If you’ve been looking for decent bread in Taiwan, then I can highly recommend this place. I’ve walked past their outlet in the 101 a couple of times, but wasn’t really interested in the food they were selling and their menu has really wonky English on it which made me put this place in a pile of other imitation European style places here. How wrong I was, today I tasted some of the samples they had and instantly ended up bying two loafs of rye bread there, one with and one without raisins. It’s really nice chewy European style rye bread and they also got a bunch of other stuff and they sell freshly made sandwhiches which I’m going to have to give a try next time. They also have an outlet on Anhe Rd. You can check out a bit more that I wrote about the place here if you’re interested.
I went there today to pick up some rye bread (I’ve never been there before) and became suspicious when the various breads (4 or so kinds) they had labeled as ‘whole rye’ said ‘whole wheat’ in Chinese. I asked them in Chinese if they had any rye breads and they said no. I told them I thought they had mistranslated. I also sampled a piece of ‘hei1 mai4’ bread, which they assured me was made from black wheat. They said nothing was added to color it, just black wheat. But I could taste the molasses.
Not very professional, really. The sales staff should have a clue about their products.
The breads looked decent, though, including their fougasse and focaccia. It’s on my way to work so I’ll probably sample a different kind every week or two.
They had an 18-19" ficelle (a slender French baguette) for $60, which I’m munching on at the moment. If you’re looking for decent French bread without any oil or weird crap added, this is ok, but the crust has gone a bit chewy after sitting on the counter too long. Baguettes and ficelles are at their best right after baking and cooling, not 6-7 hours later, IMO.
They also had a number of products with no English label.
BTW, the rye bread at Flavorfield was very disappointing.
Well, everything they have isn’t great and since I wrote the original post, their selection has changed and some of it has sadly been a bit localised.
What I tend to get there is the Ciabatta and Levain de Campagne. The Whole Rye Bread wasn’t anything special, especially for the price and I’d rather eat the new bread in Carrefour than that considering the cost.
According to their website, they’re meant to have Sourdough Rye bread, but I’ve never seen it on sale.
The Levain de Campagne is really good though, but it’s not coming cheap at NT$180 a loaf, but it’s worth it if you’re really longing for some good bread.
Are you sure that “Whole Rye” actually had rye in it? LOL
Just had another bite of the ficelle. In fact, I’d say the crumb (interior) is too chewy too, not light and tender enough, and I suspect this is either yesterday’s bread, or it was made with the wrong flour (too much gluten) or overkneaded to the point of becoming tough and chewy, or both. Someone unable to find ANY French bread might be ok with this, but someone looking for good value for the money or a better quality loaf wouldn’t. It would be ok if sliced a bit on the thin side and toasted, but you’d be in for a sore jaw if you had too much of it.
I probably wouldn’t buy it again. (I’ll be tackling French bread in my oven before long; right now I’m working on improving a plain white sourdough.)
The exterior is quite pretty and looks professional, though, and the aroma is nice. I’ll still try another few of their breads before pronouncing an overall verdict.
[color=#FF0000]EDIT: CLOSED as of April 2011. [/color]