March 26, 2013 in Food
Taipei has no shortage of awesome restaurants, and if you ask me, one of the most awesome of the awesome is Danny & Company, which has been billed by local foodies as the “godfather of steak” — though in my opinion it offers so much more.
Thanks to my insanely slow food posts, I have now been to both Danny & Co restaurants — its bistro near the big Ferris wheel close to MRT Jiannan Road Station, and the teppanyaki joint near MRT Da’an Station (three times!). Both are sublime and are highly recommended for anyone looking for a great meal that doesn’t tear a hole in your wallet.
Both restaurants employ a set menu-type lunch set (that changes with the seasons) where you can order a main dish (different grades of steak, poultry, seafood or pasta) and to go with an appetizer, soup or salad and a dessert. The price is dictated by the main course and can range from NT$1000 to in excess of NT$2000 if you go for the top grade steaks.
You can’t really go wrong with anything at Danny & Co, which is what makes the restaurants so amazing. You can tell the chefs have put a lot of thought into the menu and, from what we’ve been told, fresh produce and dishes aimed at bringing out the natural flavours of the main ingredients. Check out the photos below.
Danny & Company
I’ll start with the teppanyaki joint first because that’s where I went first (and second, and third). There are a couple of long teppanyaki plates in the restaurant but it’s really not a proper teppanyaki restaurant. There was only one time where I sat at the counter — the other two times we got our own comfortable tables. That’s why it is generally just referred to as Danny & Company, while the other one is known as the D&C Bistro.
Since my first visit was probably around a year ago (call me Mr Slow), I’m not going to sit here and pretend I remember all the dishes, so I’m just going to post the photos and comment where I recall.
One of the best things about D&C is the unlimited fresh bread, hot and freshly made. The bread itself is nice, but what sets it apart from other places is its truffle butter (which was unfortunately only available at the restaurant, not the bistro — at least when I visited). I could probably have a whole meal of just the bread and the truffle butter. But truthfully, you should pace yourself, because you don’t want to miss any of the dishes, especially the dessert.
The first appetizer is the Porcini Gnocchi, a dish that could have easily failed but turned out to be perfection. Creamy, but not too creamy, and the gnocchi ‘s texture was just right.
The other appetizer we got was the Seared King Prawn. Small but delightful, thanks to the tangy romesco sauce.
The soups at D&C are always amazing. Some of the best soups I’ve ever had at a restaurant, in fact. Smooth, creamy, full of flavour and piping hot, but not at all heavy. The carrot soup blows every carrot soup I’ve had away, while the oyster soup was something I never thought I would enjoy that much (I never even thought oysters could be made into a soup!).
From my experience, main courses often fail to live up to expectations because the appetizers are so good. Not so at D&C. On the first visit was got the Saffron Lobster Pappardelle, which tasted as good as it sounds. Real chunks of succulent lobster and housemade pasta with a saffron broth. Drool alert!
The other main was of course a steak, and we got the most expensive one, the Australian M5 Wagyu Top Cap. I know, I hardly have steak in Sydney and I have to come all the way to Taiwan for some Australian steak. But let me assure you it was worth it, especially because of the roasted garlic which I scoffed down without fear of bad breath. Incredible.
We were stuffed by this time but as they (our stomachs) say, there’s always room for dessert. The desserts at D&C are made fresh daily and are not on the menu. We ordered a special creme brulee (first photo), which was very unlike its name but went very well with the ice cream. The one I will always remember, however, was the cupcake. Best. Cupcake. Ever. (I initially thought it was a muffin, but was quickly set straight.)
And just when you think it’s all over, out come the petit fours.
That was our first visit to D&C. Next up are some photos from a second/third visits, which were taken on an iPhone, so the quality sucks a bit.
Address — No. 33, Lane 52, Siwei Road, Da’an District, Taipei (walking distance from MRT Da’an Station on brown line)
Phone — +886 2 2705 9911
Hours — Lunch 12-2, Dinner 6-10:30
Website — http://www.dnc.com.tw/onewteppan/
The Bistro, also about a 5-7 minute walk from an MRT station, has a different menu but similar food concepts. It has a similar ambiance as well, so I would definitely recommend it for people who enjoyed the teppanyaki restaurant.
This visit may or may not have been to celebrate Valentine’s Day — I really can’t recall, but what I can recall is that it was awesome.
The first thing I will say is that the bread at the Bistro is good, but not quite as good as at the restaurant because of the lack of truffle butter. The bread is still freshly made and hot, but instead you are left with regular olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip in.
For the appetizers, we asked the waiter, who recommended the Grilled Calamari and the Teppan Scallop, not to be confused with the Seared Scallop. The calamari was one of my favourite dishes as it combined a warm potato salad (underneath) with a really light but tangy vinaigrette dressing. The scallop was good too and very different to the seared one because it was served with sweet corn and had a dash of truffle — and everyone loves truffle.
As you’ll see below, there is only one soup photo because the Bistro only serves one type of soup a day. On this day we had the tomato basil, which, like the carrot soup at the restaurant, was the best soup of its kind I’ve ever had. It just tasted like really fresh tomatoes, and the dash of balsamic on top gave it a great kick.
For the mains, we decided to skip steak this time and go with something different. We got the shrimp linguine because the lobster cream sauce just seemed too good to miss, and the roasted chicken leg because I was seduced by the sun-dried tomato chutney. Neither disappointed.
Fearing that the mains would not be enough (which makes no sense whatsoever), we also ordered their Truffle Fries as a side dish. The fries were expertly fried, and the truffle was great, but it’s not something I would have again, especially since the set meal was more than enough.
Last but not least, the desserts, which were also not on the menu and had to be introduced verbally by the waiter. We went with a chocolate tart and a unique bread and butter pudding, both served with ice cream.
By the way, both places apparently serve really good wine as well, but I can’t comment since I don’t drink.
Address — No. 55-57, Lane 69, Jingye Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei (walking distance from MRT Jiannan Road Station on brown line)
Phone — +886 2 8502-5779
Hours — Lunch 12-2, Dinner 6-10:30
Website — http://www.dnc.com.tw/bistro/
PS: Strictly speaking, Danny & Company is better than D&C Bistro, but if I only went to the latter I probably still would have given it a perfect score.