Signs of the global economic downturn were nowhere to be seen on a recent Sunday morning at W Taipei, where well-to-do travelers waited in a long queue to check in at the swankily designed hotel in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義區). Soon after the clock struck noon, an even bigger crowd flooded in for the brunch buffet that is served every Sunday.
I was among the brunch crowd, there to sample the hotel’s Bubblisimo Sunday Brunch special, which began earlier this month and runs through March next year at The Kitchen Table and the adjacent Woobar on W’s 10th floor.
As the brunch’s name implies, Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine produced in Veneto Province, plays a major role in the buffet.
To complement the fruity drink, the menu includes several salads and antipasti, and hence will set you back more than the weekday luncheon does. An all-you-can-drink supply of the sparkling wine costs NT$1,900, while the charge is NT$1,500 without the alcoholic drink.
The spread spilled out of the brightly colored, summery Kitchen Table and into the stylish Woobar, which becomes a lounge bar at night, and with a palette of cherry, silver and brown is a study in playful sophistication.
Aside from the design-savvy surroundings, the hotel has done a good job in providing some culinary gimmickry.
A hotdog stand offers unusual toppings, such as spicy chocolate sauce, truffle mayonnaise and bonito flakes. Standing next to the hot dog vendor is a popcorn machine with flavors including Japanese seaweed and togarashi, a type of Japanese chili pepper.
For more traditional combinations, the crispy wine gets on well with the seafood section, which includes oysters, roasted mussels and cheddar souffles with crab meat and spinach.
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) 7703-8887
Open: 12pm to 3pm every Sunday through March, 2012
Average meal: NT$1,500 or NT$1,900, 10 percent service charge not included Details: Menu in Chinese and English, credit cards accepted
On the Net: www.wtaipei.com
Risottos and waffles are freshly prepared on-site, as is spumoni ice cream.
As far as frozen desserts are concerned, the restaurant’s homemade sorbet is worthy of acclaim. The treat has a very smooth and refined texture and exactly captures its ingredients’ flavors, including pineapple, basil, grapefruit, honeydew melon and mixed berries.
A hotel staff member suggested putting one or more scoops of sorbet into a glass of Prosecco. The end result was a delightful adult’s version of an ice cream float.
As with the lunch offerings at The Kitchen Table [see the Taipei Time’s review on June 24, 2011], hot entrees on the brunch table are hit and miss. But with the piped lounge music, sleek environment and free-flowing wine, the food may not be everyone’s top priority.
Seats for the brunch special are already fully booked until January. It is advised to make reservations one month ahead. For further inquiries, call (02) 7703-8887 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.