La Maison de la Truffe (Taipei)
Back when we had a little more money (before baby no. 2 came along) we visited La Maison de la Truffe, a famous French truffle restaurant in Paris that somehow opened a chain in Taipei on Dunhua South Road adjacent to the Dunhua SOGO department store.
I really like truffles, and this place is supposed to have the best, imported from France, and with none of that low-quality imitation crap from China — or so our waiter tells us.
La Maison de la Truffe is situated underground and it’s huge, but because of the high prices (from NT$1,000-NT$4000 a head) the place was rather empty during weekday lunch, with only three or four other tables, two of which had local celebrities. So you know it’s that kind of place.
We started off with some house bread with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which is pretty standard these days. The bread might have been a little overcooked, and you can probably tell from the photo below that the crust was a little hard. But the high quality olive oil and balsamic went well with it nonetheless.
Next up, the appetizers. We got three. A corn chip salad and a tangy creamy dressing, a duck pate with green salad, and a scampi plus scallop with grapefruit and roe. All three were excellent. The duck pate was exquisite and I loved the mix of the grapefruit and seafood.
I can’t believe we had three appetizers and then ordered some soup as well. We got a pumpkin soup with shaved truffle, which was fresh and infused with that beautiful truffle scent, and tomato seafood bisque, which had a sour tang that contrasted well against the sweet pumpkin.
For the main courses, we went with a classic — truffle risotto. The alternative was a truffle tagliatelle, but since we had a truffle pasta recently we decided to go with the risotto. And it was spectacular, unlike any other so-called truffle risottos I’ve had before. The truffle smell was amazing, and it penetrated through the entire risotto. The fresh truffle flakes on top were amazing. It doesn’t look great but it was one heck of a dish.
The second main we got was red wine steak with truffle fries, roasted vegetables and garlic. The steak was pretty good, but I’ll admit it was the truffle fries that enticed me the most.
Lastly, the desserts.
I had a bit of truffle overload by the end of the huge meal, which is both a good and bad thing. Good because the truffle at La Maison de la Truffe is truly wonderful, but bad because there can be too much of a good thing. If you are a truffle aficionado, then this place would be heaven, though if you don’t really get why truffle is so great then you could end up disappointed.
I wouldn’t call myself a truffle lover, but I do enjoy some truffles every now and then. So while I had a great time at La Maison de la Truffe it’s not the kind of place I would return to regularly.
La Maison de la Truffe
Address: B1, No. 246, Dunhua South Rd, Sec 1, Taipei City (nearest MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua)
Phone: (02) 2778-7955
Hours: lunch 11:30am-2pm, dinner 5:30pm-10pm; afternoon tea 2pm-5:30pm
Official website: http://www.maison-de-la-truffe.com/