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Monday, December 06, 2010
italian/fusion: i recommend WHIPLE HOUSE
No. 34, Lane 252, DunHua S. Rd, Sec. 1
hours: 12PM- 9PM
Kid friendliness: no high chairs spotted
Visit reviewed: (all photos with Canon S90)
Taipei is full of these strange and interesting little restaurants- a little bit Japanese, a little bit French, a little bit Italian, a little bit Chinese- and a little bit of a furniture/clothing shop? Whiple House has the unique quality of being a restaurant hidden on the second floor of what appears to be a woodsy clothing store- look for this storefront if you ever give it a try.
Once upstairs, the kitchen is tucked in the corner and family style seating takes up most of the second floor, with some interesting displays of vintage looking goods off to one side.
The menu is unfortunately only in Chinese without photos, so I relied on my friends to order- especially the ones who had been before and chose the place.
My favorite dish and the main reason I'd come back is for the uni spaghetti with crab (NT$480). Creamy with a balance between the sweet and salty, a bite of the uni spaghetti is complimented by the chunks of sweet crab meat. I kind of wanted a whole plate to myself.
Less interesting was the mentaiko spaghetti(NT$320) which seemed to lose its fishy bubbles of roe after it got to me. I could taste more of the seaweed and olive oil than anything else and even had to double check with my friend that it had mentaiko in it.
If you get a salad, get the one with the mountain yam and poached egg and tofu (NT$280) over the one with beef, bacon and beans (NT$360). The bacon was hard rather than crispy and the elements of the first salad worked better together.
The country bread was surprisingly good- you can get it with an orange marmalade and butter (NT$80)...
or with this hot cheese and egg (NT$280). The server put a raw egg into the hot cheese and stirred, and then recommended that we spread it atop the bread while hot.
The result was kind of like a soft scrambled egg with cheese spread and something I think I might experiment with at home.
The mushroom soup (NT$150) was good and they had split a bowl into different cups for us.
The risotto was very al dente and reminded me of the risotto from Bianco, but the Bianco's risotto had more layers of flavors.
If I could make a recommendation, that would be to skip the steak/beef or even the meats in general. They run on the pricey side and are not as satisfying. We had the waitress help us order, and since we had a large group she decided we could sample a bit of everything.
The roasted chicken was probably my favorite of the three meats- though it tasted comparable to my George Foreman grilled chicken...
The grilled pork (NT$480) had a side of saukeraut and veggies.
The steak (NT$880) was my least favorite- a bit tough and chewy and definitely not worth the pricetag for the portion (though I can't remember if there were two plates of this size at the table).
So give it a try if you're looking for something a little bit different, or like to do your window shopping while you eat.
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