Toasteria Cafe (Taipei)
I love a good toasted sandwich or panini, and Toasteria Cafe reportedly has the best there is to offer in Taipei.
Owned by an Israeli dude who lived in New York then married a Malaysian woman then moved to Taiwan, Toasteria is a mix of all those cultures — Middle-Eastern (Mediterranean), American, Malaysian and Taiwanese. It’s quite an unusual blend of flavours but undoubtedly a spectacular one. They offer a range of more than 40 sandwiches and paninis and many other delights, including grilled cheese toasted sandwiches, teppanyaki grills, fish and chips (!) and salads, as well as an all-day breakfast selection.
Here’s a grab of their more unique samples from their Facebook page: Grilled Salmon Filet in Miso Sake Sauce, Mediterranean Style Grilled Salmon Fillet, Grilled Sirloin Steak Teriyaki, new decadent Red Wine Butter sauce with grilled Sirloin Steak, Philly Steak Toast, Sichuan Style Sesame Chicken Toast, two kinds of Lamb Burger Toasts, Mediterranean Eggplant Toast, and Apple Brie Cheese Toast.
Don’t expect the meals to be particularly healthy at Toasteria, but expect them to be good. Their proud motto is: No Diet coke, no skim milk, no low fat cheese, no credit cards..ONLY THE GOOD STUFF!
And it is indeed good stuff. Great stuff. Some of the best toasted sandwiches and paninis I’ve ever had. It was extraordinarily difficult to choose (as is usually the case with a new restaurant), but in the end we went with the Cubano on toasted ciabatta bread (slow roasted pork, ham, caramelized onion, house pickles and good mustard, with grilled Swiss cheese) for NT$210 and the Kalifornia Chicken on toast (chicken, lettuce, onion, tomato and honey mustard).
They also have a lot of drinks and sides, and we naturally went with the fries (how can you not?) at NT$60 a pop.
Both orders were phenomenal. I loved the ciabatta that came with the Cubano, and the roasted pork was so juicy and tender, and when you mix it with the caramelized onions, pickles and mustard, it’s like a salty explosion in your mouth, balanced by the silky textures of the melted Swiss cheese.
The Kalifornia Chicken was also very good, more traditional but you just can’t go wrong with honey mustard sauce. It was more sweet and sour, a nice complement to the saltiness of the Cubano. And the fries was unexpectedly awesome, extremely crispy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. Simply amazing.
Sadly, I forgot my camera and the photos were taken with a phone. They look enticing enough. I feel like going back already.
9 out of 10!
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=58670231236
Opening Hours: Daily, 11am-11pm (midnight on weekends)
Price: approx NT$200-$350 a head
Shida Store — No. 1, Lane 72, Yun-He Street, Taipei; Nearest MRT: Taipower Building; (02) 2365 3051
Zhongxiao Store — No. 2, Lane 248, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road, Taipei; Nearest MRT: Zhongxiao Dunhua (02) 2731 8004