Though I’ve not yet tried all the recommendations (and thank you for them) most everything I’ve come across elsewhere in Taipei has been on the utterly mediocre side. Beginning to believe that the likelihood of something outstanding or excellent existing in Taipei, is very low.
I tried Mamak today in Taichung. The nasi lemak is good enough to satisfy the urge but the chili has no spice at all.
Great spot but the occasional Muslim prayers over the sound system is odd.
For folks with some coins to spare: Melaka Kopitiam, a large fancy newish space located steps from Xinyi Anhe MRT Station Exit 1 on the Red Line.
I stopped by there tonight for dinner. The beef rendang I tried was substantial and delicious, prepared with a more complex range of spices than I’ve found at other Malaysian places in Taiwan. Total cost for the rendang and rice: NT$522 including service charge. At this price, it’s not a place for everyday meals but for a special treat you could have a very nice time here.
After experiencing ongoing and continued disappointment, perhaps this might be something to try, however, from the description of the space, it sounds as though the costs went into the interior.
I tried them last October and wrote something above. Seemed to be just the same same Taiwanese stuff.
Yes as you previously noted this place is set up for sharing more so than individual dining (though this evening I did in fact dine alone). This is most obnoxiously shown in their “business lunch” menu which has options for two, four, or six people (IIRC) but not for one person!
In their defence, few places I’ve found in Taipei City do beef rendang. My positive experience at Melaka Kopitiam (highish price aside) is based on their execution of that dish, which was complex and flavorful.
I also have my eyes on their char kuei tiau. If I have a chance to try it, I’ll report back.
two places I’ve enjoyed in Taipei -
solid Singaporean food, but in dongqu with dongqu prices
cheap hole in the wall near shida night market
This evening, I returned to Malaka Kopitiam to see if other parts of the menu would hold up. If forumosans are interested in this follow-up post, here’s what I found:
The Penang char kuei tiau I had was really good, with a nice balance of flavours, and the kuei tiao slightly charred–clearly the chef knows his way around a wok, with a skill level that is far from common in Taiwan. The only part of this satisfying dish that didn’t work for me was the inclusion of some Cantonese-style sausage, which I ended up pushing aside. If I ordered this again (and I’d do so gladly) I’d simply ask them to skip the sausage.
I also tried the dried curry chicken. This was a substantial dish, with four large pieces of chicken (two drumsticks, two thighs, IIRC) covered in a delectable sauce. Still, as one of the Malaysian servers indicated (and I full agree) the beef rendang is better as the beef really absorbs the sauce nicely, much more so than the chicken.
The only part of the meal that didn’t impress me was the hot milk tea I ordered at the end. It arrived piping hot–far too hot for tea that had been mixed with milk. I don’t know what they did with this, but I would not order it again. The coffee seems to get better reviews online. Maybe I’ll give it a try next time.
Finally, by chatting up the front-line staff (the Malaysians working there are friendly and open, more so than their Taiwanese counterparts) I learned that the chef is from KL. And based on the business card and email contact written on it, I noticed that the restaurant appears to be part of the Gordon Biersch empire. Perhaps the highish prices they charge can be attributed to profits headed off to the parent company!
I highly NOT recommend Red Dot Singapore Kitchen 小紅點新加坡廚房
小紅點新加坡廚房. Almost vomited when I looked at my chicken. Hainan rice is not Hainan flavor. It started ok when it arrived, but then this.
Now you know where the Red in their name comes from.
In Singapore, you can spend hundreds in indoor fancy places on Orchard Road or Boat Quay and have an inferior meal to a hawker stand (outdoor food stall). Best Tom Yam and Laksa Soups I have ever had were in Singapore just off Orchard Road in a hawker stall near the Singtel building. Amazing food.
Yes looks bad? Did they try to fix it (cook it more?)
Does anyone have up-to-date recommendations for good Malay restaurants in Taipei or Taichung? Would kill for a nice JB fish head curry or some durian fritters.
Where's the best Malaysian or Singapore food?
I’ve yet to try fish head curry. I thought it was Indian?
Might have Indian origins, but it’s one of the signature dishes in Malaysia (and Singapore, I think).
Up-to-date recommendations? I’m still waiting for just ONE good one.
I like the Mamak in Taichung, not so much in Taipei. I get my Taipei fix at PappaRich Mitsukoshi Xinyi A9, Mr Chee, or 瑞記海南雞飯 (內湖店) but none these are special and only minimally meet the need. They all adjust the food to meet the local taste, for budget or for lack of availability of ingredients
I love fishhead curry and prata especially midnight snack before bed after a night out. Can’t find any good ones in Taiwan.