date November 17, 2010
contact No. 13, Alley 26, Lane 300, Sec. 4, Ren Ai Road, Taipei/台北市仁愛路四段300巷26弄 13號 /02.2709.6525
hours CLOSED ON MONDAYS/ Tuesday – Friday 18:00-22:30; Lunch by reservation/ Saturday & Sunday 12:00-14:30 & 18:00-22:30
price 1000NT-1500NT (per person; excluding drinks)
rating ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 out of 5 hearts)
nearest MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT, Daan MRT, or Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall MRT(忠孝復興捷運站，大安捷運站，國父紀念館捷運站)
I have been incredibly delinquent in my food updates. I’ve been meaning to start up again, but I guess was waiting for something worth writing about. Flavors was it. Thanks to hungry girl’s blog I found Flavors, and seriously, one of the best meals I’ve ever had.
A friend came to Taipei from San Francisco and decided he wanted to see what spending more than 100NT on a meal could get you in Taipei. With the help of a friend and hungry girl, Flavors is where we ended up on his last night in town.
Finding Flavors in the dark was not so easy, but after a little wandering after getting off the bus (which is the easiest way to get there. The nearest MRT is really not that near.) we saw the brightly lit up sign for Flavors. We had made reservations, but it didn’t look like we needed to. The atmosphere inside is very intimate. Low lighting accompanied by a great jazz cd mix of some favorites from Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong.
We were instantly greeted by a very kind woman, who I am going to guess is Stephanie (co-owner of Flavors). Noticing that I was speaking English to my friend, she asked if it would be better if she introduced the menu in English, which my friend greatly appreciated. She was incredibly knowledgeable about the menu, yet not at all pushy, which I loved. Flavors only does set menus, the cheapest when we were there was for 890NT and the most expensive being around 1500NT. Each meal comes with bread, soup, salad (that can be upgraded to an appetizer), main course, dessert, and coffee. The salads and desserts can be upgraded for 300NT or 180NT respectively. For wine they only had by the glass a house cabernet sauvignon and pinot grigio (I think). We opted for a bottle, and per Stephanie’s recommendation ended up with a cabernet sauvignon (the Chef’s favorite) from Kilikanoon (Australia) (NT1500). The wine was perfect, and well worth the wine headache that I always inevitably get.
In the end I decided to go with the smoked salmon for 890NT (which was pointed out to be smoked in house) and my friend with the lamb chops for around 1200NT. We upgraded our salads to the rosemary scallops and swedish meatballs, and upgraded one dessert to the chocolate cake.
Right after we finished ordering, a platter of freshly baked bread was brought out to us. There was a roasted garlic and an olive tapenade to accompany. The bread was fresh and warm. Both tapenades were delicious. The garlic was not at all over powering, and the olive was the same.
Next was the soup, wild porcino mushroom. This soup was amazing. Very rich and creamy, but not too salty or heavy. I loved the texture of the soup, there was something very silky about it, but you could still taste the chopped mushrooms. Stephanie came over to us and asked how we liked it. We said we loved it. She seemed surprised, she said that many customers had said that the mushroom taste was too strong, but we told her that was what made it so good.
After the soup was an amuse bouche that we were not expecting. We’re pretty sure the waiter said spicy yam, but not completely positive. Either way, this perfect one bite was delicious. The yam (?) was well seasoned and well cooked and the little dollop of what tasted like sour cream was the perfect accompaniment.
So in reality these were only the second swedish meatballs I’ve ever had, and considering the only other ones I’ve ever had came from the Ikea food court, I don’t know that I can fairly judge these. Regardless, I thought these were great. We were advised to make sure we got some meatball, sauce, and lingonberry jam in each bite. The sauce was perfect creamy saltiness with the sweetness of the jam and the meatball. The meatball had a subtle sweetness and kind of just melted in your mouth, in a good way.
The rosemary scallops were amazing. It came with three, but the photos I got of all them were all a little too dark, so here is one. A few nights prior we had an over cooked scallop at Shintori-Shadow and were disappointed. These scallops were cooked perfectly. Wrapped in what looked like bacon, or some other salted cured meat, and skewered with a sprig of rosemary, these scallops were perfectly seasoned, and cooked just right. The rosemary was powerful enough to be noticed, but subtle enough to not be too much. The scallop was tender and juicy and kind of just melted in your mouth.
Finally it was time for the main courses. My salmon was cooked perfectly. Juicy , flaky, and delicious. There is nothing I hate more than over cooked fish. I’m not sure how much of a smoked flavored I got from this, but the dill sauce with the potatoes, was more than enough to satisfy me.
While I am not personally a fan of any gamey meat, I must say that if I were a fan, I would love this dish. The lamb was melt in your mouth tasty, however, still, too gamey for my taste. If you like lamb though, I feel like you would like this.
When it came to dessert time, we opted to keep one of the apple cakes that the set meal usually comes with. It was described as their “signature apple cake” and it was so tasty. I’m not exactly sure what the cake is served in, it’s almost liked melted vanilla ice cream or some sort of cream, but it’s perfect for this small piece of apple cake. The crust is flaky, even in the cream sauce, and the apples were warm and sweet without being too sweet. This with a cup of coffee was a great way to end the meal.
The dessert we opted to pay extra for was the chocolate cake with raspberry sorbet. We were instructed to taste the sorbet first, then some of the cake, then eat them together. The raspberry sorbet alone was great. Very flavorful, tart, and not too sweet. The cake alone was not impressive. It was kind of dense and a little dry. Together it was okay. The melted sorbet with the cake made it less dry, but overall we were not impressed with this. Maybe we should have tried the rhubarb dessert.
Overall, this was by far one of the best meals I’ve ever had for the price. Pretty much everything was delicious, and the service was great. Our water glasses were always full. Our wine glasses were always full, and nothing sat around on our table empty for no reason. Accomplishing all that without being annoying, to me, is impressive. No one was in our way or overly attentive. Basically, Flavors is definitely a place worth trying. For the money you will get more than you pay for.