(Updating 2019. Flavors closed and then reopened as a meatball bistro afterwards but that closed too. i remember fondly the photos from this post because the light and the DSLR results were so beautiful)
hours: Closed Mondays; Tue - Fri: 6PM - 10:30PM
Weekday lunch by advance reservation only
Sat/Sun 12PM - 2:30PM & 6PM- 10:30PM
Kid friendliness: no kids allowed
Previous visit reviewed: 5/1/2009
My friend mentioned to another friend about how she had heard about an unusual restaurant in Taipei... Swedish, was it? And of course, I had to pop in and ask, do you mean Flavors? So another lunch date was made with a group of friends to introduce a new restaurant to.
I had fond memories of my first visit and visits after that went unblogged, but since we had made advance lunch reservations, the natural lighting for the pictures made for a perfect opportunity (since Flavors typically has the romantic mood lighting at night, terrible for food photos).
The menu has slightly changed since I last reviewed it- the meatballs are no longer available as an entree (boo hoo), the lunch menu sets are the same as the dinner menu sets, priced at around NT$890 and up, but apple cake is part of the set for every meal.
Everyone enjoyed our meals, shared bites of our main entrees, raved over the swedish meatballs and bread and delighted in noisy conversation which was okay since we had the restaurant all to ourselves at lunch.
Housemade bread is on the sweet side and served with olive tapenade and a pea spread. Resist the urge to fill up on this or sneak some to take home to eat.
The soup choices that day were cauliflower which was a nice creamy puree with a chopped parsley,
or a cold tomato soup.
Amuse bouche was watermelon infused with balsamic and mint, though mine tasted just like a cube of watermelon.
I savored the meatballs & new potato with brown sauce and ligonberry (NT$220) as I really wanted the whole plate of 12 that I had the last time, but until Chef Ola brings it back as an option, it's only an appetizer. The meatballs are fluffy and the sauces are sweet, but I like it that way.
A warm mango and mozzarella dish (NT$250) my friend ordered.
The main dishes at Flavors include veal, lamb, beef, salmon, venison, halibut, pork chop and what I ordered, the black cod. What was neat to observe was that each of the potato sides on the entrees had a different preparation/presentation.
Organic sous vide pork chop with caraway potato and blue cheese sauce (NT$1080)
Sous vide lamb chop and Flavors potato with marinated wine sauce (NT$1280/set)
Beef fillet with hasselback potato & cafe de Paris and garlic butter (NT$1280/set) is probably my favorite out of all the entrees I've tried and what I would probably recommend one to order.
Aside from the few bones in my first two bites of fish, I liked the black cod with potato gratin and caviar sauce (NT$1280/set).
With a thin layer of caviar spread atop of the cod, as well as plenty mixed into the sweet sauce, it provided a contrast of textures to the flaky fish. My friend noted that many of Flavors' sauces do lean towards the sweet side, even for the savory entrees, so if you're not a fan of mixing the two, you might want to let the chef know.
And finally, the apple cake which is more like an apple crumble island in a sea of vanilla cream sauce.
For chocolate lovers, the hot Death by Chocolate (NT$180) is a must try.
Quite a few readers have told me about how they loved discovering Flavors after I wrote about it last time and many also about how they found Chef Ola and his wife Stephanie to be so warm and integral to the experience of dining there. You might spot him in the semi-open kitchen, or if he's not too busy, you might be able to catch a conversation with him and let him know what you thought about your meal.