I’ve explained this story before, but essentially there was once a very popular family-run steak joint called Cafe Onion in Taipei’s Tianmu district. Success bred greed, and eventually there was a spat that led to a branching off that became Mr Onion.
I already tried Cafe Onion, supposedly the “original,” even though it was a mistake because I had planned to visit Mr Onion. That review is here, but in short it was a total disappointment. In fact, it was one of the worst dining experiences I’ve had in Taiwan.
But I still planned to visit Cafe Onion on account of the positive word-of-mouth reviews I’ve received, so I went to the one located on the underground floors of Q Square near Taipei Main Station.
The interior was roughly the same as Cafe Onion in that it had this old-style feel to it, complete with the dim lighting that was popular probably about two decades ago. It didn’t have the best ambience, but I kept an open mind nonetheless.
Mr Onion appears to be better managed with more switched on staff, and they do have a better website that includes the full menu, so I don’t need to post all the menu photos. But here are a couple anyway, for reference:
As you can see, they have an assortment of steaks, as well as pork, fish and chicken. They also have pizza and pasta, though if you’re going to a steak joint you really should try the steak. We went during lunch so we have the business lunch set (11:30-16:30), which includes house bread, a main course, a salad/soup/appetizer, and a choice of beverage as well as dessert. The prices depend on your main course and may range from about NT$400-$800.
Here’s what we got.
Next, the main courses.
The waiter will give you an option of two sauces, the mushroom and the black pepper. As you can see from the photo I asked for both. The mushroom sauce goes very well with the steaks, and the black pepper is excellent for people who like a bit of a kick with their meats.
The main courses were actually pretty nice. The chicken had crispy shell and was juicy on the inside, and while the steak itself was not a the greatest quality, the fresh garlic on top made it a decent dish. The duck breast was firm on the teeth but still succulent and above average in flavours.
Lastly, dessert (didn’t bother with beverage pics):
I quite liked the desserts. They weren’t spectacular, but at least we had a selection to choose from and they were much better than your standard milk puddings. The chocolate was rich and sweet, and you can’t really go wrong with ice cream.
On the whole, while it’s not exactly a spectacular place to dine, Mr Onion is head and shoulders better than Cafe Onion. It’s a no contest. Everything is better, from the soups to the mains to the desserts. There are of course better steak restaurants around in Taiwan, though for this price Mr Onion is a worthwhile experience.
Address: Level B3, Q Square, No. 1, Section 1, Chengde Road, Datong district, Taipei (other outlets)
Hours: 11am-9:30pm (10pm on Fridays and Saturdays)