Thu, Nov 17, 2011 - Page 13 News List

Gobble gobble

With Thanksgiving around the corner, a variety of options are available for those in Taiwan who are celebrating this American tradition

By David Chen  /  Staff Reporter

The Deli at the Sheraton Taipei offers turkey hampers starting from NT$2,600.

Photo courtesy of the Sheraton Taipei

With Thanksgiving just a week away, it’s time to start planning your own feast or deciding where to dine. Here’s a list of places to go to gather ingredients for your own celebration, as well as establishments that will do all of the cooking (and the dishes) for you.

Set meals at hotels and restaurants generally range between NT$660 to NT$980, while fully prepared, takeout turkey dinners average around NT$3,000. Among the dine-in choices, the lowest-priced meals are to be found at PJ’s Cafe in Taichung and Carnegie’s for lunch in Taipei (see below for details). If you don’t have time for dinner on Thanksgiving Day, which is next Thursday, Carnegie’s, the Brass Monkey and Grandma Nitti’s offer turkey meals over several days.

Unless otherwise listed, three days’ advance notice is required for table bookings and takeout orders. Some businesses list their bird weights in pounds and others use kilograms. We’ve done the conversion for you once; after that it’s up to you. Same with pies, which are usually measured in inches.

MAKE YOUR OWN

For many, there’s no better Thanksgiving meal than a home-cooked feast. Costco sells frozen 10-pound (4.5kg) turkeys for NT$699 each. Supplies are limited, so call your local store first to check if they have any in stock. The wholesaler also offers 11-pound, pre-cooked turkeys that come with gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Orders must be placed and payment made at least three days before pickup. Store locations are listed at www.costco.com.tw.

If you’re feeding a bigger party, Thomas Meat (www.thomasmeat.com.tw, (02) 2932-3807 X217) offers frozen turkeys weighing between 5kg and 9kg, priced from NT$875 to NT$1,575. Again, it’s best to call first as supplies are limited. Thomas Meat also has a special on smoked turkeys, available for NT$1,790, which includes free delivery to anywhere in the country. The distributor will only deliver frozen turkeys for orders totaling NT$3,000 or more. If you’re in Taipei, the store is easy to reach: It’s near Wanlong MRT Station (萬隆捷運站) Exit 4.

Jason’s supermarket is another option. An 11-pound frozen turkey is NT$1,300, and the store can roast it for you as part of a set package that includes a 7-inch (18cm) pumpkin pie, red wine gravy and a berry sauce for NT$2,688. Pre-cooked turkeys must be ordered and paid for in person at a Jason’s store five days before pickup. Visit www.jasons.com.tw for store locations and phone numbers.

If you’re cooking a turkey for the first time, the University of Illinois Extension school has an informative and advertisement-free Web site: urbanext.illinois.edu/turkey. The site also offers practical cooking tips for the experienced, and interesting trivia for Thanksgiving fanatics.

For vegetarians, vegans or those who simply want a change from the same old turkey dinner, Mercy for Animals, an American animal rights group, offers some healthy, simple recipes that also look appetizing and use easy-to-find ingredients. Visit www.mercyforanimals.org/thanksgiving-recipes.aspx.

DINE IN AND TAKE OUT

The Brass Monkey is offering a Thanksgiving dinner from next Wednesday through Nov. 25. This year’s menu includes ginger pumpkin soup, roast turkey and stuffing, green beans, roast or garlic mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Cost is NT$660 per person before a 10 percent service charge, and bookings should be made by contacting hugo@brassmonkeytaipei.com. Whole 10-pound cooked turkeys are available for takeout for NT$2,200, and it costs NT$3,200 for the same size turkey with stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and roast potatoes. 166 Fuxing N Rd, Taipei City (台北市復興北路166號), tel: (02) 2547-5050.

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