Fri, Sep 07, 2007 - Page 15 News List

Restaurants: Post Cafe Restaurant

By Noah Buchan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Post Cafe Restaurant offers set menus that are fair value for money.

Photo: Noah Buchan, Taipei Times

Restaurants that offer set menus have been the rage in Taipei for the past few years, serving up fare which takes diners through an entire dining experience. At the high-end of the spectrum are the many hotels that import chefs from around the world to put on lavish spreads. At the lower end are eateries that operate like they own a stake in an oil refinery or canning plant. Post Cafe Restaurant positions itself somewhere in between.

The tastefully designed interior, with dark wood finishing and ambient lighting, contrasts the hustle and bustle of Zhongxiao East Road's main shopping drag nearby. The elaborately laid tables, however, are arranged like an obstacle course with one at the front entrance practically blocking the door.

Billing itself as an Italian-style restaurant, the lunch set includes soup, bread, a main course, beverage and dessert. The dinner set is the same but with the addition of a salad for an extra NT$80.

The bread was a disappointing 30cm stick similar in taste to what can be found at convenience stores. It was served with a small dish containing antipasto that bore a striking resemblance to canned tomatoes. One of the many attentive servers told me that only one stick is allowed per customer, so even if one were inclined, ordering a second to dip in the pasta sauce is out of the question.

The salads, on the other hand, were more impressive. The Caesar salad was made with fresh romaine lettuce, generous amounts of real bacon, capers and crispy croutons and topped with a tangy dressing. I ordered the tomato and mushroom soup, which was seasoned with oregano and was light on the palate.

Main courses include rice dishes and pasta bakes (NT$400 to NT$440), lasagna and pastas (NT$280 to NT$400), with a few meat and seafood dishes thrown in (NT$560 to NT$760). All prices are for dinner. I opted for pesto spaghetti with clams (NT$380). The pasta was cooked al dente and served with a generous portion of clams, though the sauce was overpowered by thick slices of roast garlic.

Dessert consisted of a light tiramisu sprinkled with cocoa powder, which went well with the coffee, served in individual percolators.

For those looking for an all-in-one dining experience, Post Cafe is fair value for your money.

Post Cafe Restaurant

Address: 22, Ln 161, Dunhua S Rd Sec 1, Taipei

(台北市敦化南路一段161巷22號)

Telephone: (02) 2776-1310

Open: Daily from 11:30am to 11pm (kitchen closes at 10pm)

Average meal: Lunch is NT$320 and dinner is NT$400

Details: Menu in Chinese and English. Major credit cards accepted; 10 percent service charge added to all meals

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