Address: 7F, 300, Zhongxiao E Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (SOGO 復興館，台北市忠孝東路三段300號7樓)
Telephone: (02) 8772-1658
Open: Open from 11am to 10pm
Average meal: Meal: NT$300 to NT$400 per person
Details: English and Chinese menu; credit cards accepted
On the Net: www.zoe-grp.com/tamagoya; www.sogo.com.tw
Nestled in a corner on the seventh floor of Sogo Department Store’s Fuxing branch, Danbo Fun (蛋蛋屋新洋食館) is a mid-priced restaurant serving Japanese-style curries and Western entrees in an unusually decorated but comfortable space.
The decor in this long, narrow corridor-like space has an odd charm, with a combination of 1950s colors, 19th-century grandeur and a sci-fi vibe. On one side of the restaurant are several large booths that seat four people each, shaped in a semicircle and upholstered in orange vinyl; on the other is a long cream-yellow booth sofa. Four large chandeliers hang on curved beams, a crystal-bead curtain dangles above the kitchen area, and neon lights glow and shift color from behind a tall curtain. Mirrors on the two-story-high walls make the space appear larger than it really is.
Danbo Fun is the upscale sister of Tamago Ya (蛋蛋屋), a small chain of restaurants that claims to be Taiwan’s first establishment devoted to omurice (蛋包飯), the popular Japanese invention of fried rice stuffed inside an egg omelet.
Omurice features on the menu and is offered in combinations such as classic curry and breaded pork cutlet with salad (NT$280), or for a little of everything, the “fried skinned” potatoes, salad, spaghetti and hamburger (NT$300).
But Danbo Fun aims to offer more than just comfort food. Its “chef’s recommendations” include roasted chicken leg with herbs, roasted vegetables and rice (NT$320) and pan-fried salmon with risotto (NT$380). The curry chicken and turmeric rice (NT$320) was well presented, with the curry served in a small brass pot, and a side of roasted cherry tomatoes, snow peas, cucumber and pumpkin. The chicken was pan-fried and cooked in a sauce surprisingly light for Japanese curry. The rice was fragrant and prepared pilaf-style, with cooked with onions, chopped mushroom and turmeric.
Danbo Fun’s extensive menu also includes gratin dishes and pasta. One nice surprise was the penne with wild mushroom, bacon and tomato (NT$260). The pasta had the right al dente texture and the sauce tasted freshly prepared.
Cheesecake (NT$130) is a popular choice for desserts, staff said, but it was sold out on my last visit. The panna cotta (NT$120) was rich and creamy, but doused in a caramel sauce that made it a little too sweet.— DAVID CHEN