Wednesday, June 08, 2011

dessert/japanese: DAZZLING CAFE-SUNSHINE




DAZZLING CAFE (SUNSHINE)
at A11, Xinyi Mitsukoshi, 2FL
(02) 2723-0767

MRT: Taipei City Hall

hours: 11AM- 11PM (last order 10PM); Fri/Sat 11AM-12AM (last order 11PM)

$$

kid friendliness: high chair available

visit reviewed: 5/3/2011 (all pics from iphone 4)


It's a pretty brillant move of Dazzling Cafe to open their newest location in the middle of a shopping mall. Its glossy white, glittering decor and honey toast reputation would be sure to draw in any casual shoppers passing by, like it did for my friend and I, who were wondering why Paul (across the walkway) was so unusually empty during afternoon tea hours.



In the middle of the afternoon, Dazzling was packed with diners.


The founder of Dazzling Cafe actually had Dazzling stores first, selling jewelry and accessories. This location combines both, with a small shop adjacent to the dining space, which is between Club Monaco and Pandora Jewelry. The decor of the shops stand out, with the sunny yellow accents on the stark black and white. (I hear their other stores have similar color accents and are named accordingly)


But let's say you're not buying any bling today... you're just here for your sweet tooth. There is a lunch/dinner menu that includes seven or so different spaghetti dishes, or an all day menu for honey toast, tea and coffee.



We were lucky enough to get a seat right away at 4PM on a weekday the week after Dazzling Sunshine opened- I think it would be a different story on the weekend and once news about the new location spreads. Upon seating, the waiter lets us know that there is a 90 minute limit at our table and a one drink minimum per person. The drink menu includes hot and iced teas, lattes, juices, slushies (NT$90-160).




There's about ten varieties of honey toast, including toppings like classic honey, chocolate banana, strawberry, caramel, blueberry or tropical fruit, ranging from NT$200-250, . You can also opt for a fondue style, or you could go all out and get a "Party in Your Mouth." Tempting... but we ended up deciding on chocolate banana.

Our drinks came fairly quickly and I was really happy with my fruity Iced Strawberry Tea with Cherry (NT$140), though the drink prices are kinda highway robbery and the fact that each diner MUST order one.


My friend's fancied up latte.


Our truffle french fries (NT$200) came first and they might have spoiled our appetite for the honey toast. Crispy, hot and adorned with truffles, my friend and I agreed we'd probably come back here for the truffle fries alone. Wait, and our two required drinks. Wonder if we could get the truffle fries to go?


Then the honey toast came. If you haven't seen honey toast in person, you might be surprised, like my friend, to see how huge it is in person. I think she might have gasped, seeing the mammoth dessert come towards our table. It's easily shared by four people, and between the two of us, we didn't make it through half of ours.


I had high expectations after hearing about the legendary lines and wait to get a seat, and because they won for Favorite Dessert on the 2010 Readers' Favorites poll and seeing all the drool worthy pictures of decadence.  I really wanted to like the honey toast, but I found Dazzling's version to be too dry. I know you're supposed to smother the ice cream and cream onto the cubes of toast, but the previous versions I've eaten (in both Taipei and the states), they've drizzled honey onto the bread before toasting to make a caramelized effect so that the honey toast itself is kind of a revelation without all the other stuff. While there was some dusting of sugar on the toast, we had to ask for more honey to get that flavor. I don't know if the classic honey toast flavor would have been prepared differently, or the other locations, but I was sadly disappointed because I was comparing them to my other experiences.


But I can see how the atmosphere and presentation could lure in curious diners as well as the ladies that lunch/afternoon tea crowd. Dazzling would be an appropriate place for a birthday celebration, or as a tourist stop while shopping in the area. If someone wanted me to go again and share honey toast with them, I'd give it another try. Maybe next time I'll have better luck with a Party in my Mouth.

OTHER LOCATIONS:

Reservation number: 02-8773-9229

PINK:
No. 11, Lane 205, Alley 7, ZhongXiao E Road, Sec 4,
(02)8773-9238

MINT:
No. 3, Lane 248, ZhongXiao E. Road, Sec 3,
(02) 2731-5199

8 comments:

Johnny said...

AWWWWW...maybe they didn't get it quite right at their new location yet~Also, banana chocolate looks really dry to me too. I went for the strawberry one and I thought it was alright. I didn't eat the outer crust though...maybe thats why I didn't think it was dry.

kirbie said...

The honey toast looks so cool! Too bad it didn't taste so good. Ohh those truffle fries look amazing, and not too expensive. I need to put this on my to-do list. I am planning on visiting in Sept, I hope I can meet up with you when I go!

Sparklewolfie said...

Aw, sorry to hear the honey toast lacked honey! I had honey toast at a little cafe near my house and it was so huge too @__@

Maybe it is because the location is new?

Pandalicious said...

mmm truffle fries.. can't go wrong with those!

Su-Lin said...

Those truffle fries look so well fried and delicious! And shame about the dryness of the honey toast as it looks absolutely insane!

joanh said...

johnny- that's what i was thinking too.. and perhaps they just prepare it a different way. you're right about taiwan being cheapo on sauces a lot of the times

kirbie- i'm sure you can make this too! we should definitely meet up, when will you be here? i'll be in the states the first 2 weeks of sept. hope we won't miss each other!

sparklewolfie- ooh, what cafe did you get honey toast from? was it good?

pandalicious- the truffle fries were delish!

su-lin: dazzling has an insane following, so i don't know if it was an opening/training glitch or that's just how it is.

Allan said...

Hi your blog is a great research for my coming Taipei trip in 4th Feb 2012. i will be staying for a week and i'm not going to missed all the nice thing about this city.

Anonymous said...

Everything looks so good! I found another blog with more info with locations if you guys are looking for the addresses! http://taiwan543.net/2011/12/05/dazzling-cafe/

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