Happy Friday! I really want to do more food and restaurant reviews. I do. But every time I dig through my archives, I always run across that Yi Ping post. And then I’m like, damnit, I want to be back in Taipei munching on scrumptious lamb chops and devouring salmon sashimi, but no, I’m not going to see that place for at least another year. Finally, I snapped out of my funk to bring you something food-related. This blog isn’t called Makeup Morsels for nothing, yaknow. I’m reviewing Salut Tea Salon today, which isn’t exactly in the area (and by the area, I mean America). I don’t know how many of you will ever be able to visit, but I’m mainly trying to get a handle on writing about food again. My previous posts weren’t really reviews (unless you call a bunch of pictures and me going yum yum yum a review). Anyways, I pulled a bunch of files off the school computers today, and since these were already edited, I thought why not?
Salut has a very ‘open’ sense inside, since one wall is entirely made of glass windows. It’s very light and bright and clean, and the chairs look like something out of my living room. I usually order the Prix Fixe Lunch (they call it the Set Lunch), which their website says is 160元 for 3 courses plus a pot of tea. My relatives told me they remembered it being close to 350元, or about $10-11. *Update: Forgot to say this, but in Taiwan, tax & tip are both included in the price. The appetizer and dessert are both fixed, but you can choose from a variety of entrees, and a lot of different teas. My first course was the salad pictured above. It had lettuce, apple slices, (and I believe there were some raisins in there as well) with a bit of mayo drizzled over the top. It tasted fresh, but there was nothing to get excited about in there.
For my second course, I went with the Baked Chicken Leg with Herb/普羅旺斯香草烤雞腿. The chicken was very tender and juicy, but the herbs tasted a little off to me. I don’t know exactly what they put in there, but something about it was almost cloying… which is a pity because the meat was so well cooked. The rice on the side was passably good, but the vegetables didn’t taste…well, they didn’t taste like anything. I think they’re probably frozen, and then steamed.
I had a couple of bites of my mom’s Beef Stew with Red Wine/法式紅酒嫩燉牛肉. The sauce was too rich and oily for me, and the meat wasn’t quite as flavorful as I would’ve liked. I loved that they put the stew in a carafe, though. While most of the dishes didn’t impress me, the presentation was nice at least.
Dessert was a tiny piece of cake. I think they switch up the cake every once in awhile here. The actual cake was on the dry side, but the filling was pleasantly light, and tasted of strawberries. I know that so far, this has been a lackluster review, but there is a reason I come here over and over again. That reason is…
The tea! They have the most amazing list of teas, and you can choose to order most of them either hot or cold. This isn’t just your normal range of teas; they also have options like ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ ‘Black Forest,’ and…something (these are all off the top of my head, so they might be way off). Basically they have all the normal tea flavors, and then special House Blends that have certain properties (relaxing, invigorating, etc.). Your individual teapot (which is the size of a normal teapot) comes to the table with a little dangling plaque. My personal favorite is their Butterscotch Milk Tea (if I remember correctly, it’s called 蘇格蘭奶油奶茶, served hot). It’s not too sweet, not too creamy, and utterly delicious. The butterscotch almost has a sort of tang to it, and melds perfectly with the milky tea. I’ve gotten rather good at polishing off an entire pot in under 20 minutes. To sum up,
Thumbs up for
Nice ambiance, reasonable prices (for tourists, since my relatives all say it’s considered very expensive), THE TEA.
Thumbs down for
The food. They need to step it up over there.
If you ever happen to be in the area, I’d say go in just for the tea. It’s worth it.