Casa Della Pasta in Taipei
Casa Della Pasta is one of those places in Taipei that I keep hearing rave reviews about, so I decided to check it out one night at the store on Jinshan South Road in the Da’an district. Bear in mind, though, this visit occurred last year (shows how far behind I am in my reviews), and for some reason I can no longer find this branch on the restaurant’s official website, so it’s possible that the store may have closed down. That said, it still has at least three other locations, so this review should still be relevant from a food perspective.
Anyway, the branch that we went to was huge and beautifully decorated, giving a sense that you’re walking into some high class joint that will burn a hole in your wallet. That was supposedly the charm of Casa Della Pasta — it only looks that way but the prices are very family friendly.
I’m not sure about the prices being super cheap, but they are very competitive for Italian food (around NT100-200 per dish). The biggest draw of the restaurant, in my opinion, is the sheer variety of dishes they have on offer. Seriously, the menu is huge and there are all kinds of appetizers, pastas and pizzas. Granted, most of them are just variations of each other — eg, pick a meat, a type of sauce and a type of pasta — but combing through the menu and deciding on what to order can be a time consuming process.
In the end, with just two people, we went with a pizza and pasta to share. The pizza was their popular pineapple with smoked chicken (see below). I’ll be frank — it was hugely disappointing. The toppings and flavour were okay but the crust tasted no better than those you get from frozen pizzas. And the size was not overwhelming either.
But hey, it was relatively cheap, and the place is called Casa Della PASTA, so I assumed the second dish, the pesto chicken spaghetti, was going to be significantly better. Well, it was better, but nothing that blew my world. The chicken pieces were a tad large for my liking and the chicken was on the chewier side. The pesto sauce was very rich and creamy, which is good for a while but I soon found myself getting sick of it.
Lastly, the dessert — a layered cake, the kind you’d find at most cake stores in Taiwan. Again, it was OK, but nothing spectacular.
On other thing I remembered about this place was that the service was excruciatingly slow. In all it turned out to be a fairly average experience. Not horrible for the price, and I can imagine with its ambiance and variety it would be a nice place to hold a group gathering or family outing, but as far as taste goes it didn’t get the job done for me.
Casa Della Pasta
Lunch: 12pm-2:40pm; Dinner: 6pm-9:40pm
Banqiao — No. 136, Section 1, Zhongshan Road (02-29546133)
Zhongxiao Dunhua — No. 23, Lane 233, Section 1, Dunhua South Road (02-27717869)
Zhongshan — No. 7-1, Lane 11, Section 2, Zhongshan North Road (02-25678769)
Bade — No. 1, Section 1, Bade Road (02-23957117)