Fri, Jun 24, 2011 - Page 14 News List

Restaurant review: The Kitchen Table

By Ho Yi  /  Staff Reporter

The colorful arrangement of cakes, pies, pastries and a selection of ice cream at the Kitchen Table.

Photo: Ho Yi, Taipei Times

Since W Taipei opened in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義) four months ago, its Kitchen Table restaurant has become a magnet for urbane hipsters. I underestimated the buffet restaurant’s popularity when trying to make a reservation for a Sunday luncheon in May. The reply I got was courteous but disappointing: “We’re sorry, but we are fully booked till August.”

Fortunately, I was able to pull a few strings, and on Sunday I lunched among a herd of champagne-swilling fashionistas, well-attired families and young couples and friends.

The spacious establishment turned out to be an ideal place to while away a Sunday in style. With its French-style windows facing an outdoor swimming pool on one side and a barbecue deck on the other, the restaurant is flooded with sunlight, and its palette of bright yellow and crisp white gives off a summery, buoyant ambiance. The decor glitters with playful designs, such as a ceiling-to-floor partition made of fluorescent green acrylic and a transparent, square-shaped table that can accommodate 10 diners.

Like the design-savvy surroundings, the buffet spread at The Kitchen Table is well-presented in sections including a salad and cold plate area, a hot entree area and a dessert area. I tried the broccoli and chickpea salad, roasted pumpkin with balsamic vinegar and zucchini trifolati with cherry tomatoes, all of which were executed well. The centerpiece of the cold plate section was a large bucket full of king crabs with meat that was satisfyingly fresh and firm.

However, when it came to the selection of hot entrees that included Italian, Cantonese, Indian, Japanese and Thai dishes, my dining partner and I agreed that the food looked better than it tasted. Both the mussels with tomato and cheese and grilled beef fillet with garlic chips were dry, while the lamb shank in red wine stew left a lingering gamy taste in the mouth.

The Kitchen Table

Address: 10F, 10, Zhongxiao E Rd Sec 5, Taipei City (台北市忠孝東路五段10號10樓)

Telephone: (02) 7703-8755

Open: Lunch from 11:30am to 2:30pm, dinner from 6pm to 10:30pm

Average meal: NT$880 for lunch and NT$980 for dinner on weekdays, NT$1,080 for lunch and NT$1,180 for dinner on weekends, 10 percent service charge not included

Details: Chinese and English menu, credit cards accepted

Despite its shortcomings, the Kitchen Table is worth visiting for its creative presentation and diverse choice of food. In particular, the dessert section won my heart with its colorful arrangement of cakes, pies, pastries and a wide selection of ice cream.

Service is professional and friendly. Young chefs are sometimes seen carrying trays filled with samples, inviting diners to try culinary items that haven’t yet made it to the buffet table. The banana chocolate shake I tried was simply a delight, though a chicken skewer was far too chewy.

The Kitchen Table also offers a la carte service from 10am to 10:30pm, featuring light meals such as salads, sandwiches, pizzas and beef noodles. Those who wish to juice up their dining experience at W Taipei can try the selection of wines and cocktails served at Bar at Wet by the swimming pool or the Woobar, which offers piped in lounge music in a chic, cherry-colored setting on the same floor.

This story has been viewed 7378 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top