Hsiang the Brunch

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

From the street on a Sunday morning, Hsiang the Brunch (yes, that is the name of the restaurant) looked charming, cozy and cute. Its exteriors were white and had the air of something you'd find in England, maybe in the countryside, furnished in pretty much all lavender and white.

We were seated right behind this floral cutout screen by the door, and along one wall was couch seating. There is another level, which -- judging from photos in their menu -- is very Versailles-like with armchairs and claw-footed couches, à la Marie Antoinette. (So maybe it's reminiscent of France and not England, after all?)

I can't really say "no" to smoked salmon, so I went with the smoked salmon benedict (I can't remember exactly how much, but it was in the $9-$11 range) -- in spite of the fact that I've been warned many times before that hollandaise sauce in Taiwan is a joke. My entrée, as most do here in Taipei, came as a whole meal -- with a cup of apple juice (Martinelli's, I believe) and a choice between coffee and tea.

My friend's bacon eggs benedict

The hollandaise sauce was fairly flavorless, but the smoked salmon made it taste alright.
While I was pleased enough with my meal (the English muffins could've been toasted more and of course the hollandaise sauce could've had some flavor ... but the seasoned fries were spot on), my friend was not at all satisfied with hers. She ordered a fruit tea, as she always does, and it took forever to arrive at our table. When it finally did, she realized that it was not the kind of fresh fruit tea that is so popular here in Taipei, but a pot of fruit-flavored tea from a tea bag. She rechecked the menu and was certain that she had ordered the fresh fruit tea, so she called attention to the fact that they had given her the wrong tea. Apologies were uttered and another pot of tea came along. While the color of the tea was different, she said it was still little bits of fresh fruit added to a pot of tea made from a tea bag. (Fresh fruit tea is, I think, fruit brewed in tea with fruit juice added, not fruit bits added to plain tea.) 

To add to that tragedy, she said her bacon eggs benedict weren't good -- she showed me her bacon strips, which were at least half fat. (Not so abnormal to me, but I adore IHOP and the like.)

I didn't think I'd ever say this, but I'm beginning to grow sick of western food here in Taipei. Probably because it always tastes like a shadow of what it could and should be. Oh, Australia ... I will see you soon.

Hsiang the Brunch
No. 18, Lane 236, Dunhua South Road, Section 1

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