Sabatini Cucina (Taipei)
I have searched long and hard for Taipei’s best Italian restaurant, and I think I may have found it with Sabatini Cucina, which we fortunately spotted during a recent trip to the obstetrician. Apart from one glaring weakness — the absence of pizza — I think the restaurant holds its own against any Italian joint I’ve sampled in Taiwan.
The restaurant has two floors and bookings are recommended. There is a wine and dessert bar along the side and a semi-open kitchen in the back. The seats are comfortable and the ambience is first class.
Price-wise it is at the slightly higher end (we’re talking about NT$500-1000+ per head, depending on what you get) but still significantly cheaper than a lot of the fine dining options.
You can check out the menu in the website link below, but generally they have an assortment of appetisers, soups and salads, main courses (steak, fish, poultry, etc) as well as pastas and risottos, specials, and of course, desserts. They also have a lunch menu where it’s a main course, a soup, a salad, dessert and coffee for the price of the main plus NT$150.
On this day, our first visit, we ordered an eggplant starter (essentially an eggplant lasagne), a mushroom soup, house bread, and two pasta main courses — a lobster fettuccine (garlic and olive oil) and a black truffle cream sauce linguine. We will definitely be back to try the other mains and the risottos.
Here are the food pics. I was so excited I forgot to take a photo of the soup. But you can pretty much guess what porcini mushroom soup looks like. It tasted awesome.
The eggplant came in a different dish but they separated it onto serving plates, which is why the portions look a little small. But trust me, it’s delicious.
The mains are both specials and they are exquisite. I preferred to lobster because the truffle sauce was a little too heavy for my liking but the missus preferred it the other way around.
Last but not least the dessert. We ordered the ice cream, which sounds ordinary but turned out to be one of the best desserts I’ve had in ages. The caramelised nuts inside the ice cream are simply divine.
In all, it was an amazing experience. Top it off with excellent service and what you have is one of Taipei’s best Italian experiences.
Address: No. 84, Sec 2, Chang An East Road, Taipei
Phone: (02) 2512 1585
Hours: 12:00-14:30 (lunch), 18:00-22:30 (dinner)