Cafe Marche

Yesterday I had pasta dinner at Cafe Marche. The reservation was at 630 but I didn’t get out of the office until 630… So I made MM wait until 710. X-x I made up for it by buying dessert! (I couldn’t buy dinner because MM bought a Groupon) V tagged along as well because I worked overtime and ruined his plans to play tennis. The food was amazing though and everyone was full and happy by the end of the evening!

Truffle mushroom pasta in cream sauce:


Chicken Risotto:


Shrimp pasta:




Raspberry mousse:



Everything was so tasty! It was our first time having souffle, and the raspberry dessert was really unique! The sponge-looking thing was pistachio sponge cake! The raspberry globe was icy and sour, with soft chocolate mousse inside. :) It wasn’t cheap though; it was the most expensive dessert on the menu at NTD350.

MM and I are planning to take mom and grandma there for mother’s day!

Addicted to Dazzling – Dazzling Pink

Meimei once told me that a food blogger visited Dazzling Cafe more than 20 times, and counting. How can anyone visit a cafe that many times, even though there are now 8 locations throughout Taiwan? Is it that good? My first experience at Dazzling Mint was good, but my second time at Dazzling Pink (their first store) was even better. Dazzling Pink is also conveniently located near MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua station, and about a 3 minute walk from Dazzling Mint.

There’s a deal going on at all the Dazzling Cafe locations until the end of November, which is buy one honey toast or pasta and get the second one half off. How can I pass on a yummy deal like that?

We went for dinner that evening, and even though we didn’t make a reservation, we reserved on the wait list at 4:30pm for 6pm, and that’s how we got a table on a Saturday night. The service was really good, and the servers were all very attentive. The waiter who took our order had a very good memory too; we must have changed our order at least 10 times (changed mains, changed our mind about drinks, adjusted ice and sugar levels, and requested that our honey toast be on the crispier side), and he still got it spot on. Bravo!

The interior of Dazzling Pink is very pretty, with white and pink as their main colours: a girl’s paradise! They came out with a jewelry line as well, but I’m not too interested in their jewelry. I like food more.


Peach fruit tea (3/5):


This tea was sweet and peachy, and quite refreshing. All pastas come with a drink (from a small menu, and this was one of them. Not bad for a complimentary drink!).

Meimei’s hot black tea, also came with a pasta order:


It’s just black tea, so it’s nothing new. However, it came with a side of fruit slices that can be added to the tea for a fruity twist to black tea.

I ordered the rose latte again, just like last time at Dazzling Mint. I thought this drink was so good that I didn’t mind ordering it a second time. Actually, that’s what usually happens when I like something. I end up ordering it again instead of trying something new. I’m trying to slowly change that though, because trying out new things can be really fun!


Rose. Coffee. Lots of milk. It’s my perfect winter drink.

Scallop and shrimp pasta tossed in olive oil (4/5):


Chicken pesto pasta (4.5/5):


Smoked salmon fettuccini (4/5):


Dazzling cafe serves good pasta. All of their pasta is cooked al dante, but there wasn’t much shrimp or scallop in the seafood pasta, nor a lot of salmon in the smoke salmon one. The portions were not large either, but it’s perfect for girls who want to save room for dessert: honey toast!

Hazelnut honey toast (4.5/5):


Yum! We requested the toast to be on the crispier side. It was so divine, even our guy friends enjoyed it, and I thought honey toast was a girl’s thing!

I am addicted to Dazzling; now I know why it’s always full and reservations must be made weeks in advance. Taiwanese people are seriously good at decorating their cafes and restaurants! They are all so pretty and exquisite, and I think it’s something that North American restaurants still have a lot to learn from. But then again, it could be that North Americans don’t like the cute style that Asians prefer. So, each to their own.

Mia Cucina

Yesterday I had a very lovely dinner at Tianmu (天母), a very lovely area in Taipei City. Tianmu has pretty restaurants and nice residential areas. It’s a bit like Neihu, and I like Tianmu and Neihu better than downtown Taipei because they remind me of Vancouver; not too overly populated and there’s a lot of open space.

The dinner was at Mia Cucina, a vegetarian Italian restaurant behind Tianmu Sogo, a mere 2 minute walk from exit 2 of MRT Zhishan Station. When I first heard that we were having vegetarian for dinner, I was a bit skeptical… I really like my meat. But Mia Cucina was THAT good! Meimei and I are already talking about coming back again next time.



They have cool drinking glasses here. They look like jam jars!


Interior of the restaurant:


A pretty chalkboard menu near the kitchen.



This restaurant puts an emphasis on healthy eating with fresh ingredients, and portions are large as well. Expect to spend ~300 to 400NTD per person here; I think it’s really good for what you get.

Pumpkin soup (this one has a limited quantity everyday) (4/5):


Pumpkin lovers rejoyce! Rich and creamy pumpkin soup with a couple of pieces of toasted ciabatta bread on the side for dipping.

Strawberry pecan salad (3.5/5):


This strawberry pecan salad is a must-order at Mia Cucina. Our friends thought it was a bit on the sour side because of the vinegrette and pineapples. But Meimei and I loved it! The lettuce was crunchy, and it was tossed with apple slices, pecans, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, and pineapples.

Wild mushroom panini (4.5/5):


Paninis are my favourite kind of sandwiches, even if it’s vegetarian. Inside there was mozzarella, eggplant, mushrooms, and pesto sauce, with a few thick-cut fries on the side. Crispy ciabatta bread, and warm cheesy goodness inside. I want to try their three cheese panini next time. I’m still looking for a cheese sandwich that can match or be better than the grilled cheese sandwiches at Burgoo in Vancouver.

Jalapeno and Jack cheese flatbread (4/5):


Jack cheese and Jalapeno atop a crispy flatbread. The Jalapeno wasn’t too spicy (probably because the seeds were removed, and that’s always the spiciest part).

Mushroom pasta (5/5):


Everybody loved this dish! The pasta was cooked al dente, and the sauce wasn’t too heavy or salty. The mushrooms at this restaurant taste delicious!

And last but not least, dessert. Maple pecan waffles (5/5):


They were really generous with the pecans, and used real maple syrup. This waffle reminded me of Canada because of the maple syrup. I love maple. Nectar of the Gods.

The total for our meal was ~1800NTD (~60CAD) for 5 people. Not bad at all!

The place changed my mind about vegetarian food. Vegetarian food can actually be delicious if the food’s prepared well, and it’s not vegan, so there’s cheese! :) The only downside about this place is that the tables are too large, so even though it’s spacious, it’s difficult to talk to the person sitting across from you without screaming. My throat hurt after the meal. :(

Casa Della Pasta

CindTee is leaving Taipei tonight to return to Vancouver, so we went out for one last lunch today. V hung out with us today as well, and we went to Casa Della Pasta (a mere 2 minute walk from MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua station) for Italian food. It’s been months since I’ve last stepped foot into an Italian restaurant, so I was glad for the change. I haven’t had good Italian food since arriving in Taiwan! V said that there’s usually a line-up, and as it was Sunday noon, we expected to line-up for a table, but the restaurant was surprisingly empty so we were seated right away.

We ordered 2 appetizers and 3 mains to share:

Deep- fried Calamari with tomato sauce 4/5


This dish was CindTee’s favourite because she loves squid. The squid wasn’t too chewy (which is what I’m afraid of whenever I have squid), and the tomato sauce was actual tomato sauce, not ketchup.

Deep fried chicken filets with sour plum sauce 4/5


The chicken was tender and combined with sour plum sauce, it was a delicious salty and sour combination!

Seafood Pizza 3/5


This is a thin crust pizza topped with scallops, squid, shrimp, and cheese. The pizza was pretty good, but I prefer pasta over pizza.

Pasta with olive oil, garlic, white wine and clams 3/5


The pasta portions here are quite big compared to other places, but not so big that you can’t finish it. CindTee enjoyed this pasta dish because it wasn’t too heavy and it was simple, and not too creamy. I preferred the next pasta dish precisely because I like my pasta creamy.

Pasta with pesto sauce and chicken 5/5


I love my pasta creamy, and this place makes really creamy pasta! I prefer pesto sauce over tomato-based or Alfredo sauce. Maybe because the basil helps to balance out the heavy cream, and because it smells so good.

The total bill came out to be under 1000NTD (~33CAD). Not bad for a meal of 3! I’d definitely come back again.

Perfume Dance

Last week I went to Perfume Dance for dinner with MilkTea, CF, and Vicky. I think Taiwan restaurants are all so exquisite and cute, and Perfume Dance was no exception. It’s located between MRT  Zhongxiao Fuxing and Zhongxiao Dunhua stations (closer to Zhongxiao Fuxing).

The interior was mint green (one of my favourite colours!), and there were chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. They also offered masks for girls who’d like to enjoy their afternoon teas in style. This place is famous for their unique honey toast boxes and “golden bricks” dessert (variation to toast boxes), so reservation is usually required on weekend afternoons.


This was my scallop vegetable soup. It was a light soup that tasted fresh but not overly salty.


Fruit tea that we ordered to share. We chose hot rather than cold, because I think hot fruit teas taste better. I love passionfruit so I was delighted to find passionfruit at the bottom.


CF’s pumpkin and eggplant risotto. CF doesn’t like eggplants, so he gave them to Milktea and me. Perfume Dance’s risotto are apparently very popular, and I usually don’t enjoy risotto, but this dish was surprisingly good! The rice and pumpkin sauce blended together perfectly, but the portion size is not too filling…


Milktea’s chicken pasta. I forgot what the sauce was, but it was tomato based and tasted slightly spicy. The chicken was tender, and the pasta cooked al dente.


Vicky’s matcha and red bean Danish toast box. The Danish toast box is quite unique as most places only serve regular toast boxes. I got to try a bite of this, and I thought it tasted just okay. The bread was a bit on the dry side, and the filling was mediocre at best.


This was the best dish of the night. It’s called “Golden Bricks” and it’s so named because instead of the conventional toast boxes where bread sticks are toasted then stuffed back into the box, “Golden Bricks” are bread that’s cut into cubes, toasted, and arranged into a pyramid. The flavour we picked was Tiramisu, with vanilla ice cream, and milk and chocolate sauce drizzled on top. It sounds so simple, but it’s honey toast at its best!

Overall, we had a great time at Perfume Dance. The service was good, but I thought the price was a bit steep for what we were paying for. Maybe because I am so used to the cheap eats in Pingtung, and I’m still adjusting to Taipei’s prices. Next honey toast destination: Dazzling Cafe!

Movenpick Cafe – Savouries

I have never heard of Movenpick Cafe until coming across the name in Taiwan, but apparently it’s a well-known ice-cream brand here. Last summer I went for afternoon tea and had their ice-dripped coffee (so good!) and honey toast box. This summer I wanted to try their savoury dishes so decided to go for lunch with MilkTea and JT. We went to the one inside MingYao department store, near Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT station.

Entrance to Movenpick Cafe

Entrance to Movenpick Cafe

Ice-cream bar off to the side

Ice-cream bar off to the side

Inside the cafe, there are comfortable seatings by the large windows, and also a small room for larger parties too.

Interior of Movenpick Cafe

Interior of Movenpick Cafe

A separate room at the end for larger parties

A separate room at the end for larger parties

Norway Smoked Salmon Salad (~$230NTD) 2/5

Norwegian Smoked Salmon Salad (~$230NTD) 3/5

MilkTea ordered a Norwegian smoked salmon salad. The dressing came on the side rather than drizzled on top, which is rather nice since everyone has different preferences for the amount of dressing that they like in a salad. The amount of smoked salmon was a bit disappointing though. There were only about 4 small pieces, and the rest was just lettuce, cucumber, and a bit of tomatoes and olives. I guess that’s to be expected, since it was a salad after all. This salad would be a healthy choice for those who want something light and nutritious!

Fruit tea - 4/5

Mixed Fruit Tea ($110NTD) – 4/5

Chicken and mushroom pasta in a bread box - 4/5

Chicken and mushroom pasta in a bread box – 5/5

JT ordered a mixed fruit tea and a chicken and mushroom pasta in a bread box. The fruit tea had fresh apples, kiwi, and passionfruit and it was fruity and not too sweet. I thought the bread box was a creative way to serve pasta! The bread soaked up the creamy pasta sauce, making this a very flavourful dish.

Gratin Penne with Chicken and Pumpkin Sauce ($220NTD) - 4/5

Gratin Penne with Chicken and Pumpkin Sauce ($220NTD) – 4/5

Last but not least, my gratin penne with chicken in a pumpkin sauce. MilkTea really enjoyed this dish (she loves pumpkin), and I’m not a pumpkin fan, but I thought this dish was very delicious as well! The sauce was not too heavy and the pasta was not overcooked, which is what sometimes happens in gratin dishes. I believe they used chicken breast meat in this dish, but the meat wasn’t too dry as it was soaked in pumpkin sauce. Yum!

Overall, Movenpick Cafe is a nice and ambiant cafe, and it doesn’t get too crowded (except for weekends!). I think their sweets are better than their savouries, but their pasta bread boxes are definitely worth a try!

Italian Tomato Restaurant

Yesterday I attended a friend’s birthday party. She decided on Italian Tomato, her favourite restaurant, for dinner. I was very excited because I really enjoy Italian cuisine and I haven’t had pasta in a while!

Italian Tomato - Exterior


This restaurant is situated in Richmond and from outside it didn’t look like much. It wasn’t too hard to find by car, so Mochi drove us there right on time. It is also located near the Canada Line (Bridgeport station).

The inside of the restaurant looks very lovely, with a nice Italian look to it. The kitchen was clearly visible, and there was also a bar to serve up alcoholic drinks.

Interior of the restaurant

The menu contained soups, salads, pasta, specialty dishes (such as lasagna), pizza, and calzones. I have never had a calzone but it’s basically a rolled-up pizza. Someone ordered one and it was shaped like a football (around the same size too!) with pizza filling inside.


After we ordered, we received complimentary bread. It was just white crusty bread (similar to the loaves sold at Superstore but with less crust). The bread would’ve tasted a lot better if it was warm, but it was quite cold. The butter was cold too, which makes it hard to spread the bread with. However, the bread was soft and I was starving since I waited for an hour for everyone to arrive, it really helped to satiate my hunger.

Complimentary bread and butter

For pasta, you have to first choose what kind of pasta you would like, and then choose the sauce. I selected penne for my pasta and funghi for my sauce (a cream sauce with mushrooms). Mico ordered the polpette bolognese (basically just spaghetti with meatballs). I wish I had shared the dish with Mochi because the plate was huge!! Too bad there had to be a minimum order of $14.95 per person.

Penne with creamy mushroom sauce $16.95

Polpette Bolognese (spaghetti) $20.95 - see the meatballs in the next image

Meatballs that go with the Polpette Bolognese

I ended up only finishing half and I had to pack up the rest. Out of the 15+ people who were there, only one person managed to finish everything on the plate.

Frankly speaking, the quality of the pasta wasn’t the best. It tasted good (until I was stuffed and felt a bit nauseous). I felt like it was more quantity over quality. For the same price you can get good quality pasta with just the right portion. I still prefer Frankie’s Italian Kitchen and I wouldn’t recommend Italian Tomato to anyone who’s looking for good quality pasta.

My complaint for Italian Tomato is that if they know that almost no one can finish their dishes, why not let two people share a dish? However, they require a minimum order of $15.95 per person. To be honest, I find that to be quite unnecessary. Also, after I took my food home and microwaved it for lunch the next day, the cream sauce completely melted into a pool of greasy oil. I don’t know if that’s supposed to be normal or not but it was a bit gross.

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