Tao Ban Wu (陶板屋)

Back to our regularly scheduled food blogness, today I bring you Tao Ban Wu (or 陶板屋).

Today’s the mom’s birthday, so birthday dinner occurred at said restaurant. I’m not sure why we picked this place, especially after my first visit to the same restaurant but at a different location ended in an awkward, stressful, and supremely uncomfortable meal, but that is a story for another time.

Luckily this time around, it was a much better experience. Basically they offer a set menu with appetizer, salad, soup, pre-main course (err, not sure what it’s called), main course, dessert, and a drink, all for the price of 499 NT plus 10% service charge per person. There are different choices for each category (except appetizer), so you have some option as to what you’re eating. The food was decent, but as the dad kept saying, nothing special. Although, I guess for the amount of food they give, the price is quite decent, and it’s not like the food is horrible tasting. The steak that I got was cooked perfectly. It wasn’t too hard or too dry, quite juicy and yummy, actually.

The service was good as well. Although they clear away your plates really fast as you finish each dish, they were very polite and efficient about it. Also, between the pre-main course and main course, there was a slight waiting time, but nothing too extreme. We were just talking about random stuff and the waitress came up and apologized for the delay in the serving of the next dish. We were all wondering if we looked impatient or what because we certainly didn’t feel like the delay was that long. Then she came again a few minutes later and offered us a small complimentary cocktail as apology for the delay. Again, we were so confused. But hey, no reason to turn down a free drink, even if it did taste like cough syrup.

Anyway, it’s not a bad place. It’s actually very popular. When I went to make reservations for tonight, the original time I wanted was already full. I assume that if you don’t make a reservation, especially during the weekends, getting a table may be difficult. Now, on to the pictures~

Appetizer for all - oyster mushroom

The mom and I got seafood fruit salad with passion fruit sauce on the side; mostly fruit, little seafood.

The sister and dad got asparagus with Japanese mountain yam.

For soup we all got something different, but I got asparagus cream soup with seafood.

After the soup, they gave us this little cup of sourness. Ok, not that sour, but it's supposed to help you continue eating since sour things stimulate your appetite. It's also refillable and very yum. Drank quite a bit.

Pre-main course dish: We all picked the fried rice ball with smoked chicken. Quite good actually, although a bit on the oily side.

Our complimentary cocktail that tasted like Robitussin cough syrup. Ick. Cherry flavored cough medicine has ruined many things for me.

Mom's main dish - lamb ribs.

The dad and I got pan-seared steak. Nom nom nom. The pink thing is marinaded pear, and the orange is sweet potato.

Sister got the steak slices with fried garlic (which are those yellow pieces).

Dessert! I got green tea tiramisu. It was good, except they had these jellies in it that kind of made it not as good.

Sister got cheesecake with orange ice cream.

The parents got panna cotta with red bean sauce. The milk-taste was a bit too strong.

Sister's drink ~ iced fruit tea.

I got brown sugar milk tea. Gooood, but by then was too full to finish it all.

The parents got tea that's good for your health. It even had a flower inside!