Tuesday, March 30, 2021

western: i still strongly recommend LAWRYS TAIPEI


at Bellavita, 6F
28 Songren Road, Xinyi District 
(02) 2729-8555

MRT: Taipei City Hall

hours: 11:30AM - 3PM; 5:30PM- 10PM

Kid friendliness: high chairs and kids meals available 

Visit reviewed: 3/2021 (this meal was comped but opinions are all my own)
previous visit: 11/2011 

Lawry's Taipei moved to Bellavita last fall, its third and newest home in Taipei since opening in 2002. The new space is brighter with floor to ceiling windows and makes for much better photos than its previous basement location, and you might even get a seat with a view of Taipei 101. 

When I posted on Instagram earlier this week, many followers exclaimed they didn't even know Lawry's existed in Taipei. It's true I hadn't posted about Lawry's for ten years even though I had been a loyal customer since 2007. It was hard to take an appetizing photo there, and the plate always looked consistently the same. 

In recent years, the competition for steak in Taipei has gotten fiercer. Just in the Xinyi District alone, there is Texas Roadhouse, Morton's and Smith and Wollensky (which all show up as related searches on google when you search for "Lawrys Taipei"), and that's not even mentioning places like Top Cap, Wildwood or Muchoyaki. 

But for prime rib... Lawry's is still the best. 

The spinning salad with extra cold fork. The creamed corn. The Yorkshire pudding. The creamy and original horseradish sauce. The Lawrys' seasoned pepper and salt. The huge silver cart with prime rib cut to order with au jus and scoops of mashed potato. All the ritual of the classic Lawry's experience is still the same even after all this time. 

I like to get the prime rib "a la carte" which still comes with bread and butter and salad. If you upgrade to the set, you get an appetizer, soup, salad and dessert, but usually that makes the meal longer and I just want to get to the prime rib. The 10 ounce Lawry's Cut (NT$2590) should be plenty for most people, but if you're really hungry you can go for the 16 ounce Diamond Cut (NT$3690) or pack leftovers for prime rib sandwiches the next day. There's also the California and English cuts (6-7.5 ounces) or the 5 ounce Taipei Cut available only during lunch, 

Don't forget to mention if it's your birthday or anniversary and get a souvenir photo to take home. They used to have polaroids but now it's printed from an iPhone. I wish it was still Polaroid, but you can't 'complain about a complimentary service. 

PS. Yay for birthdays- this post was typed up and photos uploaded from my new MacBook Air. 💝 Let's see if we can keep posts going in 2021. 

I love this salad. the dressing, the beets, the bits of egg and crispness of the romaine.

creamed corn and creamed spinach

Friday, March 26, 2021


Five Restaurants in Taiwan named to Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list

Chefs across Asia celebrated together, but separately as the 2021 Asia's 50 Best Restaurants was announced in a virtual ceremony rather in an onsite awards celebration for the second year in a row. 

A record number of 5 restaurants repping Taiwan were named to Asia’s 50 Best, making us proud- Mume (15), RAW (21), new entry Logy (24), JL Studio in Taichung (26) and Shoun Ryugin (45). Team @logy.tw joins the list for the first time at #24 and chef Ryogo Tahara says “it’s a dream come true. It’s because of my team I can accomplish this goal.” 

Congrats also to Singaporean chef Angela Lai, named 2021 Asia’s Best pastry chef. You can currently try her desserts at two Michelin star restaurant Tairroir. 

I’ve been thinking about what it means that The Chairman is the first Chinese restaurant to be named number 1 restaurant in Asia, especially after a year where anti-Asian and anti-Chinese hate has risen around the world after a difficult year for everyone around the world. The world is a complicated place- and the gap between America where I grew up and Asia which is my home now has become so large. But to see the cross cultural camaraderie between the chefs, to witness their dreams come true, the recognition by #Asias50Best for many restaurants in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and more is a celebration for all the restaurants that have survived and strived to be places we hope to go to after we can safely travel again. It’s not a competition to see who can be best, rather it’s a way to push and lift each other up and forward, and that's what we will need to do after the pandemic. 

  1. THE CHAIRMAN, Hong Kong
  2. ODETTE, Singapore
  3. DEN, Japan
  4. LE DU, Thailand
  5. GAGGAN ANAND, Thailand - New Entry - Aspire Lifestyles Highest New Entry Award 2021
  6. SUHRING, Thailand
  7. FLORILEGE, Japan
  8. LA CIME, Japan
  9. NARISAWA, Japan
  10. MINGLES, South Korea 
  11. SORN, Thailand
  12. SAZENKA, Japan
  13. LES AMIS, Singapore
  14. BURNT ENDS, Singapore
  15. MUME, Taiwan 
  16. VEA, Hong Kong - Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award 2021
  17. NEIGHBORHOOD, Hong Kong
  18. INDIAN ACCENT, India
  19. L’EFFERVESCENCE, Japan - Beronia Highest Climber Award 2021
  20. NUSARA, Thailand - New Entry
  21. RAW, Taiwan
  22. FU HE HUI, China
  23. ZEN, Singapore
  24. LOGY, Taiwan - New Entry
  25. 25. BELON, Hong Kong
  26. JL STUDIO, Taiwan
  27. ODE, Japan
  28. CAPRICE, Hong Kong
  29. MINISTRY OF CRAB, Sri Lanka
  31. CLOUDSTREET, Singapore – New Entry
  32. MASQUE, India
  33. 8 1/2 OTTO E MEZZO BOMBANA, Hong Kong
  34. 7TH DOOR, South Korea - New Entry
  36. BORN & BRED, South Korea – New Entry
  37. AMBER, Hong Kong
  38. TA VIE, Hong Kong
  39. ANAN SAIGON, Vietnam - New Entry
  40. LABYRINTH, Singapore - New Entry and Winner of Flor de Cana Sustainable Restaurant Award 2021
  41. EUPHORIA, Singapore – New Entry
  42. JAAN BY KIRK WESTAWAY, Singapore
  43. HANSIKGANGGAN, South Korea
  44. MONO, Hong Kong – New Entry
  45. SHOUN RYUGIN, Taiwan
  46. GAA, Thailand
  47. LUNG KING HEEN, Hong Kong
  48. SEVENTH SON, Hong Kong
  49. TOYO EATERY, Philippines
  50. WING LEI PALACE, Macau