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Friday, April 11, 2008


No. 216, Dun Hua S Road, Sec 1, 2nd FL
(02) 2741-2625

website: Chinese only

hours: 24 hours


Kid friendliness: high chairs available

Visit reviewed: 3/25/2008

I guess you could call Citystar the Denny's of dim sum restaurants, it's open 24 hours, it serves food that's not awesome and not awful, and you even might have to wait for a table in its diner like atmosphere where families and students and friends gather.

I totally didn't expect to have to wait for a table around 2pm, but I guess its location and window facing the busy street makes it visible wanting some fast afternoon snacks. We waited about 15 minutes for a table to free up and get seated.

The plasticky menu pictures everything they have, so there's no carts to wave down. They also have a non-dim sum menu featuring family style Cantonese dishes, but we were here for dim sum (NT$55-160). After the servers take your order, they punch it in a computer station that's kind of fascinating to watch.

One of my favorites- "xian shui jiao"- is a deep fried puff of salty contents of shrimp, ground meat and vegetables and a sweet glutinous rice skin. It's not always available at every restaurant, but this was one of the better dishes. I would actually go back and just eat this and almond tofu.

Everything else was, ehhh, ok. I was with my dad who was visiting from LA and grandma who lives in Taipei-- my grandma and I agreed that the dim sum at Brother Hotel was better. Couldn't pinpoint why to my dad who hadn't been, but funnily enough my friend invited me to join them at dinner at Citystar that same night with a big group of his co-workers (I didn't go, but he said that he felt the dim sum was okay as well).

So it's a good choice if you have a lot of people to order a lot since they do have some bigger family style tables and share or if you're by yourself and just want a few dishes- fast and easy, even in the wee hours of the morning. You can even people watch by a window seat on the busy street below.

I did enjoy the almond tofu, but then again it's hard to go wrong with almond tofu!


No. 166, Zhong Xiao E Road, Sec 4, 2nd FL
(02) 2777-1717


Anonymous said...

yuuuummm!! i've always been a little scared of xian shui jiao, but your pictures make them look soo good! another place to add to my GROWING list of must eats!! :)thaaanks!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! This is a great blog, joanh! Found it just in time. I hope to visit Taipei next year and food is of course at the top of my list. I'm gradually making my way through all of your all-so-tasty posts. My target is to try the affordable local food first. But I have one concern. Does Taipei have public washrooms? Especially places like RaoHe Street, ShihLin or Keelung Night Markets? Thanks. :)

joanh said...

kathybean: hi!! i fell in love w/ xian shui jiao the first time I had it 7 years ago or so. not every place makes it right though!!

my: hi! hope to hear from you again. Yes, I think the night markets have places nearby you can look for restrooms, though your best bet is to find a nearby McD's or Starbucks or fast food place to have a cleaner restroom.

Unknown said...

I agree with your overall assessment: the dimsum here is ok, but not worth writing home about. They are supposedly known for their "mango pudding", but I was unimpressed. I thought the almond tofu was a bit on the "non-tender" side, which was disappointing. They did have these interesting green mint cherries to go with our desserts, which was cool. Great photography work, btw!

Anonymous said...

The food looks yummy!! I didn't know the food I ate can look so delicious. Nice photos!!

Unknown said...

Great post, I have lived in Taiwan for over 15 years, I now reside in Seattle. I will come back to Taipei this summer and use your guide to find some good eats. Like others I have my favorite places to munch down. Again great blog.