Upscale Restaurants in Taipei, Taiwan: Fine Dining Options Feature Asian and French Cuisine

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Taipei has many legendary restaurants and night markets where visitors can try virtually any local Taiwanese specialty, but the city is also a culinary mecca for world cuisine. For those looking for a nicer and more upscale dining experience, Taipei offers a number of excellent options – many located away from the luxury hotels in town.

Here are four widely popular restaurants to consider during a visit to Taipei:

Shinyeh 101

Located on the 85th floor of Taipei 101, the views alone are worth making a reservation. Fortunately, the quality of food matches the unsurpassed views of the city. Shinyeh 101 proves that Taiwanese cuisine can be gourmet by offering an extensive selection of local cuisine with that five-star touch.

Open for both lunch and dinner, the views on a clear night make it worth spending the extra money for an evening seating. Prices for lunch start around $30 US and $50 US or more for dinner. Seasonal set menus options are also available, which allows diners to taste a variety of local cuisine. The friendly and attentive wait staff will offer excellent recommendations and provide thorough descriptions of ingredients in each dish if needed. An extensive wine list is available and a delightful sommelier is also on hand to assist with finding that perfect bottle of wine.

  • Shinyeh 101

  • 7 XinYi Road, Sec 5, 85F-1

  • (02) 8101-0185

  • Hours: 11:30am – 3pm (lunch); 5:30pm – 10pm (dinner)

  • Dress code: Business Casual

  • Wine List: Yes

  • Credit Cards: Yes

Abu Authentic Cuisine

Tucked along a tiny road is one of the best kept culinary secrets of Taipei. Chef William “Abu” Bu, formerly of the famed Tutto Bello Italian Restaurant, has now opened his own restaurant in Taiwan.

Open just under a year now, Abu is clearly making his mark in the upscale dining scene of Taipei. It is recommended that diners make reservations no later than 5 days ahead as locals fill this boutique restaurant every night of the week. The restaurant is quaint, reminiscent of one of the great Parisian eateries along the Seine.

During dinner hours Abu features two prix fixe menus, approximately $80 US each. The 8-course meals offer fine French inspired dishes, including two sinfully delicious dessert courses. For the dessert connoisseurs, be sure to ask about Abu’s special souffle that needs its own table for delivery. After the final dessert course, enjoy a nice cup of renowned Chinese Pu’er Tea. Chinese Pu’er tea is an expensive tea, known often as “Oriental Beauty Tea”, and recognized for its array of potential health benefits, including anti-aging and slimming properties.

  • Abu Authentic Cuisine

  • 28 Siwei Road

  • (02) 2707-0699

  • Hours: Noon – 3pm (lunch); 6pm-11pm (dinner)

  • Dress Code: Business Casual

  • Wine List: Yes

  • Credit Cards: Yes, most cards accepted

Mitsui Sushi and Japanese Restaurant

Mitsui has several locations in Taipei, but the most grand is the downtown one on Dunhua Street. The dark chic interior makes diners feel like they are in a Japanese Zen Garden. The quiet openness is a sheer contrast to the big city noise just outside the building.

Several set menu options, ranging from approximately $40 – $80 US, showcase the bouquet of flavors and freshness that is key with finding excellent Japanese cuisine. From sushi and sashimi, to more complicated and rare seafood delicacies, Mitsui provides the true authentic Japanese dining experience at a fraction of the cost of high-end restaurants in Japan. For those less adventurous, a la carte menu items in English are also available.

  • Mitsui Japanese Cuisine

  • No 108, Dun-Hua South Road, Section 1, B1-1

  • (02) 2741-3394

  • Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm (last lunch order 2pm);     5:30pm-10:30pm (last dinner order 9:20pm)

  • Wine List: Yes

  • Credit Cards: Yes

  • For other locations, please see Mitsui’s website

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

The most decorated Michelin starred chef opened his latest restaurant in Taipei last November. Robuchon took care in assembling some of his best staff from the other restaurants to ensure a seamless opening for his new venture in Taiwan.

The 8-course set menus run around $200 per person, but for those who have never experienced the culinary skills of Robuchon, the price is well worth it. Surprisingly delicious courses, like caviar or carrot mousse with eel jelly, could make any skeptic fall in love with French cuisine.

For those looking to enjoy dinner at Robuchon, make reservations as early as possible – several weeks or a month ahead if possible. Lunch reservations may be even more elusive as many local business people choose lunchtime to entertain their contacts and clients.

Located inside the new luxury shopping mall called Bella Vita, Robuchon also has a tea salon that features savory pastries and several menu items from the restaurant itself.

  • L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

  • 5F, Bella Vita, 28 Songren Road

  • (02) 8729 – 2628

  • Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm (lunch); 6pm – 10:30pm (dinner)

  • Wine List: Yes (and tailored wine flights available)

  • Credit Cards: Yes

  • Dress Code: Business/Upscale

Salon de Robuchon Hours: 10am – 10pm weekdays,     10am-10:30pm weekends (located on 3rd floor)

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Golden Valley Restaurant – New Cuisine Comes to Canton, Ohio

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New life has been breathed into the site next door to the Old Carolina Barbecue Company: The Golden Valley Restaurant located at 4700 Everhard Road NW, Canton, OH 44718 – and just in time for the Hall of Fame festivities to descend on the town and give many tourists their money’s worth for their time and travels – as well as

Support Necessary for Fledging Restaurants

Tourist dollars alone will not be able to save and continually regenerate the wonderful palette of ethnic restaurants that have come to take up residence in the city center of the Football Hall of Fame. The Golden Valley Restaurant is in the general vicinity of shopping, bars, and other dining establishments, making this a high traffic area and a center of quite a bit of the action during the Hall of Fame induction and festivities.

According to an online review, the cuisine does appear to be halal (http://www.zabihah.com/d/Canton+16103+Golden-Valley/?msg=46). A pleasant variety of vegetarian cuisine is also helpful as well as choices for the client unperturbed by meat and its various preparations. Canton residents and the discerning out-of-state travelers may be pleasantly surprised at the homey and open atmosphere, drinks served in barista-style cups, and the large and detailed selection of non-alcoholic beverages. Gorgeous chandeliers and a chrome finish make the room seem airy and clean.

The presentationof the dish is as important as the actual quality of the ingredients used to prepare the dish. All food ordered, from the blinchikto the Uzbek bread and on to main dishes like a vegetable sandwich, falafel, and biryani (ordered off the menu at the time) tasted perfectly fresh and not prepared ahead of time. although the wait time quite minimal. Also as important is method of payment, which for a new restaurant is very important – all major credit cards, sans American Express, are accepted.

A Great Idea for Turbulent Times

Without straining a budget, ethnic cuisine may just make the perfect night out for an easy date or even for families. The exploration, potential for adventure , and ready learning opportunities for all involved will make the event seem less frightful as well for those who have yet to be indoctrinated into the world of non-US cuisine. Simply ask how to eat a particular dish or ask a server for recommendations or any clarification needed – the service at Golden Valley was impeccable and friendly- or even do research together before leaving for the restaurant on the area in cuisine question.

 

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Five Unique London Vegetarian Restaurants

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Whether you’re looking for pure vegetarian restaurants or just a vegetarian cafe, London has some real hidden treasures.

The Gate, Hammersmith – The King of London Vegetarian Restaurants

The Gate is next to a church and, indeed, the inside feels sacred, with high ceilings and simple furniture. It hums to the sound of conversation yet seems intimate, even romantic, despite the echoing acoustics.

The food is superb. It’s a kind of Asian-Mediterranean fusion, but owners the Daniel brothers are never constricted in their style. The butternut and cashew samosa is a joy; the aubergine schnitzel is welcome compensation for those of us who will never try the Vienna kind; and the lavender creme brulee makes a beautiful finish. Organic wines and beers are available; vegans well catered for.

£30 per head for three courses with drinks will leave you extremely satisfied. Ideal place to take a prospective veggie girlfriend or boyfriend. Make sure you book ahead – it’s always packed: 020 8748 6932 or visit their website.

Bonnington Cafe, Vauxhall – A Special Vegetarian Cafe

This one takes some finding, but it’s worth it. Out of Vauxhall station, walk down Harleyford Road towards The Oval cricket ground and take a right onto Vauxhall Grove.

It’s an extraordinary place, probably unlike any other eatery in London. A community project run by a collection of cooks, the menu is completely different every day. Some days it’s strictly vegan, others it’s Indian or Chinese, but it’s always lovingly homemade. The bohemian atmosphere is complemented by rickety chairs and mismatched cutlery. Above all, it’s an incredibly friendly place – and cheap! £7 for mains, £3 for desserts and starters.

Great place to take the parents on Sunday lunchtimes. Quite often it’s worth booking ahead.

VitaOrganic, SoHo – One of the Top Pure Vegetarian Restaurants in LondonA tiny place on Wardour Street, but fantastic for a good detox. It willingly provides a health-mule-kick in the gut it’s so damn healthy. The food is never cooked over 40 degrees farenheit so that none of the goodness is lost.

Pitch up, queue up, choose four or five scoops of the many dishes on offer and away you go. The vegetable moussaka is very tasty as is their stupendous daal, but there’s something for everyone here, including innovative salads and astonishingly good-for-you health juices.

No wheat, plenty for vegans, eat-in or take-away. Very good as a pre-show meal before you whisk your other half off to watch Wicked.

Cafe Below, Nr. St Pauls – Not Strictly a London Veggie Restaurant

Established by renowned veggie food writer Bill Sewell, this place was serving vegetarian specials long before it became almost trendy to ditch the meat. Not a veggie-only venue, though.

It used to be called The Place Below, but was difficult to find, buried as it is in the crypt of St Mary-le-Bow Church, so the name changed. It’s open for all three meals of the day, so pop in whether you want porridge, salad or a Moroccan vegetable casserole.

Perfect place to take that City hottie you quietly lust after.

Indian Veg Bhel-Poori House, Islington – Cheap Vegetarian Food in London

If you’re hungry and forgot Mr Credit Card, this is the place to come. Extraordinarily cheap buffet both at lunchtime and in the evenings makes this a no-brainer when you’re looking for something quick and filling.

It’s proud of its veggie ethics, which is comforting as you munch on one of their curries or drink one of their famed soya lassis. Only about £4 to eat as much as you want – perfect for a fifth date if you’re a student.

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Reasons why slate are being used as plates in restaurants

Reasons why slate are being used as plates in restaurants

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Restaurants have started to use slates to serve food. I hope you would have come across this new method at least once when you went for eating out. For those who do not know what slates are – it is a kind of stone that is cut into a flat shape to use as restaurant plates. Most of the slates come with a mineral oil coating on the surface to make the cleaning process easy. But that is not the only reason why restaurants are using slates instead of regular plates. I will tell you what the reasons for serving food on slates or wood pieces are and then you will understand how ridiculous it seems.

Restaurant slates

Aesthetic Look:

The reason restaurants say is that their chefs can serve the food in a way that will give a feast to the customer’s eyes. They want the colors to pop out so that the customers are delighted. The chefs claim that the use of slates instead of restaurant plates will give a natural look to their dishes. But what I ask is – don’t the colors pop out on a white plate or a black plate? Find out why it’s important to present your food well

Easy to clean:

Since the slates are flat you may think that it is easy to clean them. It may be easy to clean but whether it will be really clean after the process is yet to be proved. If you have observed the slates closely you can see that these stones are not really flat and there is a fair chance for the sauce and food particles to be stuck on the surface. Not all the slates are dishwasher-safe. To make it easy to clean the manufacturers apply mineral oil on the slates which do not sound good for health.

Restaurant slates-2

Do not break easily:

They say the slates do not break like restaurant plates. This is true because after all the slates are made of a type of stone but that does not mean that you can serve the food on any stone. There are alternatives like ceramic plates that are strong and do not break easily.

Cheaper:

Another reason they say when asked is that the slates are cheaper when compared to the restaurant plates. But the dishes are never cheaper and there is no point if the customers are not satisfied with the dish presentation.

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Why should restaurant plates replace slates?

Why should restaurant plates replace slates?

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There are restaurants that serve food on slates and this practice has gained popularity lately. This popularity is not because everyone agrees with this new change. There have been different comments about using restaurant slates for serving food. The slates that are used for serving food are a type of stone that can be cut into flat pieces and used to keep the food directly on the slate. The most common reason mentioned by the chefs is that it will give an aesthetic look to their dishes. For example, when you keep a piece of cheese on the dark colored slate it brightens the cheese and makes it attractive. This is applicable to all the dishes.

Restaurant slates-3

This practice is not right as it is explained by the restaurants. Restaurant slates may seem like the best option to serve food, but this is not the case always. Most of the customers are uncomfortable with the use of slates while serving the food. Nobody will like your gravy or juices from the food to spill all over the table. Not only that, have you ever thought whether these slates can be hygienic like the restaurant plates. We do not go to a restaurant to make sounds or experiment with the food. We simply go there to have something different and delicious. But what can you do if the knife and fork start to make noise that is irritating? Due to all these issues, you may see dinner or lunch becoming a disastrous one. It is supposed to be fun, but not sure it will be one if you get your food served on a slate.

Now, what about the health issues that can be caused by these slates? Most of the slate manufacturers use petroleum products or mineral oils to give a coating over the slate to make cleaning easy. But you cannot be sure that this will not cause any health issues. The aim is to give a colorful look for the dish, but health issues are not appealing to the customers. Personally, I have struggled to scrape out the last bit of the tasty dish on the slates and I think it is time for the restaurant plates to come back. The chef can arrange the food on a black plate if he/she wants. The slates may be cheaper than the restaurant plates but what is the point if you go for a “fine dining” and do not get one?

 

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