LM Kitchen at Green Park (Taipei)
So Green Park is supposed to be a hip after-work joint in Taipei’s lively Xinyi district, equipped with a snazzy bar, karaoke facilities, billiards, foosball and simulated golf. Of course, having not had anything resembling a social life for nearly two years, I knew nothing of this fine establishment. I also didn’t know that Green Park has its own French restaurant, LM Kitchen, which recently opened in July. It looked pretty good, so I thought: why the heck not?
Situated on Dongxing Road, about a 10-15 minute walk from MRT Taipei City Hall, LM Kitchen has the look of a fancy French restaurant with a casual but elegant atmosphere and a red/green theme. The kitchen is clearly visible in one corner of the restaurant through clear glass, though they are higher up so you can’t see all the stuff you don’t really want to see.
One thing about LM Kitchen is that it’s not a cheap place (by Taiwan standards). They serve lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, and lunch and dinner have set meals, though a la carte is also fine too.
Here is the full menu, and as you can see, the main courses (including risotto and pasta) range from NT$480 to NT$1100, and the appetizers range from NT$280 to NT$1280. The soups and salads and desserts also cost around a couple of hundred each.
If you go with the lunch set, your options are rather limited. You pay either NT$680 for a two-course meal including main and appetizer OR dessert, or NT$880 for a three-course meal including all three. All sets get a free tea or coffee and house bread. The problem with the set lunch is that you can only choose either a caesar salad or vegetable soup for the appetizer and you only get a choice of two mains (chicken or fish). And the dessert is limited to creme brulee. So if you want to choose other stuff, you can’t go with the set.
We went with one lunch set meal (with salad as the appetizer and the pan seared chicken breast for the main) plus one ala carte meal with a scallop carpaccio, the roasted lamb chop, and a lemon and lemon tart dessert.
Here are the pics. Before I forget, my photos of the house bread were accidentally deleted. You get one slice of a baguette each, plus one macadamia and fig bread. The baguette is average, but the macadamia and fig is awesome. Unfortunately, you can only get unlimited refills of the baguette…orz.
The caesar salad was fresh, but average. The waitress seemed a bit confused and told us it was a crab salad with caesar dressing. There was no crab.
The scallop carpaccio was a lot smaller than I expected (thinly sliced), but I have to admit it was sensational. The scallop itself was very fresh and the lemon dressing added a tangy but refreshing flavour. The little orange piece, capers and pickled onions went perfect with it too. It didn’t even taste like it was raw.
The pan seared chicken breast did not look great because I think they had accidentally tipped it to the side while setting the presentation (so the skin was on the bottom). But boy, it was spectacular. I don’t know how they cooked it, but it was some of the most tender chicken I’ve ever had. Almost melts in your mouth. The flavours were not too strong either, so it was perfect.
The lamb chop came highly recommended and it was easy to see why. I love pistachios and this lamb was covered in crushed pistachios. The lamb itself was nicely cooked and the balsamic sauce gave the meat a sour kick. Two excellent main courses.
The creme brulee, which comes as part of the set lunch, was good, one of the better ones I’ve had in Taiwan. The plum ice cream, however, was a strange complement to the brulee which I didn’t think went with it very well.
As for the lemon dessert — which was highly recommended by the waiter — as you can see from the first photo it comes looking like a lemon glazed in sugar and with sugar powder underneath. But when you break it open (second photo) there is icy sweet and sour cream inside with frozen fruits. It’s not bad, but I kinda wish we had chosen the chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and raspberry foam. Maybe next time.
(We were lucky as a tiny bug flew onto the lemon dessert right in front of the waiter and as a result we got it for free!)
On the whole, LM Kitchen is a bit of a mixed bag, though if you’re talking about just the food it is undoubtedly marvellous. The prices are relatively high (we paid about NT$2500 for two people, including NT$80 per person for mineral water, unlimited) and the set meals are limited in options. The servings are small for the price. The service is not horrible but perhaps because they just reopened the waiters and waitresses don’t seem very switched on. For example, they don’t seem to know when to top up the mineral water (probably because it was hard to tell whether the red glasses are empty) and our waitress wasn’t across all the set menu dishes.
Still, good food is good food, and LM Kitchen’s food is very good.
LM Kitchen (樂沐私廚)
Address: Green Park, Level 1, No. 51 Dongxing Road, Xinyi District, Taipei
Phone: (02) 8768-2508
Hours: Mon – Tue: 11:30am – 2:00am; Wed: 11:30am – 3:00am; Thu: 11:30am – 2:00am; Fri – Sat: 11:30am – 3:00am; Sun: 10:30am – 2:00am (Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner, Late Night Finger Food, Sunday Brunch)