Friday, February 10, 2023

vegetarian/western: i strongly recommend MIA CUCINA

No. 11, Lane 107, Section 1, Fuxing S Rd, Da’an District

(more locations below)

MRT: Zhongxiao Fuxing

11AM - 9:30PM


Date visited: February 2022

Recommended dishes:  
the 3 cheese roasted tomato flatbread (NT$420), the avocado mushroom panini, wild mushroom pasta, harvest salad, kale farro salad

Hello everyone in 2023! It really is easy to forget things when I don't write about it. This meal was from almost a year ago February 2022, and the first one that popped up from my google photos that uploads from my laptop. Looking at this meal, I remember it's from Mia Cucina because of their signature thin crust flatbread pizza and piles of salad and pasta, but without the menu in front of me, I'll have to google the prices and names of the dishes.  I'm thinking if I can upload random past meals from my photostream and get some posts done for 2023, even if they are throwbacks. Let's see how long this lasts! 

Mia Cucina was one of the first "vegetarian, but you can take your family who eat meat" restaurants and also one of the first places to have a great salad selection. Looks like they celebrated their 10th anniversary last year, which means they opened in 2012. Now there's a ton of Western vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Taipei, but Mia Cucina really was one of the first to have pages of over a dozen salads, pizzas, paninis and pasta, and be exclusively vegetarian. Now there's Herbivore, Baganhood, Herban Kitchen and Bar. It also reminds me of Gonna, which is not vegetarian but does the whole salad and pasta with same ingredients thing.

The first location I went to was their first one in Neihu, probably in 2013 and I remember being in awe because they had a semi-open kitchen with huge assortment of colorful veggies and you could see them as they assembled the salads and dishes. (I'll have to see if I can dig out the photos!!) The state of finding a salad in Taipei before then was so tragic- Caesar salads or lettuce with some diced cucumber, and at best, the salads from Chilis. It really was so sad. Look at us now! Mia Cucina now has locations in Daan, Tianmu and Xinyi, in the very visible second floor walkway of A11. I actually really used to like Mia Cucina, but haven't gone as often once all the cafes and Gonna and Herbivore opened. But don't be deceived- it can still be very busy and popular and you should make a reservation.

Their OG salads were the Farmers and the Harvest, which I would always get confused, with overlapping ingredients (and early menus only in Chinese). Ok let's break it down- Farmers salad has grilled sweet potato, bell peppers, grilled corn, raisins (YUCK WHY), red onions, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, cherry tomatoes, carrots, boiled egg, caramelized pecans, pineapple (again hmm), broccoli, croutons, avocado, cheddar cheese and ranch dressing. Harvest salad has grilled corn, grilled bell peppers, cherry tomato, asparagus, grilled carrots, grilled eggplant, red onion, cucumber cubes, quinoa, cilantro, toasted almonds, dried cranberries, feta cheese with lemon vinaigrette. 

In the last few years, they've changed it up, adding salads like Kale and farro (NT$435) and brunch and bowl options. Might have to revisit to give it a try!

Farro Kale Salad - kale, pecans, cranberry, scallions, celery, feta, lemon vinegar sauce

wild mushroom pasta

Other locations: 

110, Taipei City, Xinyi District, Songshou Rd, 11號2樓號
(02) 2722-3120

Zhongshan District, Nanjing W Rd, 12號2樓
(02) 2522-2438

No. 48號, Dexing W Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, 111