MRT: Xinyi/Taipei 101 (about 10 minute walk)
hours: 11AM - 9:30PM
$$-$$$ (about NT$ per person)
Kid friendliness: no high chairs spotted but lots of room for strollers.
Visit reviewed: 12/7/2014
For months, I passed by this giant red sign that burned brighter and taller than anything nearby on Xinyi Road. For months, I was curious about this restaurant, figuring that a lit sign at its prime location meant the restaurant was open for business, but was wrong when I walked up to a dark restaurant still under construction back in October. Who would be bold enough to make signage had no Chinese and name their restaurant with a Spanish word? Asado in Spanish means "roast" referring to meats. Would it be a Spanish restaurant, or Mexican? I dared not to have any hopes.
When I finally had a chance to check it out this weekend, I walked into an empty restaurant. It had been open for only one month, but I always wonder when the restaurant is empty, should I go somewhere else instead? But my curiosity had been stirred for so long, I had to just see what it was all about.
Asado Steak and Seafood's decor is decidedly setting the mood- black and white cowboy photos line a red brick wall, antler chandeliers line the center of the room, lots of room to seat big groups. Why does the also newly opened Texas Roadhouse get all the buzz, and not a place like this? Location? Owner? Better PR Machine? Branding?
The menu had a lot of selections with Signature Steaks, entrees, pasta & rice and appetizers. A glance at another part of the menu revealed brunch and pancakes, including an unusual sounding Mexicano Chicken Pancakes. We quizzed the waiter on the specials and settled on the Grilled USDA Short Rib (NT$690) and Grilled USDA Ribeye Steak (NT$980). There's also burger, grilled duck breast, pork ribs, pork chops, seafood, pig knuckle, charbroiled leg of lamb and veal on the menu.
Sets are available separately from the dinner for an additional NT$300 for appetizer, mixed green salad, soup, drink and dessert, but we opted for an ala carte Caesar Salad (NT$200) instead. Warm house made bread with butter and salsa also came to the table.
Grilled USDA Ribeye Steak (NT$980)
The owner of Asado used to own another Western restaurant in Tianmu (The Brasserie, which is now closed) and brought in a chef from Chez Jimmy to his new kitchen. Some of the popular menu items such as pig knuckle (as well as the same menu font it seems) from that restaurant can be found at Asado. Overall, I enjoyed my meal at Asado and I was satisfied with what I got for what I paid and glad I gave it a try to fulfill my curiosity, but I guess I was hoping for a meal and flavors that were more bold and memorable like the brazen neon sign outside.