My wife told me we should try this new cafe called Bakery 49 that looked fairly decent on the second floor of the Global Mall at Banqiao train station. As it turned out, it dawned on her after we sat down that she completely forgot she had been there before without me, which just means the place was not very memorable.
Nonetheless, the place was clean, new, and had a big TV against the wall. It’s apparently very popular for its all you can eat specials available only during dinner, but we were there for lunch. The cuisine is supposedly “San Franciscan” and known for the sourdough and clam chowder.
The menu, as you can see below, is quite simple. A couple of soups, a few salads, a handful of pastas, risottos, main courses and sandwiches. We were recommended the clam chowder, their specialty, but we didn’t go for the “bread bowl” because it looked a bit too much.
The other recommendations we went with was the Shrimp with Lemon Mascarpone Risotto (which we turned into a set meal with soup of the day, a salad and dessert), and the Bakery 49 Ginger Roasted Chicken. Anything that has the restaurant’s name in it must be their best dish, right?
First up, the clam chowder. Can I just say I was it was kinda disappointing. It was their most marketed dish and it was just average. Too thick and too salty.
Next, the soup of the day, a tomato basil soup that was actually better than the clam chowder! It wasn’t spectacular, but it was pretty good, tangy and tomato-y, the way it’s meant to be.
This salad was OK, but it was extremely no frills. Just a few pieces of vegetables and a light oil dressing. Meh.
The first main, the Shrimp with Lemon Mascarpone Risotto, sounded really good, but it was more or less what I expected. A sour, lemony, creamy risotto with a couple of prawns. Not my style, but I suppose if you like lemon risottos this might be your thing.
The second main, the Bakery 49 Ginger Roasted Chicken, was…sigh. As you can see in the photo, it’s pretty much a salad, and I doubt there was really half a chicken as advertised because I could hardly find any. And the pieces I did find were not exactly succulent. The little side of mash potato was good though.
Lastly, the dessert, a chocolate brownie with walnut and chocolate sauce. It was somewhat hard, but the flavour was excellent, so I had no complaints.
Overall, not the best experience, and not helped by the young waitress who had a face that said “I don’t want to be here.” Now, I was only there for the lunch, which has a different menu to the dinner, weekend brunch and afternoon tea, so I can’t say if it would have been different had I gone at another time. And I was tempted to try their Kobe Burger which sounded, at least on the menu, to be rather enticing. But I can’t see myself going back there again.
Website: http://www.bakery49.com/index.asp?AR=PROD&PK=6&CK=12 (all menus available)
Address: Level 2, Global Mall, Banqiao Station, No. 7, Section 2, Xianmin Blvd, New Taipei City
Phone: (02) 8969-2049
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm; Fri-Sun 11am-10:30pm