Monday, April 16, 2012

CLOSED! dessert/western: i recommend TIM & MEL PATISSERIE AND BISTRO

CLOSED! a/o 2014


No. 39, Lane 345, RenAi Rd, Sec. 4, 台北市仁愛路四段345巷四弄39號
(02) 2752-1829

MRT: Zhongxiao/Dunhua


hours: 12 PM - 9 PM

$$ (about NT$600/person; NT$300 for afternoon tea)

Kid friendliness: no high chairs, limited space.

Visit reviewed: 3/7/2012

Opened last summer, Tim & Mel Patisserie and Bistro joins the growing myriad of chic and cute cafes dotting the alleys and lanes in Taipei. A rainbow of macarons, shelves of dainty pastries like yuzu hazelnut bombes and an centered, open kitchen greets you in this tiny bistro that seats about 20 or so people.

There's bar seating at the open kitchen to watch the chefs hard at work, or group seating available at tables in the front and back where you can gaze from afar.

The lunch menu is limited to seven or so savory dishes to be ordered ala carte, and on the day we went there were quite a few things not available- steak, gnocchi and souffles. We ended up ordering a few pastas and a roasted duck breast to share, saving room for dessert. 

The food took quite a while to come out of the kitchen and a dish at a time, so it would be hard to wait for all the dishes to arrive to eat. My favorite was the elegantly plated roasted duck breast with sauteed mushrooms and green beans (NT$580) which was very tender and juicy, with the right amount of salt and pepper.

I ordered the Scallops with truffled gnocchi  pasta (NT$660) which was supposed to come with gnocchi, but since they were out, they replaced with pasta. I was fine with that since I don't like gnocchi anyways. The scallops were cooked well done, rather than seared medium rare and the pasta was gone in a few bites. 

I felt for the price they charged for the scallops, they could have served more pasta, but I guessed that the plate was chosen for gnocchi and not switched up make more room for more pasta. Since Tim & Mel's bucks the Taipei trend of offering sets and everything was ala carte, a meal could get pricey with the portion sizes- since this portion was not filling as a main dish.

My friend's pan crisped chicken pasta (NT$380) was a better size for the price, but I didn't try it. He said it was a little over seasoned, but finished it.

If I came back for the savory, I'd order the duck breast again and maybe try the waygu beef salad.

Tim & Mel Patisserie should be more popular for afternoon tea- they offer a set that has a strawberry mille-feuille, selection of three macarons, panna cotta and drink for NT$360. Or you could pick and choose your own desserts. Browsing the flavors, it's hard to choose just three for the set. 

Let's go back to the macarons... cassis, mint chocolate, blueberry, raspberry...

black sesame, mango, lemon lime...

Macaron boxes are tucked along the back wall and framed news clippings to read about the brother and sister chefs from the East Coast while you wait for your food.

Since they didn't have souffles (bummer!) that day, we shared an afternoon tea set and a strawberry crepe (NT$160).

The desserts were all very drool worthy and competitively priced. The macarons here slightly bigger and at NT$65, a better deal than the other famed macarons around Taipei which usually run NT$80-100 a piece (Patisserie La Douceur (which recently expanded to two floors and opened a second location in DaAn district), Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki (which is going under renovation at Bellavita to expand the seating area), Paul (which has expanded its menu), Robuchon, Boite de Bijou- am I missing any?), which makes me feel slightly less guilty about paying US$2 for a bite of sugar. 

Ok, a bite of happiness is priceless. Happiness times three.

The strawberry mille-feulle is slightly awkward to share, but the crispy and creamy layers elicit mmms around the table.

I also end up picking out two flavors to try that my friend didn't pick, that ended up being my favorites- mint chocolate and lemon lime macarons

After finding out about Tim & Mel Bistro, I found out that Chef Melissa Chang also opened another shop nearby called Tartine Bakery that served even more macaron flavors and goodies to discover- so of course I had to try it out. Stay posted!


Mao Chow said...

Great post. However, I thought they made the worst macaroons I've ever had in my life, both taste and texture. Took me forever to bite and swallow it.

Office Cleaning said...

Oh the macarons look soo yummy... and they are soo colorful they even seem artificial.plastic maybe :)

Anonymous said...

their macarons are really bad...I don't know if we can call them macarons.

joanh said...

R Kenny and anonymous: i liked the macarons.. you do have to let them sit for 5 minutes or so to "defrost".. sorry to hear you guys didn't like them

Anonymous said...

Macarons are truly divine...and I will master how to make them! In NYC, they're $2.50 each at most places...and yet we still buy them by the box. Ouch!

Anonymous said...

It's not about giving them 5 minutes to defrost, the texture is just way off. However, everybody has different taste buds, I can accept that.
I would like to introduce you another great place with good macarons, you can check it out!
Let me know if you like theirs~~ enjoy! :)

Cathy said...

I'm going to Taiwan this summer, and looking at your blog makes me so excited!
I can't wait to eat all the good food :D

joanh said...

I talked about Tartine at the end of my post. If I'm not mistaken, they share the same pastry chef.

Anonymous said...

No, Melissa left TM in Oct, 2011 and only make her pastries for Tartine Bakery. TM has their own dessert chef. Flavors and textures are very different. I have tried many dessert stores and strongly recommend you to try Tartine. Melissa's talent is without said. Not saying TM is no good but compare with Melissa, their stuff is very commercial and what Melissa does @ Tartine is homey, tasty and out of this world.

joanh said...

cathy- hi! thanks for commenting!! there will be a lot of great food for you to try!

anonymous: thanks for the info! i also found out a few weeks ago that Melissa is not a part of TM anymore.. I really enjoyed Tartine as I went a couple of times, and will put up the reviews soon!!

espressophile said...

I noticed that they have latte art on what appears to be a cappuccino. Any comments on the quality of the coffee or the identity of the roaster?