Taipei, Tunhua South, Section 1, Alley 177, No. 47.
It’s about where California Fitness is, but 3 alleys back from Chunghsiao
Homestyle Italian cooking from a Roman chef and his Taiwanese wife (2 beautiful people). Good food and coffee and a laidback but classy ambience few places in Taipei really achieve. Chef’s mum is an opera singer. Stretched up 2 floors, the alley side is all glass.
Set lunch is 280NT, evening main courses are about the same.
Opened last month. It’s in a quiet lane and won’t pick up much passing traffic so I’d urge people to try it. Too often, good individual restaurants in this part of Taipei fold before word has time to spread and all we’re left with is generic taocan and the choice of coffee, tea or fruit juice.
I’ll second Salmon’s opinion on this place. Went there on Saturday and really liked the ambience and decor. Antonio the owner/chef seems like a very nice bloke.
After a couple of complementary slices of delicious home-baked bread drizzled with a little virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, I had spaghetti with a creamy salmon and zucchini sauce and just enough chili to give it a very gentle but insistent bite, topped with generous slices of smoked salmon. It was perfect. My wife had spaghetti vongole, which is the dish she uses to take the measure of an Italian restaurant. It passed with flying colours.
We were in a bit of a rush, so that’s all we had apart from coffee (very good espresso indeed). Our dishes were NT$380 each – maybe a little on the expensive side for pasta, but the quality and the restaurant’s ambience made it worth it, I feel.
The diners next to us were having lasagne and pizza, both of which they described as “feichang hao chi.”
The pizza’s are cooked on a proper “pizza stone,” apparently.
He also has gnocchi with two different sauces on the menu (yum!) but it was off on the day we went. There’ll definitely be a next time for me.
I feel compelled to issue a caution on this place based on my first dining experience there this past weekend. I went with great expectations based on the previous postings here, but I had a sub par dinner to my taste.
To begin, the ambiance is nice enough, though they could use some candles at the tables to enhance it. The problem with the dining room is that the music, though pleasant enough western-style jazz, was playing at 7-11 decibel levels, causing my boyfriend and I to speak at tones as though we were at a rousing soccer match or something.
The menus were rollup paper style which was cute enough, however all items are either in Italian or Chinese. I spotted the lasagna I wanted to try, as the words are similar, but if I were in the mood for a pizza I could not have guessed what the ingredients were for each choice (being Chinese illiterate).
Next, to my great surprise, when I asked what their house red was, I was informed that they do not offer a house red by the glass, only white wine is available per glass (this in what is purporting itself to be an Italian-style restaurant). I was encouraged to order a bottle of red wine from the Xeroxed paper wine list or allow them to open the bottle that was already at my table when we arrived (as well as sprinkled liberally around on other tables in an obvious campaign to sell bottles of wine). Well my boyfriend barely ever drinks and I didn
Great wine, reasonable prices, good ambience. We had chardonnay, and a nice red (i didn’t order it, but it was italian and served chilled, very dry, may have been chianti)
Food: Napoli Pizza, floppy thin stone baked crust with plenty of anchovy (Gus, you’d love this one!)
Calamari appetizer with prawns, again, YUM! Deep friend golden.
Try the Caprese, or mozzarella tomato salad. I really should have asked him where he gets this mozzarella. Haven’t had anything so delish, creamy, tasty cheesey in ages. Don’t pass this one up!
Creme brulee for dessert with a nice cracky carmelised topping, and cappuccino.
Lovely atmosphere. Like the big plate glass window in front. Adds light and opens up what might be a rather small space. Big upstairs dining room, but we stayed downstairs.
I would definately go back. Much better than that Forchetta place. I mean miles and miles better than Forchetta. At least the pizza and atmosphere.
Three of us shared what i listed above and we were full, so portions quite reasonably sized.
Very nice owners too. One of the more handsome Europeans I’ve seen around these parts.
I’m impressed. Sandman was impressed. That should be enough for ya.
Went there for lunch yesterday afternoon
food is between ok and fine
coffee is good
service is slow but friendly
ambience is great when it’s sunny outside (because of those big panes of windows from ceiling to floor at first floor)
Went to check out this place tonight with a group of people for someones birthday. We restaurant was nice and cosy, we had about 9 people and had asked the restaurant to plan out the meal for us, plus 2 bottle of wine. The food was pretty solid nothing “great” but nothing “terrible” they did have one of my favorite appitizers which is Cantelope with prosciutto. The prosciutto was too thick and in order for the dish to work perfectly the melon needs to be in season and ripe, the melon was “ok” i geuss making the dish “decent”. To be honest with all the people and just sampling a bit of every non of us left full, but no one left hungry. So all in all it was a average to above average place. It was pretty pricey according to wut u can get in Taipei ,however comming to $1700NT each, I mean I don’t mind paying that money for a good meal and good company, just didn’t think the place and the food we ate was worth $1700. I would go back, but with a smaller group…I guess wine will always bump up the price too. The italian job is still m favorite italian place, still have to try La Giara, and Luna D’italia
I checked out this place a few months ago and was really disappointed. The atmosphere is pretty nice, although the decor consists of an abundance of pictures of the chef.
The food was good, but the service was exceptionally bad, even by local standards.
The owner, who is the Taiwanese wife of the chef, seemed sour. It was almost as if we were really putting her out by being there.
As well, I couldn’t get a glass of water. To drink water, the only option was a huge bottle of imported Italian water. I think it was $180, but I might be wrong.
Maybe that’s why she was sour.
I was really disappointed with this place, and I am not alone. Just last weekend about a dozen of us went there for a leaving meal, my friend is Italian and he wanted some good home-cooked food before he goes back to the mother country to remind him of the good things ahead.
I’ll start on a good note as I have to say the experience and the food weren’t totally awful. The restaurant itself is a sight to behold (except for the moldy damp ceilings), you really feel like you’re in italy here (thanks to the moldy damp ceilings…lol); the environment is calm and relaxed and the staff are friendly. The pizzas looked amazing and the Gnocchi was great (I tried my friend’s) but then for around 800nt and 500nt respectively you would expect so! However I hadn’t realized the prices would be so exorbitant and had not come with enough cash to allow myself and my date such luxuries, as a result i opted for the more modestly priced lasagna (450nt). He got his first so we both dug in to the very small portion to discover the worst lasagna I have tasted outside of a Tesco ready meal (come to think of it I would rather have had a tesco ready meal at the price). It amounted to a few ingredients sunk into a watery, sauce covered with a mild cheese that did nothing to please the eye or the palette. I wasn’t sure if this was a soup or a dish, it seemed like something in between. Worst still there were chunks of carrot and some peas in it, (a pet hate of mine in this dish, and a point on which we all agreed) which were overcooked and ruined what flavour there was.
After two mouthfuls I decided that I really didn’t want another portion of this in front of me and i asked the waitress to scrap the order and give me a carbonara instead. Moments later I was brought my lasagna which i sent back with the same request, telling them that it didn’t taste very good and I didn’t want it. They returned telling me they had cooked it so i had to eat it and that the chef said it was delicious.
So not wanting to cause a scene on my friend’s night I accepted the dish.
By forcing me to accept the dish they guaranteed that none of us will return to the restaurant, we were a party of 12 and had spent a lot of money already, as the lasagna was, except for one other dish, the cheapest on the menu it would have been better for them to have given me another more expensive dish that I would have enjoyed. Several of us had the lasagna and all felt the same way about it. As well as this some of the other pasta dishes were also quite bland and not of a high enough quality, as with a lot of ‘home-cooking’ some dishes are just not upto scratch. This chef obviously knows how to cook some food really well but other recipes leave a lot to be desired.
What began as a nice experience for me ended up being a little unpleasant, not just in terms of flavour. With Cosi Cosi (not my favourite but preferable to these dishes and prices) just round the corner, La Casa in Shida (not the best but tasty pizzas and much more modest prices) and Alleycats and The Italian Job (a large and very pleasing lasagna) on Yong Kang Street, I see no reason why I will return to this place. The prices are way too high, even considering the rent in the area and an Italian should know when they have cooked a bad lasagna. I wish it hadn’t been like this as I have walked passed this restaurant several times recently and have been really attracted to it.
Sorry La Famiglia but you get a thumbs down from me and most of my friends that were there!
wow, i just read through a few of the previous posts on this place, it seems that most people are disappointed with the food and annoyed at the price. In short don’t go here people…you will not be happy!
La Famiglia if you are reading this, take note, you will slowly go out of business if not!