Gen Tei Shoku

Last night we ended up trying out a fairly local Japanese place after a terrible experience on Friday night in a really awful Japanese place that I don’t know the name of. Gen Tei Shoku is a semi chain-restaurant (six locations in Taipei, two further south), but we were pleasantly surprised.

I ordered some kind of beef with spring onion (大蔥牛肉燒) and peppers in a small skillet and it came with rice, soup, a small salad and two kind of pickles. Brenda ordered some deep fried chicken with peppers in a light sweet and sour type sauce (a limited time special) and she got the same side dishes. We also got in a side ordered of deep fried prawns which was an extra NT$30 each. The food was very flavourful and tasty and not overly expensive for what you got. As this is a Japanese place, you also get free hot green tea.

Their sushi and sashimi also looked very fresh and nice and they serve it in big pots filled with ice that look really cool. We’ll definitely be back here again, although it’s not a super cheap place, so it’s more of a weekend eatery than an everyday place. They do lunch boxes for NT$150-250 which seems very expensive.

You can find their menu here


I got excited when I heard there was a new German restaurant in town with modern influences from Turkey and Greece. We headed over one night in the week to check the place out and sadly it didn’t live up to my expectations, at all.

I’ve been craving Turkish pizza for a while and with that on the menu, this place was a give. However, the fact that the menu I’d found online read beef mince and pepperoni had set off some warning bells, but they weren’t loud enough. The place looked quite cheap when we got there and there were hardly any customers. The orange decor leaves a bit to be desired, but then again, it’s meant to be an affordable place and the decor isn’t the most important thing.

Brenda ordered the Pork knuckle sauerkraut bun and I got the Turkish pizza of course. They offer either a set menu or just the item itself, although you get free hot coffee, hot/cold tea or lemon water with any order. Brenda’s order came first and it was like a small loaf of bread stuffed with loads of sauerkraut and some small bits of grey pork meat. It was really greasy and the best thing was the dip that came with it which was something akin to tzatsiki, but with a strange tartar sauce hint and a slight spiciness. Would’ve been nice with fish, but not this.

So what about the Turkish pizza then? Well, forget about the menu, it’s all lies. Sure, it was folded up to look something like a Turkish pizza, but the crust was rock hard and the filling, well… For starters I found one speck of beef mince in it and there was no pepperoni in it at all. Instead it was loaded with bacon, peppers, onion, tomato, olives and cheese. None of these ingredients would go into a Turkish pizza apart from the tomato, but it would be used for the sauce, not put on as slices. It also looked like they’d never cleaned their pizza oven, as there were loads of grey stuff on the bottom of the pizza which wasn’t very appetizing.

Sure, it was cheap, the Pork knuckle sauerkraut bun was only NT$130 and the so called Turkish pizza another NT$159, but it was also a very disappointing meal. We’re not going back, but hopefully other things on their menu is better. You can find their website here 

Update: This place appears to have closed as well, not a big surprise to be honest.

Evan's burger

Despite the American influence, Evan’s is a Taiwanese outfit through and through. This doesn’t make it a bad place to eat as such, although don’t expect everything on the menu to be what you think it is.

The menu consists of a wide range of appetizers (we didn’t try any of them), salads, sandwiches, burgers (of course), fajitas, hot dogs and “steaks”. There’s also a breakfast/brunch menu.

I ordered a chili beef burger and Brenda ordered a tornado beef burger which comes with onion rings. The good news is that all the burgers come with fries and a drink. Considering that most seem to cost between NT$220-250, this is quite reasonable. The jumbo and super jumbo burgers are of course more.

The not so good part was the buns, as they were the typically sweet kind of bread you get in Taiwan and even Brenda complained about it and she normally likes sweet bread. As my chili burger had enough jalapenos on it, I didn’t really notice it after a couple of bites. Vegetables come on the side and consisted of some pickles, a couple of tomato slices and some lettuce. The onion rings were also awful, they tasted very greasy and like they’d been sitting since the day before and they weren’t crispy at all. The fries were pretty decent, somewhat similar to the stuff you get in Burger King.

At under NT$500 for the two of us, Evan’s is cheap and cheerful if not great. My only concern was that of what I saw in the kitchen, where a guy had a big pot full of chicken on the floor and loading them into a tray. The floor was anything but clean and who knows what the rest of the kitchen was like. I didn’t see him drop any chicken on the floor, but I’m not keen on the way they interacted with the food in the kitchen. I don’t think we’ll be back in a hurry and there are a lot of choice when it comes to burger places in Taipei now.

Could someone please just get some normal burger buns in? I really don’t care for all the strange burger buns that’s been showing up as of lately…

You can find Evan’s burgers website here and I’ve added a map marker on the FindIT map. It’s near ShiDa road.

Famous Larry’s New York Pizza

Good pizza isn’t easy to find in Taiwan, but a little while back Famous Larry’s New York Pizza opened up in Taipei, although I intended to check the place out some time ago, I only got around to it recently.

The pizza they serve is slightly different from the usual stuff you find in Taiwan, as it’s very much American style, although due to lack of personal experience of what real New York pizza is like, I can’t say it’s the real deal here.

You can buy the pizza by the slice which is also unusual in Taiwan and it’s the only place apart from Costco that I know of that sells it by the slice on the island. You can of course order a whole pizza, but as they are rather large at 19-inches, this is more for a group of people rather than a meal for one…

Also on offer is a sallad, if the ones on the menu isn’t to your liking, then you can “design” your own. Then there’s meatballs and spagetti and the meatball here which is a rather large meatball sub.

I went for a slice of the downtown which has peperoni, italian sausage (although the PDF menu on the website says meatballs), onion and Jalapeno on it. Brenda went with the New Yorker which is a super cheese slice of pizza. Both where good, the crust is nice and it’s the kind of pizza you can eat by holding it in one hand, unlike the soggy stuff in Costco. At NT$75-115 a slice the pizza isn’t cheap, but not stupidly priced either.

The only downside when we went there was that they were out of carbonation for the soda machine, so there were no soft drinks on offer. For those so inklined they also got a selection of beer and wine.

Larry’s have two locations in Taipei and rather than adding maps to both, I suggest you head over to the website which is in both English and Chinese. You can find it here

Update: This place was closed a couple of years ago

Gordon Biersch

So, we’ve been to Gordon Biersch a few times already, but I’ve only now gotten around to writing about it. The place is located rather oddly on the second floor in the number 11 Mitsukoshi store in the Xinyi shopping district right next to a bunch of clothes shops, but although first impression might be a bit odd, once you get inside, it’s just like any other restaurant.

The first time we went I wasn’t that impressed by the food, as I ordered cajun jambalay pasta and it was a bit to messy and not saucy enough in my opinion. The second time I was there with some friends and had a pulled pork sandwich which was really tasty and I’ve been back for that on a second occation. Last time both of us had fish, which was ok, but not quite what I expected from reading the menu. The food in general seems to be decent and they have huge burgers, although I have yet to try them, although a friend of mine had one and he didn’t manage to finish his. I’d also like to try out their steaks, but they seem a bit on the expensive side.

But what this place is really good at is dessert, it might sound strange that a German/European style American restaurant with its own micro brewery in Taiwan that focuses on selling good beer, would have excellent dessert. Personally I don’t care about the beer, but a few friends of mine said it was pretty good. However, dessert… they have huge slices or portions of whatever you order and thier carrot cake is just massive, there was no way I was going to finish that off. At the moment they’ve got a cherry and apple strudle special with ice cream that’s really good and Brend is hooked on their chocolate peanut butter pie. The warm apple bread pudding is also excellent, but I’d suggest skipping the cheese cake, as it really wasn’t anything special.

Overall Gordon Biersch have been a positive experience and we’ll be back for more. They’ve got a website here. You might have to call ahead and book a table during busy Friday night and weekend evenings, but otherwise they always seem to have plenty space.