already pricey JASONs or City Super. But don't let that deter you from checking out their deli selections.




You can choose already packed sandwiches or set lunches (NT$250), or you can choose your own selections from the daily specials. Today, I ended up selecting couscous, mushrooms, roasted veggies and noodles. It came w/ bread and soup- and today was corn soup or pumpkin soup. The corn soup was more watery than creamy and the pumpkin soup had a slightly sweet flavor to it. The couscous was flavorful and fluffy, the mushrooms were not grilled and flavorful as the roasted veggies which I really enjoyed, and the noodles were a bit sweet and tangy w/ tiny scallops mixed in and surprisingly tasty.



You can also choose from the hot food selections such as meat, pastas, lasagnas and veggies for a little extra. I really loved the selection and freshness of all the foods, especially since it will be difficult to find things like couscous anywhere else in Taipei. And it's not a bad price for the portion/choices in contrast to a lunch at Macaroni Grill or something equally Western.

There are also gourmet sandwiches such as Eggplant and Brie which come on fresh bread and are in the deli section. Although I didn't have any of this, my friend was very happy with it and finished it all. She even recommended the Brie which unfortunately they ran out of in the cheese section.



All in all, it's a quick pleasant place for lunch, especially if you have been searching for deli style types of foods. You can also get it ala carte by weight, but the lunchtime set menu is a good bargain- you could even take it home to reheat it for later. I think I'll definitely find myself there again, and maybe even splurging on something gourmet from the racks.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

CLOSED! indian/food court: i don't recommend CURRY AND TEA HOUSE

CURRY AND TEA HOUSE
at 101 Mall foodcourt
(near JASONs Supermarket)
45 ShihFu Rd., B1

$$

Visit reviewed: 12/26/2006




After passing by this mall court spot a number of times, I finally got the chance to try it out. It looks appealing with good portions, but too bad the taste of the meal didn't live up to its promising appearance. You can choose a curry set menu with chicken (NT$120), beef (NT$160), mutton (NT$150), and your set menu comes with rice and a small salad. I added a naan (NT$35) to try it out.




The chicken curry (NT$120) was extremely watered down yet oily- I didn't even want to dip the naan into the curry. The rice had no flavor and naan was more a tortilla than naan. I didn't bother finishing the meal or packing it to go. I kind of picked out the chicken to eat with a few bites of rice. For Indian mall food, you're better off trying Tandoor at the Far Eastern Mall since they offer you two different curries in their set menu (which is still a bit watery but at least it has good flavors) and their naan is actually naan, or just going to a sit down restaurant.

But now everytime I pass by Curry and Tea House, I don't have to be tempted anymore.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

chinese: random "ren bing" street vendor

random street vendor
$

Visited reviewed: 3/11/2007





One of the best things about Taipei is that there are almost always street vendors on street side corners or little alleyways. For someone who loves to snack like me, it means that I can fulfill my cravings without a dent in my coin purse since things usually aren't more than NT$10-$100 (30cents US - US$3), but the temptations can have the opposite effect on your waistline!

I don't often spot or get to eat this Taiwanese treat- but it was not bad. They had most of the elements at room temperature in a mini plastic shelves organizer that you would find on someone's desk, but after adding the hot cabbage that they reheated in boiling water, it warmed up everything else. It's much much lighter than a fried spring roll- I guess more like a Vietnamese spring roll since it can be served at room temperature (though it has totally different elements and not made with rice paper) or a Taiwanese burrito/wrap.

Monday, March 12, 2007

new in town: LONG JOHN SILVER's and DUNKIN DONUTS

I haven't had a chance to visit either yet, but there are two new American franchises in town. The question is-- can they bring the "standard" flavors of what we grew up with, or do they tweak and change it too much to accomodate local tastes?

I remember going to eat the crispy battered fish and hush puppies and coleslaw at the pirate themed Long John's Silver as a kid (which is almost extinct since it's not even that popular in the states anymore) and getting a dozen donuts from Dunkin Donuts for the office on Fridays and some donut hole Munchkins for myself.

Of course, I'm hoping that they can retain what we like, but I've heard rumblings that the opposite is true. I've seen Dunkin Donuts (and 31 Baskin Robbins) all over Korea- and their donuts taste pretty decent. KFC and McDonalds have had successfully transferred as well as added to their menus (although I wish they'd bring over the mashed potato and coleslaw for KFC).

Have you been? What did you think?

LONG JOHN SILVERS
No. 218, NanJing E Rd, Sec 3
080-903-6688
longjohnsilvers.com.tw (Chinese only)

DUNKIN' DONUTS
No. 208, NanJing E Rd, Sec 2
(02)2503-7377
Hours: 7 am - 10 pm

Friday, March 02, 2007

happy chinese new year

I've been traveling the past few weeks, so sorry about lack of posts- I'm still catching up on work and life off-line in Taipei, but don't worry, I've still been eating good food to blog about. Like many other families, we ended up going away for the Chinese New Year- so here's a preview of the culinary delights that I will blogging about very soon that I got to enjoy from Korea and Beijing.


the spread- i love the side dishes in Korea!


mmm.. cold glass noodles- does anyone know where we can eat this in Taipei?


mmm. can you smell the kalbi?


gotta have beijing duck in beijing and i was glad i ate here!


Happy year of the Golden Pig!

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