I like Jake’s Urban Kitchen, downtown Taipei’s city cousin to Jake’s Country kitchen, which is almost a historical site in Tianmu by now… Jake’s has cheap prices, good food, (excellent blueberry pancakes!), and they know how to cook an egg. After years at a famous (infamous?) Shi-Da Rd. breakfast eatery, eating eggs that would have been better ingested with a straw :shock: , it’s a pleasure to eat at a place that understands what “quan shou” (well/thoroughly cooked) means. Jake’s also has a homemade “mystery meat” (it’s pork, actually) sausage patty that looks a little suspicious but tastes great.
Went to Jake’s Country Bumpkin place in TianMu again cuz I’m willing to suffer any culinary injustice to avoid Taiwanese breakfast.
I discovered that my tastes have either degraded considerably or they have managed something with their Mexican dishes. They don’t taste good, but with the exception of the re-fried beans, they taste kinda TexMexy. The presentation leads one to believe that the chef is blind, but don’t concern yourself with that
Glad to hear you had a good experience at Jake’s, though the times I’ve gone have been a definite let-down. And the Mexican food was definitely a disappointment. I wonder if you might have experienced Jake’s when they were having a very good day.
My experience from working in the restaurant business is that what you get depends almost entirely on who’s cooking that day. My wish is that all Taiwanese cooks actually learn to eat whatever foreign cuisine that they’re cooking, instead of cooking blindly by mimicking what they’ve been taught to do.
My other complaint about places like Jake’s is that their menu is way too vast. They try to cover virtually every type of “American” cuisine. So instead of focusing on a specialty cuisine that they can excell at, they do a mediocre job at all of them.
By the way, for breakfast, the closest I’ve come to a good American style eggs & sausage has been at Dan Ryan’s (Dunhua & Nanjing). Not exactly cheap (about NT$310 for eggs, sausage, potatoes & toast with a bottomless cup of coffee), but they actually know how to cook eggs over-easy, and the service ranges from medium to excellent. Pancakes are pretty good, too.
Makaiwen, sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I go to Jake’s in Taipei quite often (Although only for breakfast!) and I’ve always been satisfied. On Saturday, I told the boss that somebody had been dissatisfied with the portions, and she was very regretful. Apparently, a group of 16 (I don’t know if it was your group or not), had made reservations with the Jake’s in Tianmu, and than shown up at the Dunhua/Heping branch. Jake’s isn’t a huge operation, so they had to scramble to get enough food. As your post mentioned, they evidently failed. The boss said that in retrospect, she should have just told them that she was unable to give them all Thanksgiving Dinners, but she didn’t want to refuse anybody.
Meanwhile, I guess the Tianmu Jake’s had called the cell phone number of the group of 16 that had made the reservation to find out if they were going to come at all, only to be hung up on. So there was all kinds of surplus turkey dinner at the Tianmu branch, and not enough to go around in the downtown branch.
Anyway, I doubt that any of this will change your mind about going to Jake’s but the boss did say that she was sorry that the meal was so unsatisfactory, and hoped that Jake’s would be given a chance to redeem themselves in the future.
Again, as far as my experiences here at Jake’s go, I’ve had nothing but great service, but then again, I order the same thing in the same way almost every time, and I always tip generously, as Jake’s does not charge 10% service. Funny how the scent of money motivates waiters!
Jake’s Country Kitchen is a suck! (in the words of one of my students)
Last night, i went there for the $680 Thanksgiving dinner, advertising
Turkey * mashed potatoes/gravy *stuffing
*brocolli w/cheese sauce *salad *soup *cranberry sauce *drink *dessert
sounds pretty good. so i took my Tai-Da class there, plus some friends.
here’s the rundown:
pie: frozen, yes, that’s right.
brocoli: one stem
stuffing: less than a tablespoon
cranberry sauce: about 1/2 cm wedge from a can
mashed potatoes: about three ounces
soup, salad: fine
none of the above is exaggerated. it was like they were mocking the “upscale” restuarants that give small portions. but the joke was on us (okay, a little corny, but do read on)
i’ve lived in taiwan for a total of two years, and i speak chinese very well, and i generally eat chinese food. i’m not that picky of a person, especially when it comes to places trying to immitate western food (i can even eat ketchup suace pizza). that said, this place sucks!
for 680 bucks, you should be able to chi1bao. for 680 bucks you should be get more than one piece of broccoli, or two spoonfulls of stuffing.
okay, all i’m saying is i’m not going back, and all those who are considering going there, please think twice. this was the first time in taiwan where i’ve actually felt swindled.
Which Jakes was it? Downtown Taipei, or Tienmu? I like the staff at the Taipei branch - they are very accomodating, the service is friendly and the food is pretty good.
It was the Dunhua and Heping branch, next to the Burger King.
It seems the same as what we got at the Post Home Resturant in Tienmu. The pie was also frozen and was from Jakes Country Kitchen. The portions were baby sized and the price was $750/person. I doubt I will ever return.
Jake’s Country Kitchen was/is a letdown.
I go to Jake’s (on Heping) for the waffles and blueberry pancakes. The waffles are the round, thin, crispy kind that I prefer. The pancakes aren’t any better than I can make at home with a mix, but Jake’s has the blueberries and gives you some blueberry syrup with the pancakes.
I’ve been totally unimpressed by the other food. The chicken in the enchilada tasted like it came from a can and the beef enchilada was incredibly bland. If I remember correctly, the chicken enchilada used processed chicken slices. The chili dog was a Taiwan-style hot dog (you know, the 7-11 kind) with a bland chili. The hamburger patties aren’t big and look even smaller in a big bun.
I’ve been to Jakes several times mostly because it’s convenient and comfortable, but the food’s just not that good. The full meals are quite pricey so I’ve never ordered one. As someone mentioned earlier, instead of offering so many options of mediocre quality, they might do better to do a few things really well.
Feel free to share my comments with the management, and ask them why they don’t advertise. The Tianmu one advertises regularly. The folks who called to make reservations probably saw the ad in the paper and didn’t realize that the two restaurants are run separately (I am assuming they are since they don’t advertise together). A lot of people still have no idea that there IS a Jake’s downtown (and never knew about the previous location off of MinSheng).
I eat there ocassionally – since its close to the office. Its a tad bit pricey for what you get, but its a convenient place to bring people who don’t want the hassle of no-english menus and who aren’t crazy about pasta.
Anyone who’s been in Taiwan for two years and speaks Chinese as well as you say you do should also know that the Chinese don’t celebrate American Thanksgiving. So the traditional trappings, in general, are bound to be canned or frozen. In light of that fact, one would think that expectations might be tweaked to accomodate. With regard to your students, I must say that I’ve lived here for six years and spent all six Thanksgivings here and I’ve never met a Taiwanese person that wouldn’t trade all the turkey and stuffing in the world for a stick of barbecued chicken ass. The Chinese have the patent on cheap, great food. Why would they suffer through a half-baked version of American slop when they can walk out the front door of Jakes, turn left up Heping and have an awesome meal for 90 bucks? You goofed. First of all for expecting too much. (two years you’ve been here?) And secondly, for dragging a classful of students into it with you. Next time, do a Thanksgiving cloze in class, explain the various foods we eat, maybe play a game of password using various nomadic Native American dwellings, then take 'em all out for some beef noodle soup. It’ll save you money and optimize a little server space here at Oriented.
Remember that ‘American-style food’ is that which is fashioned to resemble what one would receive in the US, not the real thing. Nothing could be more true than Jake’s. The food is pedestrian at best and the prices are high. Every time I go there – which is inspired by wishful thinking – I wonder why I bothered. I guess I just keep hoping that next time will be better, but it never is.
Today’s Taipei Times has an article on Jake’s Country Kitchen, where they interview the owner, Jake Lou.
[b]Jake Lo, the owner of Jake’s Country Kitchen in the Taipei suburb of
Tianmu, is always ready to great customers with a warm smile and
authentic Western-style food. “I was up until 5 am this morning making
mushroom soup and pumpkin pie.”
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
They have two for one beers at the Hoping b[/b] Jake’s Joint. 10 different beers. and two Becks Dark are $140. It’s so nice. Just go there. You can order for yourself and they will bring two beers at different times (not like in Tijuana, they bring two beers at the same time).
I highly suggest you order their pizza. It is a personal size. There is vegetarian, or chicken, or cheese. It is $230-$260. Also, one time I asked to borrow a menu for my English class. The owner was very helpful. And it’s good, because they have all the burgers and fries, hashbrowns, …, all on one page. The students really like to use it for their dialogs.
You know, I don’t like their hashbrowns. But the food is pretty tasty overall. Look at the pictures, and order what you like to see. Oh yeah, I don’t know if it is Jake’s or Juke’s. It’s too confusing.
If my memory serves me correctly, I think that the Hoping b[/b]/Tunhua joint is actually “Juke”…
Yes, but that’s fairly new - maybe only in the last year or so. It used to be called Jake’s Country Kitchen (East), and then they changed the name to J.U.K.E. which stands for Jake’s Urban Kitchen East. During the brief period they were located on Fuxing North, they called it Jake’s Chateau.
I still hear people refer to it as Jake’s though. I think “J.U.K.E.” is a little silly, and “Jake’s Urban Kitchen East” is a little unwieldy.
Still haven’t found blueberry pancakes in Taipei that can compare…
Has anyone been to this place of late. Most of the feedback here is pushing 2 years. Was wondering whether it was worth breaky on the weekend?
I was there a couple weeks ago. Had the Chocolate Chip Pancakes, they were good but overpriced. My roommate had some weird dish with white gravy slop on top of white bread. She mentioned something about chipped beef but I was thinking about how I’de chip my teeth on the plates of yuck that came out of the kitchen. Her order looked like barff but I’m no food critic. I think she called it XO.
The place had a number of foreign guest on a Sunday night. But they looked like newbies so not sure if they’de come back again either.
But dispite all the bad stuff i just said … I’de like to say the pancakes are a thumbs up (if you’re not capable of making your own at home!).
The XO your friend ate was likely S.O.S., or Shit on Shingles. Old US military food. Sausage gravey over white bread. Very simple to make at home and delicious in spite of it looking a lot like it’s name.