Tag Archives: buffet

vegetarian/all-you-can-eat: spring natural vegetarian restaurant (春天素菜餐廳)

date september 25, 2011

contact 3F, No. 26, Changchun Rd., Zhongshan District, Taipei City/台北市中山區長春路26號3樓/02.2525.1622 :: o2.2525.1580

hours 7 days a week [lunch] 11:45-14:00 :: [afternoon tea] 14:30-16:30 :: [dinner] 17:45-21:00

price [lunch] adults/500NT children/300NT :: [afternoon tea] adults/350NT children 250NT :: [dinner] adults/600NT children/350NT

rating ♥♥♥ (4 out of 5 hearts)

nearest mrt Zhongshan MRT or Shuanglian MRT (捷運中山站或捷運雙連站)

website http://www.springfood.com.tw/ (Chinese Only)

My mom is visiting from the States and is a vegetarian, so for my cousin’s 38th birthday we ended up at Spring Natural Vegetarian Restaurant (春天素菜餐廳).

Spring Natural Vegetarian Restaurant is located on the 3rd floor of a building on Changchun Rd. (長春路). They also have a location on Heping E. Rd. (和平東路) at 3F, No. 177, Sec. 1, Heping E. Rd., Daan District, Taipei City (台北市大安區和平東路一段177號3樓). From the street the sign for Spring Natural is green and yellow and only in Chinese. When you see the sign, just walk into the building and take the elevator to the third floor.

When you step out of the elevator you should see this sign. If you don’t, you’re on the wrong floor.

The inside of Spring Natural is huge. I’m going to guess this place easily seats over 300 people. According to their website they have 52 tables. Our table sat 6, but you could have easily squeezed a few more at our table. It would have been tight, but it would have worked. My cousin had made reservations in advance for 9 at 11:30am on a Sunday. From the way this place filled up, reservations are a must.

Spring Natural has 6 different sections: cold foods, made to order, hot foods, soups/fruit island, drinks, and desserts.

The cold food section runs along the left side of the restaurant. They have things ranging from DIY salad to vegetarian sashimi. Some of my favorite cold foods were the king oyster mushroom salad, okra, and bamboo shoots in spicy peanut sauce.

The made to order section was frying up radish cakes (蘿蔔糕) that were really tasty; nice and fresh! It looked like they were also making noodles as well, although I didn’t try any.

The hot foods section had a lot of great stuff. The start of the line had some vegetarian dim sum. I really liked the pot of boiled spicy stinky tofu (麻辣臭豆腐), sauteed king oyster mushrooms (炒杏包菇), sweet potato and ginger soup, egg rolls, among many other things. The food just keeps coming out so every time you’re in line there are new dishes.

In the middle of the area with the hot foods and made to order foods is a soup/fruit island. Lots of fresh fruit and soups. They also had almond tea (杏仁茶) and chinese donuts (油條), which were delicious!

The drink station had a good variety of drinks. They have a coffee machine that makes lattes and cappuccinos, slushy machines, juice, tea, water, and a hot tea station.

The dessert area had a good selection of desserts. My favorites were the milk pudding and chocolate truffles. I tried the cheesecake, but it was kind of dense and a little dry. They also have a freezer to the right of the table that has 8 types of ice cream.

Overall, I think this place is pretty good for a vegetarian place. I’ve been to a lot of vegetarian restaurants and a lot of vegetarian buffets in Taiwan since both my mom and grandmother are vegetarians. This place definitely ranks up there as one of the better ones. All of the food is fresh and they have a great selection. Note that this place is Buddhist so don’t waste food! There are signs on the wall asking that you only take what you can eat (lavender sign), conserve water for washing plates by not using more plates than you need (pink sign) and that you don’t talk over the food for sanitary reasons (blue sign). Also, if you have a lot of left overs, the woman there will ask that you take it with you so you’re not wasting it since wasting food is a big no no for Buddhists.

Basically, if you are a vegetarian or need a place to take a vegetarian Spring Natural Vegetarian Restaurant is a good option.

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dessert/all-you-can-eat: pasta frolla.

pasta frolla.

date 10.24.09

contact Dun-Hua North Road, Sec. 1, Lane 236, No. 12, Da-An District, Taipei/02.2773.3736‎/台北市大安區敦化南路一段236巷12號

hours 7 days a week 11:30am-10pm

price 250-300NT

rating ♥♥♥ (3 out of 5 hearts)

If you like desserts Pasta Frolla’s all-you-can-eat cake is for you. Lunch time starts at 11:30am and goes til mid afternoon, and for 249NT + 10% service charge, you can eat cake til you burst, for up to two hours.

pasta frolla's dessert bar.
pasta frolla's dessert bar.

When you walk into Pasta Frolla, to the right is the dessert bar which holds all the cakes you can choose from, and there are a lot. For every person in your party you are given one plate for desserts. Each plate is allowed one dessert at a time. When you’re finished with your dessert and want to try another, you have to take the same plate back up. No plate, no dessert. If you plate is dirty, they’ll give you a new one, but you have to take it up to exchange it. Part of the all-you-can-eat includes the salad bar, which also has soup and bread, and food that they freshly prepare every 30 minutes or so. They’ll ring a bell when the food is done and dish it out to you in single servings up by the dessert bar. Just watch for the line that starts to form, then you’ll know food is about to come out.

salad bar.
salad bar at pasta frolla.

The best thing to do is to go with a group, that way you can try all the cakes without having to eat whole slices by yourself. The last time I went, I didn’t get to do share really, so I didn’t get to try very much. I went to Pasta Frolla for the first time about 6 years ago and between 4 people was able to try almost every dessert they had to offer. Here’s what I was able to try this last time.

cheesecake.
cheesecake.

For cheesecake in Taiwan, this wasn’t bad. It wasn’t exactly good, but it wasn’t bad. It was cheesy which was good, but it was a little dry and a little dense. Definitely no Marie Calendar’s.

tiramisu.
tiramisu.

The tiramisu wasn’t bad. It was pretty moist and not too sweet. There was just a slight hint of rum, which was good, not over powering.

corn soup.
corn soup.

Just when you feel like you’re going into sugar coma, go for the corn soup. I didn’t want to fill up on other foods, I was there for the dessert, so I went with the corn soup. It was a good choice. Creamy without being heavy with the perfect amount of salt to offset the oncoming coma.

black forest cake.
black forest cake.

I wouldn’t recommend the black forest cake. Of all the cakes I tried, the black forest was the worst. It was dry and weird. Not like black forest should be. It wasn’t sweet, it was just, dry cake with whip cream stuff in it. Not good.

creme brulee.
creme brulee.

The creme brulee was probably my favorite. In general, I love creme brulee. This wasn’t as creamy as I’m used to, but it’s still good. The flavor was there even though it was a little thicker than I’m used to. However, this was a high-light.

pasta.
pasta.

Fresh made pasta was one of the dishes served. It was actually pretty good. Too bad I was already full, all I could eat was a bite. The pasta sauce was good, not too watery like a lot of tomato sauces in Taiwan tend to be. The noodles were also a good firmness; I hate soggy noodles. At some point during our two hours they also served fried rice, french fries, and a few other random things. I didn’t have any fried rice, but I did have some fries. They were fries, nothing special.

yogurt cake.
yogurt cake.

If you are truly Asian, you grew up drinking those little yogurt drinks, sweet and tangy, and super small. This cake was supposed to be that flavor. I thought the Ritz crackers on top were weird, but you couldn’t really taste them. This cake was, eh. It was moist, but the flavor was weird. It tasted kind of like plain yogurt with white cake in between.

Overall, Pasta Frolla is a pretty cool place. It’s the only all-you-can-eat cake place that I know of, excluding buffets. The cakes aren’t the best, but every once in a while you get some really good ones. It’s worth a shot. Plus for 250NT, why not?