No. 91 SongRen Rd.
MRT: Taipei City Hall
website: Longtable's FB page
hours: 11AM- 11:30PM
Kid friendliness: lot of high chairs available
Visit reviewed: 9/16/2012 & 10/10/2012
Longtable is a little off the radar with its Xinyi location in an office building across the street from the Le Meridien Hotel, but is worth seeking out. The menu includes brunch, pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches and other western fare and the spacious dining space perfect for large groups.
The first few times I went in September, the restaurant was relatively quiet, maybe too much so for such a large space. But on my last visit on 10/10, word of mouth seemed to spread and lots of families were taking advantage of the roomy space and long tables.
Like most restaurants, there are some dishes that I liked more than others, so here's what I would order again:
(1) The Fish and Chips (NT $440) - a monster huge piece and the batter was fried perfectly crispy with flaky white fish. Would totally order this again, as this is not always easy to find in Taipei. A splash of worcestershire or tartar sauce to dip in. My uncle, who passed away last year, used to always love eating at Long John Silver when he visited us in LA, but if he was still around, I would totally order him this.
(2) The grilled veggie sandwich (NT$380)- another thing that is hard to find in Taipei.. so I was quite happy with this on my first visit. Grilled red and green peppers, thin slices of eggplant and layers of creamy goat cheese to bring it all together, with a side of fries to munch on.
2) Both the Chicken Tagliatelle (NT$370) and Rigatoni Bolognese (NT$390) disappeared quickly from the table and had to be reordered (I think I never got a picture of the rigatoni- that's how fast it was gone). Rigatoni pasta is not found as often in Taipei and the fat tubes creates pockets for the sauce which makes it quite flavorful.
I'd pass on the Seafood Linguine ($440) - I think because it was soft opening, they subbed spaghetti for linguine pasta, but the seafood also was frozen, not fresh. After eating the fresh seafood at Thai Made before my first time at Longtable, the texture and flavors of the frozen seafood was noticeably less appealing.
The pepperoni pizza (NT$440) actually comes trimmed with a bit of arugula which makes it a little more worth the pricier cost. I liked the salami over the sausage that's offered in the Toscana pizza (NT$440) which resembles more a hot dog than the ground pork sausage that I like. The size is fairly large and the crust is thin, but pliable.
There's about 8 salads available at Longtable, including grilled halloumi cheese salad or grilled beef salad. I've tried 3 so far, and each one seems to have hearty toppings and portions. My favorite is probably the Nicoise salad (NT$390) which had lots of hard boiled egg, tuna, potato chunks and green beans to go around.
Caesar salad (NT$360) had some grape tomatoes and fresh parmesan cheese.
The Greek salad (NT$380) had the standard feta cheese, diced tomatoes, cucumbers and black olives, dressed with herbed olive oil vinagrette. It was probably my least favorite that I tried and a bit pricey for what is basically an appetizer since it was a small size. But those craving something different, you can give it a try.
I'd also pass on the steak sandwich (NT$490) which I felt was too expensive. I also had tried a bite of this sandwich around the time I fell in love with the sandwiches from Dressed, so I preferred the steak, arugula, goat cheese combo from there.
If you're looking to splurge, you could try the Cafe de Paris Tenderloin Steak (NT$890), as was recommended by the waitress to my friend.
Longtable's menu is quite varied, including breakfast/brunch options, but I felt like my favorites were the pastas and pizzas.
And if you love chocolate, can never go wrong with a chocolate lava cake.
So while the menu is hit or miss for me and you pay a premium for dining in the Xinyi district, the convenience of the large space makes it a prime option for large groups or gatherings with your friends and their families, especially when you know what to order and avoid. Next time you're looking for a last minute spot for brunch for you and your big extended family, you might find yourself appreciating the long tables at Longtable.