Luk Kreung means mixed-blood in Thai, and refers both to mixed ethnicity of restaurant owner Tseng Hsu-min (曾旭民), as well as the mixed parentage of the cuisine that he presents — an innovative combination of Italian and Thai.
When living in Thailand, Tseng, 36, said he frequented a restaurant that cooked Italian food in a Thai style. He believed that this combination would prove popular in Taiwan as well, so two years ago he opened Luk Kreung in Taipei's trendy East District.
On its Chinese-English menu, there is an image of the Virgin Mary, representing Italian food, and one of the Buddha, representing Thai food. These are combined to create his “mixed blood” cuisine.
PHOTO: GINGER YANG, TAIPEI TIMES
This leads to some interesting combinations. There is da-pao pork, a dish of thinly sliced boiled pork with various garnishes, which is a regular feature at many Indo-Chinese themed restaurants. But in this case, it is served on a cornmeal pizza crust (NT$250), with the addition of minced meat and basil. Restaurant manager, Lai Chien-an (賴建安) said it was especially popular as a take out order.
Italian-style fried rice noodles (NT$220) uses anchovies to enhance the flavor of the traditional Thai dish, and can be fine tuned to individual tastes with sugar, ground peanuts and lemon, which are served on the side of the plate. The deep fried trout with Thai apple dressing (NT$480) and grilled beef tenderloin in green curry sauce (NT$700) are worth trying.
Luk Kreung mixes it up with the decor as well; half decorated in palatial Italian style and the other half featuring Thai-themed furniture. The furnishings are uniformly both comfortable and stylish. In fact, the establishment could easily be mistaken for a high-class furniture shop if you don't look too carefully.
There are two rooms for private functions that seat up to 12 people.
The setting is much more luxurious than you would expect for the menu's price range. “We spent more than six months designing the menu and settings. We let our imaginations run wild. Running this restaurant isn't work, it's play,” Lai said. Service is stylish, but not particularly efficient.
After the kitchen closes, Luk Kreung transforms itself into a lounge bar that serves a wide range of spirits and wine. If you want to reserve a seat, call after 5 pm.
Sifting through the last week or so of writing on Taiwan in the major media, the original title of this piece was going to be “Three Cheesy Pieces.” But in truth, the flow of effluent from the media exceeds my ability to represent it in a single pithy headline. It seems that the output of bad writing on Taiwan is equal to the square of the amount of attention our island nation receives. TRIFECTA OF TURGIDITY Leading off a terrible 10-day of prose on Taiwan was the The Economist’s piece, “The Most Dangerous Place on Earth” with Taiwan on the cover. The
Who would have thought that Taiwan — just over 100km from China and a few hundred kilometers away from Vietnam, which are the world’s first and second biggest consumers of pangolin scales — would become the last beacon of hope for this imperiled species? In fact, pangolins — from sub-species in Africa all the way down to Indonesia — are the world’s most highly trafficked mammal. Thought to cure anything from HIV to hangovers, ground pangolin scales and pangolin soup (the photos online are difficult to stomach) are expensive delicacies in Vietnam and China, and the rarer the species becomes,
May 10 to May 16 Many elderly people wept as the crowds flooded Raohe Street (饒河街) on May 11, 1987. It had been over a decade since the street was this busy, the Minsheng Daily (民生報) reported. Locals set up altars along the way, praying that the grand opening of the Raohe Street Night Market would reverse their fortunes. It was Taipei’s first night market with government-mandated traffic control hours, banning cars from 5pm to midnight. “This is a great way to manage a night market, and other locales should follow suit,” the article stated. There were still some kinks to
The degree of a hike’s difficulty is directly proportional to how much conversation people will engage in. Barely a peep, for example, is heard from those summiting Jade Mountain’s main peak (玉山, 3,952m). The steep ascent to the ancient Aboriginal village of Kucapungane (舊好茶, Jiuhaocha) in Taitung County finds only the most experienced energized enough to weave a tale or utter an anecdote. A hike along the Jinshueiying Ancient Trail (浸水營古道, 1,490m), however, with its moderate inclines and long stretches of mostly horizontal path, ensures that hikers will engage in all kinds of banter. And that’s the problem — if