The Shida area offers hamburger lovers plenty of options, with everything from higher-end authentic American-style restaurants to mom-and-pop joints that have added burgers to their menus. Enjoy Kitchen, which opened two years ago in an alley close to Taipower Building MRT Station (台電大樓捷運站) Exit 4, positions itself somewhere in the middle, with a frugally decorated but clean interior and economical prices. The restaurant bills itself as halal (food permissible according to Islamic law), so there is no bacon or alcohol on the menu.
Enjoy’s roster of 24 burgers, which come as a set meal (subtract NT$90 for a la carte), is immediately attractive to a protein lover, and the NT$50-off lunch special on weekdays makes it doubly so.
The usual burger concoctions share space with some themed according to countries, such as the Myanmar burger (NT$250) and the India burger (NT$230). Many of these, however, are just regular burgers with the addition of some item common to that country — papaya in the Thai burger (NT$230), for example, or ginger and dried bonito (skipjack tuna) in the Japanese burger (NT$230).
For the brave (or foolhardy), there is the stinky tofu burger (NT$250), which my server said was a patty infused with bits of stinky tofu, and the banana burger (NT$230). Not feeling particularly courageous, I ordered the onion ring burger (NT$230), which came with wedge fries (onion rings, salad or corn chips are also available) and bottomless cola.
For a place that deems itself an expert on burgers, Enjoy served up a little disappointment. The veggies were fresh and plentiful, the patty was toothsome and grilled to my specifications, and the use of an English muffin rather than the usual bun was an interesting spin on an American standard, but the processed cheese wasn’t melted and the two smallish onion rings tasted like they came from a package. I suspect much of the cook’s energy went into preparing the wedge fries, which were lightly seasoned, crispy, and served in a generous portion.
Address: 2, Ln 84, Roosevelt Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路三段84巷2號)
Telephone: (02) 2367-1257
Open: Weekdays from 11am to 3pm and 5pm to 9pm, Saturdays from 10am to 9pm, and Sundays from 10am to 8pm
Average meal: NT$200 Details: Chinese and English menu, credit cards not accepted
Enjoy also has a selection of salads, of which the spicy green papaya (NT$140) is notable for its citrusy flavor and hot finish. I also tried the “cream dumplings” (NT$120), eight deep-fried pastry wrap morsels containing cream cheese, imitation crab, milk, green onion and honey. Though the crab is fake (which is not specified on the menu), the creamy and textured filling was a pleasure.
Enjoy Kitchen’s relatively cheap prices and wide selection of burgers make it an attractive place to visit. Those hankering for a more authentic American burger, however, are better off heading to one of the many other burger joints in the area.