I have been struggling to find a good Italian restaurant in Taipei area. I mean, of course I can find a good one if I pay enough, but the reasonable trattoria would be difficult for me to find. My friend told me that this restaurant is pretty good, so I decided to go and see how their food is.
Trattoria di Primo is located in the back of Pacific SOGO department ZhongXiao, or I should say it is on the way to Breeze Center from Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station. It was easy to find this restaurant, and I found many other interesting restaurants around them.
Once I got in to the restaurant, I told them “just one person”. For some reason, the manager (I guess) and a reception started laughing at me aloud, in front of me. I was very surprised their poor manner. Ah…. What? (^-^;) The reception was still giggling, and then guided me to the tiny table at the very corner. Between my table and the next table, there was a staff room, and the workers in and out of the room, which really annoyed me.
I could’ve leave right away, but it was raining outside and I was hungry anyways, so I decided to stay here. After 20 minutes later, finally the waitress came to my table to take my order. I was surprised that they don’t serve a glass of water for free, and they also had a minimum charge of TW$500 on weekends. Oops, I should’ve checked the menu carefully before I entered. Well, they charge 10% of service fee, but I couldn’t feel any service from them. Is that because I was alone?
Crema di Funghi
Crema di Funghi (TW$ 120) was a creamy mushroom soup. The soup was served. It looked good! I sipped one spoon carefully, but I didn’t taste anything… I tried one more, but still the same. OK... Then I ate some mushrooms! OK those have taste, and I believe it was fresh.
Calamari con Calamari Fritti all’Arrabbiata
The pasta, Calamari con Calamari Fritti all’Arrabbiata (TW$ 380), was delicious! Calamari was just served from the kitchen—warm and tender. Their tomato sauce was quite amazing with garlic and some slices of jalapeno. On the top of that, the pasta was al dente! Taiwanese people usually prefer to eat tender pasta, for me, it is overcooked. Yet their pasta was in perfect condition. I am not sure if rucola was their homemade, but it was also fresh. I really enjoyed their dish.
Overall, I satisfied with their food, but as I mentioned above, I really hope they do improve their service. Again, they charge the service fee, so I expect “service”. I may go back there again, but not too soon.
#14, Lane 107, Section 1, Fu-xing South Rd, Da-an Dist.,
Enjoying a hotel buffet has been popular in Taipei, but the expensive price was always the problem. I checked several hotels for a lunch/dinner buffet, but for me, I felt it was quite expensive. Since I needed to add some starwood points on my spg card, I checked Sheraton Taipei if they have a great buffet or not. The review was good, especially for afternoon buffet. So, I went there for enjoying my lovely afternoon. (^-^)
Sheraton Taipei’s Kitchen 12 offers international buffet for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. I believe the afternoon tea buffet is the most reasonable one. They call it “Afternoon Tea”, but they offer enough hot dishes. The price is TW$ 490 (on weekdays) plus 10% service fee, which is about US$16. This cost is counted for starwood points as well.
Afternoon tea buffet started at 2:30pm. My friend and I arrived at the hotel at around 2:15pm. We went to the entrance and confirmed a reservation. If you are planning to go there, I recommend you to go there 10 min early. As long as you make a reservation, they keep a seat for you, but the food counter immediately gets busy. The atmosphere of the restaurant was lovely. It was huge, and the sunshine came in from the ceiling of glasses. The friendly waitress guided us to the reserved seats.
The food choice was, I thought, quite good. I chose Sheraton because I heard that their sashimi was delicious. So, once we knew our seats, I went to pick sashimi plate. I saw a chef cutting more sashimi, and put on the plate. If you like sashimi, you’d better pick sashimi dish first, otherwise the sashimi would be not fresh enough later… I ate sashimi plate three times, but the first one was the best freshness. At sashimi section, there are some salads and maki sushi, but it was not pure Japanese style, so I didn’t eat those this time.
After I ate sashimi plate, I went to seek delicious hot dishes. Chinese, Asian and Western dishes were there as well as noodle section. Noodle dishes were cooked in front of you by a chef. I tried some Chinese food. Clockwise from top left, Asian style crispy chicken, komatsuna, pepper stake (but I didn’t see any peppers…) and Chao Mian. It was a bit disappointed that their Chinese dishes were OK, expect Komatsuna. I mean, here is Taiwan, so I expected delicious dishes…
Clockwise from top right, creamy fish stew, smoked pork and rosemary BBQ chicken drumstick, from Western food section. Creamy fish stew was my disappointment, because the fish smelled badly. Pork and chicken was pretty good; I especially liked smoked pork.
I tried one pasta noodles. They offered three kinds of sauce, and I choose this pesto. A chef cooked in front of me, so the dish was hot and smelled good. As you can see, it was OILY!!! Next time, I need to tell the chef not to put too much oil…
I thought sandwiches became a break from heavy dishes, yet it turned to made me full easily. In addition, their sandwich was another disappointment. I believe they use cheaper tuna. (>o<;)
I am getting full, so this became my last dish. I picked some fried rice noodle, German potatoes, Komatsuna again, and some Chinese snacks. All the items were delicious! I finally found good ones!!! Sheraton prepared some sweets, but I could not eat it. I am sure these Chinese snacks were better than strawberry cakes. It was still warm, and not too sweet…
My friend ate many sweets, but I only ate this bread pudding. This was also great, not too sweet and had strong pudding taste. Next time, I would like to try some cakes.
I ate… a lot! I ate those six dishes plus extra two sashimi plates, bread pudding, pineapples and a cup of coffee and tea. The time passed so quickly and it became 5pm. OK time’s up.
Overall, my friend and I really enjoyed their food and atmosphere. Workers were friendly, and I got starwood points! Yey! If you want to try out some buffet in Taiwan, I strongly recommend one at Sheraton!
Total: TW$ 1078 (for 2 people including 10% service fee)
Kitchen 12, Sheraton Taipei
# Please make a reservation for buffet.
三商巧福 is a chain restaurant focused on beef noodle, but recently they offer several seasonable menus. I tried this restaurant several times, but I usually eat from their rice menu. This time, I tried their seasonable menu 鴻運虎掌麵, the pork menu.
The branch that I went was located near Taipei Main Station. There are some branches in this area. The interior was simple but organized, and 80% of the capacity was full at around 6pm. In this area, there are so many cram schools, therefore young hungry students run to this restaurant and eat noodles quickly before they rush to cram schools. Anyways, I ordered 鴻運虎掌麵, and my friend ordered 紅燒排骨飯.
An appetizer came with my noodle dish. It is always better to use the coupon! This kimchi was not bad at all, but of cause you can’t expect too much. So far in my life, I ate a REAL kimchi only at a Korean restaurant in New York. I really regret that I forgot the name of the restaurant, but it was real and was amazing. My Korean friend told me that their Kimchi was the best, so could someone please let me know if one knows which restaurant I am talking about?
Chashu Noodle with Pork Knuckle Tendons
鴻運虎掌麵 (TW$110) was one of their seasonable items. I actually liked it than their other menu. Although the soup was probably used for other noodle items, I basically enjoyed the light taste of the broth. Some pieces of tendon were pretty good. You may be able to cook better one, but the balance of the soup, noodle and the ingredients was my taste, with this reasonable price.
Braised Pork Chop Rice
紅燒排骨飯 (TW$ 79) was, I believe, a fair price with such a quantity. Unfortunately, I didn’t eat this, but my friend told me it was pretty good. I should try it next time… All rice items come with a cup of soup.
Overall, this chain restaurant is a good place for students or people who are rush to have a meal. I think the atmosphere was fine, but I couldn’t relax and enjoy meeting with my friend. It is like a fast food restaurant.
Total: TW$ 189 (for 2 people)
三商巧福: Beef Noodle Restaurant