Monday, April 22, 2013

CLOSED/western/italian: i recommend LONGTABLE

No. 91 SongRen Rd. 
(02) 2345-3670

updating in 2019. CLOSED. It was then a Hooters (very shortlived) and now Buckskin Beerhouse. 

MRT: Taipei City Hall 

hours: 11AM- 11:30PM


Kid friendliness: lot of high chairs available

Visit reviewed: 9/16/2012 & 10/10/2012

Longtable is a little off the radar with its Xinyi location in an office building across the street from the Le Meridien Hotel, but is worth seeking out. The menu includes brunch, pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches and other western fare and the spacious dining space perfect for large groups.

The first few times I went in September, the restaurant was relatively quiet, maybe too much so for such a large space. But on my last visit on 10/10, word of mouth seemed to spread and lots of families were taking advantage of the roomy space and long tables.

Like most restaurants, there are some dishes that I liked more than others, so here's what I would order again:  

(1) The Fish and Chips (NT $440) - a monster huge piece and the batter was fried perfectly crispy with flaky white fish. Would totally order this again, as this is not always easy to find in Taipei. A splash of worcestershire or tartar sauce to dip in. My uncle, who passed away last year, used to always love eating at Long John Silver when he visited us in LA, but if he was still around, I would totally order him this.

(2) The grilled veggie sandwich (NT$380)another thing that is hard to find in Taipei.. so I was quite happy with this on my first visit. Grilled red and green peppers, thin slices of eggplant and layers of creamy goat cheese to bring it all together, with a side of fries to munch on.

2) Both the Chicken Tagliatelle (NT$370) and Rigatoni Bolognese (NT$390) disappeared quickly from the table and had to be reordered (I think I never got a picture of the rigatoni- that's how fast it was gone). Rigatoni pasta is not found as often in Taipei and the fat tubes creates pockets for the sauce which makes it quite flavorful.

I'd pass on the Seafood Linguine ($440) - I think because it was soft opening, they subbed spaghetti for linguine pasta, but the seafood also was frozen, not fresh. After eating the fresh seafood at Thai Made before my first time at Longtable, the texture and flavors of the frozen seafood was noticeably less appealing.

The pepperoni pizza (NT$440) actually comes trimmed with a bit of arugula which makes it a little more worth the pricier cost. I liked the salami over the sausage that's offered in the Toscana pizza (NT$440) which resembles more a hot dog than the ground pork sausage that I like. The size is fairly large and the crust is thin, but pliable. 

There's about 8 salads available at Longtable, including grilled halloumi cheese salad or grilled beef salad. I've tried 3 so far, and each one seems to have hearty toppings and portions. My favorite is probably the Nicoise salad (NT$390) which had lots of hard boiled egg, tuna, potato chunks and green beans to go around.

Caesar salad (NT$360) had some grape tomatoes and fresh parmesan cheese.

The Greek salad (NT$380) had the standard feta cheese, diced tomatoes, cucumbers and black olives, dressed with herbed olive oil vinagrette. It was probably my least favorite that I tried and a bit pricey for  what is basically an appetizer since it was a small size. But those craving something different, you can give it a try.

I'd also pass on the steak sandwich (NT$490) which I felt was too expensive. I also had tried a bite of this sandwich around the time I fell in love with the sandwiches from Dressed, so I preferred the steak, arugula, goat cheese combo from there.

If you're looking to splurge, you could try the Cafe de Paris Tenderloin Steak (NT$890), as was recommended by the waitress to my friend.

Longtable's menu is quite varied, including breakfast/brunch options, but I felt like my favorites were the pastas and pizzas. 

And if you love chocolate, can never go wrong with a chocolate lava cake

So while the menu is hit or miss for me and you pay a premium for dining in the Xinyi district, the convenience of the large space makes it a prime option for large groups or gatherings with your friends and their families, especially when you know what to order and avoid.  Next time you're looking for a last minute spot for brunch for you and your big extended family, you might find yourself appreciating the long tables at Longtable.


Lauren said...

That chicken tagliatelle! OMG drool.

peteratsal said...

No and chips in Taipei!? I am definitely going to have to try this. This blog is amazing.

Family Restaurants said...

I'm start craving for caesar salad when I was looking at the pictures.

Anonymous said...

OMG! You have such an amazing blog!
I thought I'd never get to find fish and chips here.
Do you by chance know of any other place with good fish and chips in Taipei?

joanh said...

anonymous/lauren: haha! yes it's good!

peteratsal: hope you get a chance to give the fish and chips a try! report back what you thought! :)

family restaurants: thanks

anonymous: thanks so much!!! i think some of the western chain restaurants have it, as well as Toasteria Cafe- but Longtable was the first time I ordered it in Taipei and had an impression

Anonymous said...

Hi, Amazing blog and thanks for all your amazing information about food in Taipei.

I have to just say though, I did try this restaurant after your recommendation and really found the fish and chips to be very bad, even distasteful. The worse thing you can do with fish and chips is to make them soggy on the outside and these were sooo soggy, mushy and oily...I would hesitate to recommend this place. The mushroom tagliatelle was ok, lots of heavy sauce, chicken a bit dry, but really commenting just to point out issues with the fish and chips. It's really difficult to mess up fish and chips, but this is Taipei so...

Sorry for the bad review comment but figured it had to be done. In any case, keep up the good work, I know you will!

joanh said...

Anonymous- ugh! That sounds pretty awful. I''m sorry you didn't have the same experience as I did- I think it's important that you share your experience- restaurants can have off days but they can also drop in quality or change chefs.. We'll see if any other readers agree or disagree with us. Thanks for commenting and reading!

Marlies said...

Just went there today, because I was craving that chocolate lava cake you mentioned. So sad, it's not on the menu anymore...

john19 said...

Hello HungryGirl,
I follow your blog for some time already. It's really very difficult to find a real Fish n Chips in Taipei. After reading this post, me and my wife tried Longtable. Frankly speaking, we were amazed with the taste, real crunchy and beer battered as original in England. I suggest, you try the hamburger, too. We loved it.
Thank you for recommendation.

joanh said...

Hi John19, thanks for commenting! Glad to hear you had a good fish and chips experience. I've also had the burger there on return visits and yes it's good! Thanks for reading

joanh said...

Marlies- oh no! Sorry! Some other good places to find chocolate lava cake- Saveurs, No. 168 Prime Steakhouse or Chili's. The Death by chocolate at Flavors is also very yummy

Bevin Chu said...

August 6, 2014.

With high hopes I tried the fish and chips. Wow was I disappointed. They must have lost their chef, because what I was served up looked nothing like the picture above. The picture above looks like a bona fide order of English style fish and chips,with light gold flaky crust.

What I was served up was two lukewarm pieces of fish covered in dark brown, tough, leathery, flexible [!] crust. The inside of the crust was white dough that obviously never even rose.

I seriously doubt they used either baking powder, baking soda, or beer in the batter.

Longtable's "fish and chips?" Avoid it like the plague.

joanh said...

Ah sorry your experience didn't match mine and thanks for sharing your experience. I went again today and they do serve it in two pieces instead of one, but the battered crust was good today.