Taipei restaurant- Take Five

Take Five is a place to be going if your’e wanting to wind down in a comfortable atmosphere with a salad and something a bit more delicately put together than the 熱炒 restaurants or the 滷肉飯 institutions. Don’t get me wrong, those places are firm favourites and I will keep going back day in day out, but Take Five offers something just a little bit different.  

From the outside there is the lovely big tree hanging over the 2-3 tables you can choose to sit out at. It is somewhat reminiscent of holidays spent in Greece as a child, with a nice big tree shielding you from the sunshine. Anyway, down to the food:

1. Spinach and ricotta quiche.
2. Salmon and salad sandwich.
3. Prosciutto salad.
4. Chicken and mango salad sandwich.
5. Creme brulee.

For this review, I am going to keep it all English. This is due to the fact that they do speak English in here, and it is actually more simple to point anyway, as the whole counter is covered with glass, so you can see everything anyway. 

1. Spinach and ricotta quiche.
Quiche? Has to be. Love it. This was a staple growing up, with my nana being able to whip up a storm in the kitchen. So it brings back memories whenever I see it on a menu. This didn’t disappoint, it was actually pretty good. It took a while to get to the table (maybe over 10 minutes), which is a bit strange as it is only reheated. Nevertheless, as you can see inside, it doesn’t lack of filling. You can see on the crust that the pastry is a little bit dry, however, combined with the filling inside it balances it out quite nicely. The smoothness of the ricotta cheese balances out the iron taste of the spinach very nicely, and there is clearly a little dusting of cheese on the top, too. The egg is nicely cooked: not too runny and not too hard, so overall, it’s a pretty good effort and quite nice. I wouldn’t say it’s the best quiche I have ever tasted, but in the same vein it is definitely not the worst. 

2. Salmon and salad sandwich.
The salmon is plentiful, the salad is plentiful and the bread is very nice indeed. 2-3 thinly sliced pieces of smoked salmon, mixed lettuce leaves, onion and a big wedge of tomato sit within a white bread bun with toasted oats on top. The salmon was wonderfully creamy and fresh, the salad was washed and crunchy and the bread was soft and clearly cooked that morning. All of these 3 components, put together into a sandwich = winner.

3. Prosciutto salad.
You can see that within the salad we have a multitude of mixed lettuce leaves, all of varying textures and crunches, quarters of baby tomatoes, 5-6 wafers of prosciutto ham and some peach halves, for good measure, served with a light salad vinaigrette. The salad in Take Five tends to be really fresh, washed thoroughly and nicely crunchy. Honestly, I find it difficult to get a salad in Taipei, so this is a welcomed change to the plentiful vegetable dishes. Its fresh, its not overpowered by any onions and the vinaigrette compliments it, rather than making it. 

4. Chicken and mango salad sandwich.
Barbecued chicken breast, salad and some slices of mango. I’ll be honest, it does sound weird. But, like I’ve said before (and I’ll say again, no doubt) bear with me.. The chicken was clearly marinated for some time, then lightly barbecued. It didn’t hold a strong barbecued taste, and it was moist in the middle, too. There were less salad leaves sat within this sandwich, compared with the salmon sandwich. However, we have the addition of the mango. Now, ordinarily, I would never think of putting mango together with chicken (unless it is in a curry), but, it works. It does make it a little sweeter, and providing the mango isn’t overly ripe or ‘mushy’, it can add some nice texture to compliment the meaty chicken, too. All of this encased in a lovely bread bun, top notch. 

5. Creme brulee.
Dessert? Yes, please. Creme Brulee? Yes, please! Big fan of this dessert. Fortunately, everyone in Taipei seems to love Paris which means that most desserts of this ilk are quite easy to find. However, it is more difficult to find a good one (so I will do the searching for you). This, for my money, is a pretty good creme brulee. For me, a creme brulee should be rich whilst still remaining light, sugary without being too sweet, crunchy (on top) without being too crunchy and vanillary (made up word) without being too vanillary. You can see that this was made using real vanilla pods, as you can see the flecks of vanilla seed throughout the entire dish. More often, vanilla extract or vanilla essence is used, and it has a slightly synthetic taste and often can taste too strong. The use of the pod is more delicate, I feel, and also adds to the aesthetic quality of a dessert. You can also see a light dusting of sugar which has then been topped off with a blow torch to give it its wonderful golden colour. All in all, it was pretty good, actually. 

Overall, I am happy about my recent trip to Take Five and when I am around the popular area again, I will probably dive in and see what they have to offer once more. 

Best dish: 4. Chicken and mango salad sandwich. BBQ chicken, mango, salad, soft bread, toasted oats = winner.
Dish I won’t order again: I would probably order all of them again, with only the quiche being on the borderline of re-order or not. 


No. 15, Lane 6, Qingtian St, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan

Happy Eating!

Author: eatingintaipei

Recently moved out to Taiwan and don't know how to order at restaurants? I got you sorted. Can read some characters but still don't quite know what you're ordering? I got you sorted. This site has been developed to help people who can't speak or read Mandarin. I use pinyin, characters and English to talk about food ordering, and how you can do it at specific restaurants. If you like it, then give me a shout! Ash.

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