Monday, March 25, 2013

bakery/desserts: i strongly recommend TARTINE BAKERY

No. 13-1, Lane 49, AnHe Rd, Sec. 1 
台北市大安區安和路一段 49 巷 13-1 號
(02) 2778-8831

MRT: Zhongxiao/Dunhua

website: Tartine Bakery's FB page (I'd include the official link, but looks like someone forgot to pay the hosting bill)

hours: Sundays, Tuesday-Thursday 12PM - 8PM; 
Friday/Saturdays 12PM- 9:30PM
Closed Mondays

kid friendliness: limited seating inside is all on high barstool chairs, but some room for strollers and lots sweets for takeaway.

visits reviewed: 4/3/2012, 4/10/2012 & 9/26/2012

I think I have eaten more macarons in the past year than I have in my entire life... with all the new places opening up, gifts from friends and the addiction spreading to other people. But I'm not complaining! I even took a macaron making class and tried my hand at making them for the first time last week (but that post is to come!)

Tartine Bakery opened up in the beginning of last year in January 2012 by Chef Melissa Chang (who parted ways with Tim and Mel's Bistro, a few alleys away.) 

It has a more cafe/casual feel than TM Bistro and the lunch menu includes sandwiches, wraps and soups. With a few tables and bar stools, it's a cheerful place to meet a few friends for coffee. I was obsessed with it for awhile, but now I can share it with you guys.

What I loved about Tartine was the unusual flavors for the macarons that you might find- some of the other shops might have black sesame, salted caramel and raspberry- but Tartine also has chocolate yuzu, peanut butter and jelly, mango/pineapple.

Pink lemonade!

There are also homemade chocolate chip cookies and brownies and other baked goods. I was tempted by the choco chip, but the price NT$65 was too steep for me.

There's also a ton of desserts, including the popular strawberry mille-feuille. Many of the desserts are too pretty to eat and I could imagine getting a little box full of little cakes and tarts for a friend for a birthday surprise instead of a typical cake. You may have also spotted Tartine's desserts at Mitsukoshi A8 which opened in the fall of last year, and I also spotted a "pop-up" counter at Hankyu Mall last week. (At a passing glance, I believe the prices are higher at the mall locations than at the original shop, but it could be that prices went up at Tartine as well).

Strawberry Mille-feuille

How cute is this? I don't like mousse, but I love the playful marriage of pink and green.

Meringue swirled lemon tarts

With so many flavors, how can one decide? Good thing that I have friends who have as big as a sweet tooth as I do. Thanks to my friend L who treated me to this afternoon sugar high for my birthday last year.

In the beginning, I thought it was kind of cute that the macarons at Tartine are different sizes, some tall and some fat. I think it gives it a bit more personality, though some might want the precise exactness of other patisseries? Tartine also informed us that we should wait 5 minutes or so for the macarons to defrost. Tartine and TM Bistro were the first places that I've tried that keeps their macarons at such a cold temperature, that the macarons can be very hard if you can't wait so long for them to warm up. Though on a later visit, about six months afterwards, they seemed to have figured it out and created a level of standard sizes for the macarons. Peer pressure!

My friend loved the chocolate eclair.

On follow up visits, I reordered my favorites- the salted butter caramel and pink grapefruit macarons and gave the banana cream tart a try.

I love the packaging and the font choices in Tartine's signage and boxes. It really does feel like a little bakery or cafe you would find in LA, SF or NY.

Another fun thing about Tartine is that they mix and match their shells in some of their macarons to emphasize the different flavor combos..  At the original shop, the NT$65 per macaron price is one of the lowest in town where I've spotted macarons going for over NT$100 at Taipei 101. Crazy. But at their mall locations, the macaron prices are NT$80.

Pomegranate & Mint, Strawberry & Kiwi, Red Bean & Sesame, Blueberry & Passionfruit Cheesecake!!?! Don't tell me you're not curious.

I love that Tartine have things that I miss from the states like lemon bars and red velvet cupcakes too. Unfortunately, American comfort food has American sticker prices, so pick and choose carefully depending on your budget.. Personally I'd rather pay NT$150 for a rich chocolate grand cru cake topped with a macaron than NT$150 for a red velvet cupcake, but that's because for cupcakes I can make my own or I have my sources. Plus the cupcake is not that much bigger than a regular cupcake and not as sweet or moist as I'd prefer.

If you couldn't tell, I love desserts, so I could probably work my way through Tartine's menu if I didn't have to worry about all the calories and prices.


Anonymous said...

Joannh, Just like the one in San Francisco the name. In San Francisco
have more bread products in the bakery. Tartine name is well known for fine pastries in San Francisco and hope when visiting Taipei check this Tartine bakery out too.


Bebe said...

The basil lime is my favorite there! It's soon good for the price!

Anonymous said...

There is another Tartine bakery (with no seating?) just across and down the lane from Yongchung MRT Exit #5 on the Banan (blue) line.

Anonymous said...

The one in Yongchung MRT station is not related to Tartine Bakery, I've asked them. Their name is different actually. Tartine Bakery has became a famous dessert spot among us girls. We just love their desserts!

Dana said...

Couple of quick things...
Unfortunately the prices have indeed gone up to $80 for all the macaroons. I thought they were excellent though, and would absolutely still recommend them.

If the prices on individual items give you sticker shock, try the lunch sets! They're $320 for any entree, a small bowl of soup, any of their coffee or tea drinks, and any macaroon. Depending on what you choose, that could cost upwards of $550 separately. I can only vouch for the salmon pasta and ham/cheese sandwich entrees, since I haven't seen the others. But anyways, what we tried was good. The pasta was tasty and well cooked. The sandwich used good, crusty bread, thick slices of ham, and swiss cheese. Hope this helps!

Carrie said...

I'm said to say that this place is gone. It has been completely gutted. No more Tartine.