Sabrina House (Taipei)
So I’m trawling through Taiwan’s plethora of food blogs to find a place for my weekly lunch outing and I stumble across Sabrina House (紗汀娜好食), about a 10-minute walk from the Minquan West Road MRT station. These brunch/lunch/dinner cafes are a dime a dozen in Taipei, so I wasn’t expecting much, but in the end I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by what Sabrina House has to offer.
Even though it has three floors, Sabrina House is a really popular place, so if you want to make sure you get a seat you better book in advance, especially if you are going on the weekend. We were seated on the third floor and spent an inordinate amount of time going through the extensive menu, which offers way too many enticing dishes for indecisive people.
Here’s a sample of some of the pages I snapped:
As you can see, the range they have is ridiculous. They have a lunch special that comes with a soup and an unlimited refill drink, which is pretty good if you want something from that menu but to be honest I don’t think you save all that much. Apart from the lunch specials they have an extensive brunch menu with many traditional options, sandwiches and burgers and a whole stack of main courses, pastas and risottos, some of which are standard and others a little unusual. On top of that there are heaps of salads, appetizers and desserts (including waffles), and even a kids menu as well. It’s the kind of place you can go back to five times and not order the same thing once.
We didn’t want to go overboard that day so we went with a brunch selection — the Roast Beef Benedict — and the recommended pasta — Capellini with Scallop and Dijon sauce. I love Dijon, so we had to go with that. For one of the dishes we went with a lunch set, so we also got a fairly decent cream corn soup and bread, plus a soft drink. They have a minimum order of a drink per person, but if you get a set meal you won’t have to get an extra drink. Price-wise you’re probably looking at NT$250-$45 per head, depending on what you order and if you go for dessert.
The Roast Beef Benedict was much better than I expected because most benedicts I’ve had in Taiwan have been rather subpar. The muffin base was fluffy and the beef itself packed a great flavour and went well with the egg. The hollandaise sauce could have been a little more authentic, but the wedges and tangy salad dressing made up for it.
As for the pasta, it would have been nice to get a little more than just the one scallop, and the pasta itself was slightly overcooked (a little soft), but the dijon sauce itself was absolutely amazing. It’s like nothing I’ve tried before and I’m sure I’ll be back to try it again.
For dessert, we got the tiramisu, which according to food blogs was highly recommended. I really enjoyed it but my wife thought it was average. It had several layers of mascarpone and bread, which I found interesting, and the creamy sauce and chocolate powder on top was great.
On the whole, a top notch experience. With so many things to choose from on the menu, and with each looking so tasty, I’m sure I’ll be back.
Sabrina House (紗汀娜好食)
Address: No. 1-5, Lane 182, Section 2 Zhongshan North Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei (nearest MRT Minquan West Road or Zhongshang Junior High School Station)
Phone: +886 2 2593 1001
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SabrinaHouseCafe