Friday, November 30, 2007

american: i strongly recommend LAWRY's



LAWRY's
in Living Core Mall
No. 138, Pateh Road, Section 4
(02) 3762-1312

website: lawrys.com.tw

hours: Lunch M-F 11:30 AM -2:30 PM / Sat, Sun and Holidays 11:30 AM -3PM
Dinner Sun-Thurs 5:30 PM - 10 PM / Fri, Sat, and Holiday eve 5:30--11PM

$$$

Kid friendliness: didn't see any kids that night but I'm sure they are accomodating. they have a kid's club on their website.

Visit reviewed: 11/14/2007

Surprisingly, this was my first visit to Lawry's in Taipei. But definitely not my last. For anyone who's been to Lawry's in the states, it's pretty much the same from the decor to the English maid outfits the waitresses wear to the spinning salad presentation to the silver rollcart Prime Rib. For me, it's good that there are no weird tweaks for the local palate- you get Lawry's the way that you've grown to love it. The prices are also about the same as the states, no crazy mark-up like the reliable Mac Grill and Chili's, with the menu in English and Chinese that has various size cuts for various size appetites.

I didn't realize until I took my cousin from NY that Lawry's actually has such few locations for a "chain" restaurant- Los Angeles and Las Vegas are the ones that I've eaten at... there's also ones in Chicago, Dallas, Singapore and Tokyo. I've also really enjoyed the Lawry's Carvery at South Coast Plaza in Orange County which is like an express version- prime rib for $15? Yes please!

What? Wow! On their website they said that there's one open at Century City Mall now!!! Totally eating there when I'm back in LA.

Okay, okay, back to Taipei. First of all, they are doing some remodeling at the Living Mall (which is the one that looks like a giant ball from the outside).. so you have to do some looking to get yourself to the 11th or 12th floor. We took the elevator to the 11th floor and found the entrance to which we had to climb stairs to the 12th. There was no "host/hostess" at the stairway entrance, but we made our way around to the bar/main entry and was seated. We did have some trouble when we left though- we tried to leave the way we came in, though the stairway was pitch black and then we discovered the door was locked at the bottom. So go through the entrance/exit near the bar if you come in through the stairway.

When ordering, they will ask you how rare you want your prime rib. In Taiwan, they do it by numbers. 10 is well done, 7 is medium, 5 is medium rare.

After ordering, they bring out the bread. It was served room temperature and soft- not too appetizing- I like my bread toasty.



I wanted to take a picture of the waitress spinning the salad, but I didn't want to seem like a TOTAL tourist. It's fun to watch for the first time, but what I got a kick out of this time was the super cold fork and plate they serve the salad with. Their Vintage Dressing is slightly sweet and tangy, and I really like the buttery croutons.



All their prime rib sets (NT$1400- $2250) come with a salad, mashed potatoes, yorkshire pudding (kind of like a soft bread) and horseradish (either creamy or grated). I suggest you also get the creamed corn side(NT$180)- it's probably all heavy cream and butter, but it's sweet and makes me want to eat the whole thing. I sometimes feel like the creamed spinach(NT$180), but it can be a bit heavy. They also have steamed asapargus and mushrooms. The sides aren't huge for the price, but shareable. For seafood lovers, they also have lobster tail and shrimp cocktail, though I find at most steak places that you should stick to the meat!



This is the Lawry's cut (NT$1590) which is their traditional cut. I didn't finish it (the leftovers were good the next day too!) since the California cut is probably just the right size, and they do a English thin sliced cut as well, which I think defeats the point of prime rib. he he.



I noticed a lot of people celebrating birthdays and English speakers as well that night. It's a nice place to celebrate a special occasion or take a date, or just go for some delicious prime rib when the craving hits you.

Man, I'm excited thinking about Lawry's Carvery at Century City Mall. hahahah.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

revisited/pizza/italian: i recommend COSI O COSI



COSI O COSI
No. 155, DunHua S. Rd., Sec 1
(02) 2771-5883

Lunch 12 pm-2:30 pm,
Dinner/ 6:30-11 pm ( last orders 10:30 pm)

kid friendliness: high chairs available, pretty friendly service

$$

Visit reviewed: 11/21/2007
Original review: 5/18/2006 and 3/27/2005 here

Deciding to eat at Cosi O Cosi on a weeknight, I was honestly surprised to find it so packed. We ended up on the 2nd floor for the first time, which was at first HOT near the ovens and kitchen, but much cooler once they opened the windows to the patio. It also felt a bit more romantic at night on the 2nd floor with the dimmer lighting somehow.

I still love the crostinis which include 2 slices each of olive tapenade and bruschetta on thick slices of toast, and the clam linguini which I said in my original review is "simple, but flavorful." I still think the best way to go is to do family style with a group of friends so you can sample everything.

The pizza hit the spot. Thin crust with a variety of topping selections- we went for the artichoke, mushroom, ham and mozzarella. I liked the tangy-ness of the artichoke to cut the grease of everything else. We also tried the calzone which was a puffed up huge balloon that quickly deflated when you cut it. Something about it - maybe in comparison to the pizza, or in comparison to the yummy calzone from Bellini Bellini, we were a bit underwhelmed. So stick to the pizzas here.



There's also daily specials and a short menu of tapas. The menu is in English and Chinese with mostly pizzas and pastas at $260-$420 NT, with a few salads, appetizers and desserts available.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

where to find...thanksgiving 2007 research wrap up

Where to find... Thanksgiving 2007 research results! It might be a little late to order take out for tomorrow, but try calling to make a reservation if you want to try and have turkey tomorrow somewhere. I'm saving the information for next year, hopefully it will be more or less the same. If you try any of them, please let us know what you liked and didn't like!!

TAKE OUT



CHECKER's at CAESAR PARK TAIPEI(thanks Lili!)
across from Taipei Train Station on Chung Hsiao West Road
(02) 2311-5151, extension 2237 / 2238
from 11/15-12/31 (48 hours notice)


Choose from
Whole Thanksgiving Turkey (5~7 kg) NT $2800 or
Whole Thanksgiving large Turkey (7~9 kg) NT$3,800
Includes Red Raspberry sauce, homemade meat sauce, Honey Sweet potatoes, marinated cabbage, and Turkey stuffing
option to include 9" pumpkin pie and gift basket add NT$200

Baked ham with honey (approx 3 kg) —NT$1,100
Includes Pineapple sauce (Add NT$999 for gift basket)

Homemade Pumpkin Pie (approx 9 inches)(Add NT$399 for gift basket)
NT$480

azie at GRAND FORMOSA REGENT HOTEL (LAI LAI)
41 Chung Shan N. Road, Sec 2
(02)2523-8000 ext 3157
from 11/18 - 12/24 (at least 3 days notice)

Turkey Basket for Takeout (NT$2,750)
6kg turkey with stuffing, traditional cranberry sauce, turkey gravy, various steamed vegetables, mashed potato, and a special Turkey Leftover Cookbook for guests to transform leftovers.
7-inch Pumpkin Pie is also available for NT$500.

LANDIS TAIPEI HOTEL
41 Min Chuan East Road, Section 2
(02)2598-5558
3 days notice

Roast cranberry turkey (6 to 6.5 kg) for six or eight persons. (NT$3,200)
with 6-inch pumpkin pie.

COSMOPOLITAN GRILL (thanks Raven!)
218 Changchun Road, Taipei
2508- 0304
limited availability

Whole Turkey (16 lbs) with Gravy $2800
Whole Turkey (16 lbs) with Stuffing & Gravy $3300
Whole Pumpkin Pie (9”) $650


EAT IN



LAWRY's
Core Living Mall, 12 FL
NO. 138 Pateh Road, Sec 4
(02) 3762-1312
11/22 only

NT$2299 + 10%/per person
Roast Turkey or Prime Rib
Salad and bread
Asparagus with bacon
Pumpkin pie
Glass of wine

DAN RYAN's
8 Dun Hua North Road
Tel: (02) 2778-8800
11/22 only $980/person

Seafood Pumpkin Soup
House Garden Salad
Roasted Turkey with mashed Potatoes (spuds !!!)
Turkey Stuffing & Homemade Gravy
Candied Yams, Green Beans, Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Pie

CAPONE's
No. 312 Chung Hsiao E Road, Sec 4
(02) 2773-3782
11/22 ONLY
$790+10%/Person

Cranberry Salad With Gorgonzola , Chicken ,Walnuts
Bread Basket
Pumpkin Cream Soup
Roast Turkey With Cranberry sauce ,Honey Ham ,Candied Yam and Corn
Pumpkin Pie with Ice Cream Covered and Cranberry Sauce

After calling, the information on the web seems to contradict what the hotel is saying. There is only Take out from Azie, no eat in. The dining in at Robin's DOES include turkey though the website says it does not.

Robin's Grill and Teppan at GRAND FORMOSA REGENT HOTEL (LAI LAI)
41 Chung Shan N. Road, Sec 2
(02)2523-8000 ext 3157
on 11/22 ONLY
NT$1,350 per person for Lunch and NT$1,550 per person for Dinner. 12pm - 2pm
6pm - 10pm

Choose soup: Butternut pumpkin soup with crab and lemongrass flavor or Chestnut cream soup with morel and black truffle
Appetizer and salad bar: Pumpkin lune with scallop and rosemary butter
Choose main course: Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey with giblet gravy and cranberry sauce, glazed sweet potato, brussel sprout with bacon and truffle mashed potato
or
Roasted US prime rib of beef with bordelaise sauce,
or
Surf n’ Turf with 3oz fillet stea, half rock lobster thermidor and grilled halibut
Choose dessert: Pumpkin and blueberry cheesecake or Pecan pie with pumpkin sorbet accompanied by Coffee or tea.

COSMOPOLITAN GRILL (thanks Raven!)
218 Changchun Road, Taipei
2508- 0304
NT$800 + 10% for Person

Relish Tray
Pumpkin Soup
Roast Turkey with Mashed Potatoes, Brown Gravy and Cranberry Sauce
Homemade Pumpkin Pie

LAWRY's
Core Living Mall, 12 FL
NO. 138 Pateh Road, Sec 4
(02) 3762-1312

Take out NT$2500
Roast turkey 6.5 for 8
a bottle of Red Wine
Pumpkin Pie
order by 11/21 3pm

RUMORED TO HAVE:



EAT IN

CAFE at GRAND HYATT TAIPEI
No.2, Sung Shou Road, 1FL
Taipei, Taiwan
(02) 2720-1234
on 11/22 only
Roasted turkey part of the regular buffet

Grandma Nitti's
8, Lane 93, Shi Da Road
Taipei 106 Taiwan
(02) 2369 9751
Eat in and take out

JAKE's COUNTRY CAFE
705 Zhongshan N Rd, Sec 6, Taipei
(02) 2871 5289
turkey for 6-8 people with stuffing and gravy NT$2300
Eat in and take out

TAKE OUT

JASON's SUPERMARKET at 101
5 days advance notice
Turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and tea

COSTCO
frozen turkeys 6kg for NT$750-1000

DEAN AND DELUCA(at Breeze)
Breeze Center, B2F
N0.39, Fu-Hsin S Road. Sec 1
Taipei 105
(02) 6600-8888 ext 7301
$2800

SHERATON TAIPEI HOTEL
12, Chung Hsiao E Road, Sec 1
(02) 2321-5511

Basket with turkey and trimmings -stuffing, 3 different sauces, veggies, etc.- for 3000. Order 3 days ahead at least.

AGORA GARDENS HOTEL
No. 68, Sung-Kao, Rd.
02-8780-5168
Package for 2500NT

WELLCOME SUPERMARKETS

Thursday, November 15, 2007

dessert: I recommend DOUBLE RAINBOW



DOUBLE RAINBOW ICE CREAM
at new green Sogo, B2
No. 300, Chung Hsiao East Road, Sec 3 (at FuXing)
(02)

website: sogo.com.tw Chinese only
doublerainbow.com English only

$

Kid friendliness: what kid doesn't love ice cream?

Visit reviewed: 10/29/2007

I was pretty greedy to think that I could eat two scoops of ice cream. But I have to admit the scoops from Double Rainbow near the food court at the green Sogo were larger than I thought they would be!

After sampling various flavors, I picked mint chocolate chip and coffee almond fudge. Afterwards, I regretted getting the mint chocolate chip (bit too sweet, not minty enough.. I actually really like Movenpick's mint chocolate chips w/ the chocolate chunks) and wanted more coffee almond fudge (it's the closest thing to 31 Baskin Robbins' Jamoca Almond Fudge here... mmmm).

Double Rainbow might bring some nostalgia for those from the Bay Area since it's an import from San Francisco. It's not as glitzy as Coldstone's or well known as Haagen Daaz, but it's definitely worth a try! They also offer sundaes, waffle cones and about 12 flavors.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

chinese: i recommend green onion pancake from RANDOM STREET VENDOR



RANDOM STREET VENDOR
near Dun Hua Eslite
Dun Hua S Road/ Ren Ai Road

hours: spotted in late afternoon/evening

$

Visit reviewed: 10/26/2007

Mmmm. Scallion pancake or tsong yo bing . A perfect snack to go. This particular vendor's green onion pancake was flat and crispy and hot! I don't like it too doughy so this was perfect. It was so hot that you had to play hot potato with it before taking a bite. For NT$30, I got a half order which was 5-6 pieces and actually enough to share as a snack because the pieces were huge.

There is sauce on the cart that you can add, but he suggested eating the original flavor. You can also add egg for more NT, but I like it without egg.


you gotta love Taiwan English


I think I also spotted a dumpling vendor across from him, but the smell of freshly fried pancake totally got me. Located near the alley of the office building to the right of the 24 hour Dun Hua S Road Eslite.


PS.. still researching this Thanksgiving in Taipei thing and hopefully over a nasty cold.. not an easy task! Something LETHAL is going around town. But some interesting contenders that I'm researching... all seem to range in the NT$2000-$4000 range, and not having eaten at most of these places, don't know what their guidelines are for home cooking tastes!

Post Home
Jake's Country Cafe
Grandma Nitti's
Jimmy's
Grand Regent Hotel
Lawry's
Jason's at 101
Costco
Dan Ryan's
Dean and Deluca (at Breeze)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

where can you find... thanksgiving dinner in Taipei?

A great question emailed to me by reader Joe W.- where to find a good thanksgiving dinner in Taipei? For many Americans, that's probably a top question on our minds since it's already November and it's not really a Taiwanese holiday!

If you are doing turkey day at home, you can do the slave over a hot stove all day thing or you could order a package from a restaurant. I spotted an ad last year from Post Home for a turkey with all the sides package that I was seriously considering for this year. I also spotted a pre-cooked turkey by a chef at the Grand Hyatt sold in limited editions at Costco in the previous years- don't know if that happens every year.

If you are looking for a sit-down turkey dinner, where to go? Honestly, I have no idea, but I'm sure MUST be some good places to go. Can you just drop in or do you have to make reservations? Will there be candied yams and stuffing (my personal favorites)?

Or do you just have Chinese food like any other day here?

Let us know!

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