Category Archives: shida (師大)

italian: casa della pasta (義麵坊)

date october 15, 2011

contact No. 218, Sec. 2, Jinshan S. Rd., Daan District, Taipei City/台北市大安區金山南路二段218號/02.3393.2518

hours 7 days a week [lunch] 12:00-14:00 [dinner] 18:00-22:00

price <300NT (+10% service charge; 150NT per person minimum)

rating ♥♥ (3 out of 5 hearts)

nearest mrt Guting MRT (捷運古亭站)

website http://www.capasta.com.tw (Chinese and English Only)

I’ve been eating a lot of Italian lately…

Ron called me for dinner and said he wanted pasta. I don’t know of a lot of pasta places around Guting, but Ron had passed by Casa Della Pasta on Jinshan Rd. (金山路) near Shida (師大) so we decided to try it out.

Casa Della Pasta (Shida Store) is located right next door to Roxy 99 and Twiice Night Club (formerly 9%). According to their business card they have 4 locations in Taipei.

On a Saturday night at 8pm the restaurant was pretty full, but we didn’t need a reservation for two and were immediately seated. The inside of Casa Della Pasta is pretty nice: pretty cute and homey, nice place for a date maybe. There is a large window at the back of the restaurant into the kitchen so you can see what’s going on. They also have some Halloween/fall decorations up to add some festive zest.

The menu has a lot of variety. I saw pizza, salad, risotto, gnocchi, and other mains in addition to the long list of pasta. All of their pastas come with the choice of spaghetti (細麵) or penne (管麵). You can also make your meal a set meal for an extra 90NT. I think the set meal come with salad and a drink, but I’m not sure; Ron and I both chose to just order a la carte. I asked the waitress for a recommendation and she suggested the Smoked Salmon with Cream Sauce (煙燻鮭魚奶油麵) for 155NT, which she noted is their signature dish. Ron and I both decided to try it.

I liked this dish. The cream sauce was pretty light and they weren’t heavy handed with it, which I liked. The sauce had a nice garlicy taste to it, but wasn’t overpowering. The smoked salmon cooks a little while on the hot pasta. The waitress told us when ordering this that the salmon would not be cooked all the way, which to me was a given, but nice to be warned just in case. The pasta was cooked well; a nice al dente. I’m pretty sure both the pasta and smoked salmon are not made in house. The pasta didn’t taste like it was freshly made and for 155NT I doubt it is. There was also a small piece of french bread and shredded parmesan that accompanied the pasta. Overall, pretty tasty. I’d get it again.

For the price this place isn’t bad. I’m curious about their meat sauce because that’s usually what ends up being most disappointing at Italian restaurants in Taiwan. The service was good and one of the waiters speaks very good English for those who don’t really speak Mandarin.

In comparison with Luna D’Italia and Papa Gio’ this place is less authentic and less fancy, but the price reflects that. I’d say the average meal at Casa Della Pasta only costs around 300NT if you decide to get the set meal, cheaper if you order a la carte like we did. Would I come back here? Yeah, I’d give it another go. Was it super spectacular? Not really, but it’s good enough.

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japanese: tai-po teppanyaki (大埔平價鐵板燒)

date august 24, 2011

contact No. 58, Shi Da Rd., Taipei/台北市師大路58號/02.2369.8085

hours not listed, but I think they close at 23:00.

price 100NT-150NT (per person)

rating ♥♥♥ (3 out of 5 hearts)

nearest mrt Guting MRT (捷運古亭站)

I’ve actually been to Tai-Po Teppanyaki many times, but just never reviewed it. Since I haven’t really been eating out much, I figured, why not review it.

Tai-Po Teppanyaki is at Shida Night Market. It’s on the corner of the alley with all the food on the opposite side of Shida Rd. from where the night market is. The sign is bright yellow and red, so it’s pretty hard to miss.

The inside of Tai-Po is just a giant grill that sits about 20-30 people. This place gets pretty busy at dinner time and often has a wait; although the turnover is pretty fast so if your party is small, you probably don’t have to wait over 30 minutes.

The menu at Tai-Po is in both English and Chinese. There are menus all over the restaurant: there are two outside of the restaurant, and several posted on the wall behind the grill. All of the options (except the eggs and rice) come with cabbage, bean sprouts, soup, and drink (the soup and drink are self serve). Over the last two years I’ve probably tried almost everything they have on the menu. This last time I got the clams and my friend the tofu teppanyaki, John Dory fish, and enoki mushrooms (gold mushrooms).

When you sit down the first thing they do is put down aluminum foil in front of you and start to make the cabbage and bean sprouts. They make both in large batches for several people, but if you want more garlic or it to be spicy or whatever, you can tell them and they’ll put aside a little and add or subtract whatever it is you want or don’t want. I generally find that both the cabbage and bean sprouts are fine the way they are. Neither are too salty or too garlicy. Note, if you leave them on the grill too long, they will get softer. The portion of the grill that is right in front of you is not hot enough to cook on, but it’s still warm to keep the food warm, so they’ll continue to cook.

I really love clams so I got them the last time I was here. The clams (蛤蜊) are 100NT and I think pretty good. Pretty much everything you get here has the same sauce. Most everything, including the clams, are cooked with onions, green onions, pepper, salt, soy sauce, garlic, and a little flour to thicken the sauce up. One great thing is that I’ve never gotten a clam here that I can’t eat because it hasn’t opened, so that’s a plus.

One of my favorite things is enoki mushrooms (金針菇), they call them gold mushrooms on the menu here and its 80NT. I like them a lot here. You get a lot and it goes good with the onions and green onions.

This was my first time getting the tofu teppanyaki (鐵板豆腐) for 90NT. Well actually I didn’t get it, Ashley did, but I tried it. It was pretty good. Tofu-like?

One of the few things on the menu that isn’t cooked in onions and sauce is the fish; the filet also isn’t. The John Dory fish (香煎多利魚) for 110NT is cut up and lightly powdered with flour then pan fried on the grill. It’s pretty tasty. They only season it with a little salt and pepper, so it’s pretty simple and tasty.

I’ve had all the meats they offer on the menu before, except the lamb because I don’t really like lamb. Both the beef and pork (牛肉與豬肉) for 110NT and 100NT, respectively, are decent enough. Neither are high quality meat or anything. It’s all just precut thinly sliced frozen meat. Either way, it’s not bad.

Overall this place is good for cheap fast food (fast as long as you don’t have to wait). It’s no Benihana, there’s no crazy show where the chef flips shrimp into his hat, but it’s cheap and it’s tasty enough. You get a decent amount of food for relatively cheap. Rice is 10NT a bowl so feasibly you can get a meal for like 90NT. Nothing here is particularly outstanding, but it’s good for the price and quantity; plus you get to watch them cook in front of you.

dessert: my sweetie pie

date april 19, 2011

contact No. 3, Lane 93, Shida Road, Taipei/台北市師大路93巷3號/02.3365.3448

hours Monday-Saturday 12:00-00:00 (closed Sunday)

price appx. 100NT for a slice

rating ♥♥♥♥ (4 out of 5 hearts)

nearest Taipower MRT (捷運台電大樓站)

website http://www.mysweetiepie.com.tw/

People say that women have two stomachs: one for meals and one for desserts. I am one of those women. I’m kind of a dessert whore. While I’m not generally a huge fan of American style cakes, there are some things that I love, for example, cheese cake, brownies, and red velvet cake. So one night after dinner, a few girl friends and I decided it was time to satisfy our dessert stomach.

My Sweetie Pie is in Shida Night Market (師大夜市) across from Grandma Nitti’s (which I have not been to). I had walked passed My Sweetie Pie before, but never stopped in, so this was my first time.

Upon entering My Sweetie Pie you’ll see their cake display. There is a decent amount of seating, but be warned that they do have a per person minimum, meaning everyone sitting must order something.

After carefully examining the display, we decided on the Balsamic Vinegar Cake (100NT) and ice cream with brownie (160NT).

So not going to lie, when we first saw this cake we thought, “did they mislabel the red velvet?” I mean, it was red cake, with cream cheese layers. But sure enough, it was Balsamic Vinegar Cake (100NT per slice).

The cake is really pretty and really good. The cake itself was pretty moist and does taste like red velvet cake. The cream cheese layers were delicious, very cream cheesy, but not too heavy. At first taste, it tastes like red velvet, but then the after taste hits and there is a hint of tangy balsamic vinegar. It’s pretty good, and unique. Would definitely get this again.

Here is a side view of the layers of cream cheese in the Balsamic Vinegar Cake. Delicious!

For our second dessert we decided on the ice cream with brownie for 160NT. The brownie comes nice and warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped off with hot fudge and almond brittle. This was delicious. I feel like it’s hard to get a good brownie in Taipei, but this brownie was good! It was chocolately, gooey, and delicious; it had walnuts and chunks of chocolate in it, too. While with the hot fudge and ice cream this was pretty sweet and rich, it was definitely worth it.

Since there were three of us, we had to get one other item so we ended up with a pot of tea. I thought it was weird that they were only willing to give us two cups for the tea. When we requested a third cup she said she couldn’t give another to us and that we should just finish one of the waters and use that cup. We ended up with some white orchard tea or something of the sort. It had a light citrus taste and was overall okay.

If you’re looking for a tasty dessert, something sweeter and richer than the average Taiwanese dessert, I recommend My Sweetie Pie. I heard their chocolate chip cookies and carrot cake are good. Next I want to try the cheesecake!

snacks/taiwanese: yong fung sheng (永豐盛)

date january 22, 2011

contact No. 111, Shida Rd., Taipei/02.2365.8619/台北市師大路111號

hours Tuesday-Sunday 07:30-23:00

price 15-30NT per bun

rating ♥♥♥♥ (4 hearts out of 5)

nearest mrt Taipower (台電大樓捷運站)

Ever see that really long line in front of that little store on Shida Road that has all the mantou (饅頭) in front? I’ve passed by it many times over the last few years and never stopped to get anything, but I always thought that it looked pretty tasty. After wandering around Shida Night Market, Stephanie and I decided to give it a try.

As usual there was a line. Even though it was 9pm there were still a lot of people waiting. Luckily, the line goes pretty quick. We waited under 10 minutes. A lot of people seem to get a lot of mantou to save for breakfast. I heard the woman say something about if you keep them in the fridge they keep for five days; no fridge, about two days (I think…).

They have many flavors of mantou on the menu from chocolate to taro to whole wheat to fresh milk. According to the menu the molasses, fresh milk and taro are their most popular flavors. I did not get mantou this time, but they looked delicious so I will be trying them soon. They also have many flavors of steamed buns. I got the pork bamboo bun (鮮肉筍包) for 20NT and Stephanie got the Yilan onion roll (宜蘭蔥花包) for 25NT.

The onion roll was pretty tasty. It was served steaming hot. The bread was nice and fluffy and there was a nice subtle onion flavor.  If you’re expecting something super flavorful, you’ll probably be disappointed. The flavor is pretty light and it’s not really salty if you’re expecting really savory.

When you bite into the roll, you’ll find a lot of green onion. Pretty tasty.

I love bamboo, so I had to try the pork bamboo bun (鮮肉筍包) for 20NT. It was pretty good. Like the onion roll, it was served steaming hot and the bread was nice and fluffy.  I was pretty satisfied with the contents of my bun. The flavor was pretty subtle, but subtle is good sometimes. I really like salt, but in the case of a steamed bun, less is more. The bamboo had a nice crunch, and the pork was seasoned just enough. I would get this again.

Overall, I like this place. It’s a great place for a cheap filling snack. Stephanie got also got some soymilk, but it wasn’t very good. It was pretty watery and considering how much good soymilk there is in Taiwan, there’s no reason to spend money on anything less than great. Next will be some mantou. So many flavors. Guess I’ll just have to go back multiple times.

american: toasteria cafe.

date 12. 23.2009

contact No. 1, Lane 72, YunHe Street, Daan District, Taipei/02.2365.3051/台北市大安區雲和街72巷1號

hours Monday-Thursday 10am-11pm; Friday-Saturday 10am-2am; Sunday 11am-9pm

happy hour Monday-Friday 3pm-7pm

price 100-200NT

rating ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 out of 5 hearts)

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UPDATE

While walking around Shida Night Market I noticed that the Shida location of Toasteria closed on June 04, 2012! Not to worry, they still have two other locations in Taipei.

1. No.2, Lane 248, Sec. 4, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Taipei/台北市忠孝東路4段248巷2號/02.2731.8004
2. No.3, Lane 169, Sec. 1, Dunhua S. Rd., Taipei/台北市敦化南路1段169號3號/02.2752.0033

~::~::~::~::~

A good friend of mine found Toasteria Cafe and decided with our love of salads and paninis we had to try it. Toasteria is located inside of Shida Night Market (師大夜市) off of YunHe Street (雲和街). The cafe itself is really cute and open; go on a nice day and enjoy the open patio-like feel.

The menu has a wide variety of grilled sandwiches, at least 20. They boast proudly on their business card that they are “Taipei’s home for the grilled cheese”. While I don’t necessarily know if that’s true, they do make a pretty mean panini. The average sandwich ranges from about 100nt to 170nt and for an extra 70nt you can add fries and a drink (coke or grape fanta). My friend and I opted to share a sandwich, salad, and add the fries and a coke.

grilled jack chicken 160NT

We finally decided on the Grilled Jack Chicken sandwich, grilled jack cheese, chicken, and caper aioli for 160NT. First off, the fries were really good. They were really cripsy without being hard or oily. I’m sure they came out of a bag from Costco or something, but still they were very good. The sandwich was great. There was a nice spicy kick to it from the jack cheese which I’m pretty sure was pepper jack. The chicken was also well seasoned and not dried out. Another awesome thing about this sandwich, the caper aioli sauce on the side, SO GOOD. We didn’t put it on the sandwich, instead we just dipped the fries in it. Highly recommended.

gouda salad 170NT

For salad we had narrowed it down to either the Toasteria salad or the gouda salad. We decided to go for the gouda salad because both of us love cheese. Unfortunately the first salad that was brought out to us had a worm, like full on slug/worm, in it. We took it back to the counter and they apologized and made us a new one. Usually something like that would turn me off from a restaurant, but they were very apologetic, made us a brand new salad and gave it to us free of charge. Back home in the US you would expect this kind of service, but in Asia I’m more used to just picking certain things out and eating around it. So the free salad was a nice surprise. After that issue was taken care of, the salad itself was actually pretty good. The vinaigrette was some sort of balsamic red wine mix that was pretty good. Other then that there was three slices of gouda, red onions, watercress, and some toast. The salad is a little pricey considering its size, but in my opinion it’s pretty worth it considering how tough it is to find good salads in Taipei.

Overall, Toasteria is a great place to grab some lunch or maybe even dinner. There are definitely plenty more of the panini’s that I want to try and they have Stella Artois on TAP! I will definitely be going back for that. I read on the happy hour menu that all beers are 90NT during happy hour, so maybe I’ll go then. Also, they have buy one get one free margarita’s Monday and Tuesday according to the chalk board inside. I think next I’ll try the Spicy Grilled Cheese or the Eggplant one.