ABU AUTHENTIC 阿布法國料理)
CLOSED a/o April 2014
Visit reviewed: 3/2011 & 7/2012
Of all the restaurant closings of the past year, Abu is the one I'm most distraught over. It was my special occasion restaurant, the place that housed many of my favorite meals, and like any love lost, I wish I had spent more time there so I could have tasted more of the spectacular food there. Abu Authentic was a repeat winner for several years, voted by my readers in the hungryintaipei readers' choice awards, before I gave it a try.
The first time I went to Abu, I thought the chef was a mind reader. The dinner set had all my favorite things- lobster, foie gras, mussels. It was amazing, my mind was blown, it was one of my favorite meals that year. Maybe in my life. Unlike other fine dining restaurants, where you leave remembering only a dish or two, or feeling like you overpaid for the restaurant having a Michelin starred chef in name, I always was wowed by every dish and savored each bite. When you spend US$100 on a meal, you want it to be one of the best meals you've ever had right?
The last time I ate there was this past March for lunch, and when a friend wanted to eat there a few weeks later, she said went by the restaurant and it had closed indefinitely from a kitchen fire. Apparently costs to rebuild were too expensive.
Abu wasn't a large space, so while there was room to book a large dinner party in the main dining space or in the private area downstairs, smaller parties felt a tad cramped if the restaurant was busy.
Abu's bread basket included an assortment of choices, including a deliciously chewy sesame bread (that must have some mochi in it) as well as a tuna spread, French butter and olive oil.
Pan fried duck foie gras, longan sauce
My date's quail starter
Warm lobster with cauliflower sauce - this was so amazing. I will never forget this dish. Creamy, sweet, perfectly cooked.
Provence tomato soup, mixed seafood
Sauteed mussels, tomatoes, lemon sauce
Organic rose granita palate cleanser
Pan Roasted Rib Eye Steak
Special occasion souffle with ice cream
These photos from another meal aren't as clear since they were taken with an iPhone in a romantically dim setting, but you get the gist of how delicious the food is.
Wild mushroom, truffle egg
Cream of pumpkin crab meat soup
Wild cod fish, spicy seafood tomato sauce
Potato confit, duck confit with its own jus
Desserts du chef
Wild mushroom truffled egg mixed salad
Duck confit with its own jus, potato confit - crispy skin, tender meat.
Scrolling through these pictures make me sad. Is there another restaurant in Taipei that has the same level of consistently fantastic food? I know Chef Abu has a vegetarian restaurant in Beitou, but hoping he'll open another restaurant or bistro in Taipei soon. Let me know if you guys hear that he does.