THE SPICE SHOPNo. 6, Alley 10, Lane 50, Tienmu East Rd, Taipei
MRT: Mingde or Shipai (closest MRTs but would probably still need a taxi to the restaurant, or 30 minute walk. Near/behind Tianmu Shin Kong Mitsukoshi mall)
website: Spice Shop's FB page
hours: 11:30AM - 2PM; 5:30PM - 10PM
$$ (about NT$500-600/person)
Kid friendliness: I always think Indian is a more difficult kid friendly cuisine unless your kid can tolerate spiciness- some non spicy options- naan and tandoori chicken.
Visit reviewed: 5/29/2013
I'd often passed by Spice Shop on my way to its next door neighbor Saffron, also an Indian restaurant. I was curious and heard good things about Spice Shop, but didn't want to give up a sure thing for a delicious lunch for a new unknown, especially when I had made the trek to Tianmu.
So luckily someone asked to meet me there for lunch so I had no more excuses to not try it, and I'm glad I did. It's equally delicious as Saffron, with a more casual vibe and slightly more affordable prices. It seems they've remodeled since the last time I passed it by, making the decor more modern and upscale from the brighter, eclectic decor they had before. It's not too crowded for a weekday late lunch, though it's probably best to make reservations for the weekend.
The menu is expansive, with lots of vegetarian options to choose from. Since my friend was vegetarian (and chose the restaurant), we ended up with two vegetarian dishes and one meat. Dishes range from NT$260-NT$560, so if you want variety, it's better to come with more people to share. That's definitely one thing I miss from the states- the weekday lunch buffet and get stuffed with a plate full of different curries and chicken tandoori for US$10. Does anyone do a weekday brunch here? I only know of Ali Baba and Tandoor on the weekends. Oh and Aaleja (I almost blocked it out, it was so traumatizing).
The food came out fairly quickly, in small deep bowls. I loved the flavors and mild spiciness of all the dishes and even though I only got to try three, it was enough for me to want to come back again. If you like it spicy, you should let them know what level of heat you want when you order.
The baigan bharta (eggplant curry) (NT$270) had a sweetness from the additional cooked tomatoes and onions.
Aloo gobi had a lot of cauliflower and large chunks of potato.
Butter chicken (NT$360) has become a new favorite of mine, with its creamy, sweet curry, being a less spicy cousin to my previous favorite, chicken tikka masala. I usually sop up the curry with plain naan (NT$80) or basmati rice (NT$30). So good!
For those of you Hungry in Hsinchu, there's a Spice Shop there as well!
OTHER LOCATIONNo.19 Xinguang Road, Hsinchu, Taiwan