Taipei City – Mandarin Oriental Hotel – Bencotto

Value for money: 10/10
Cleanliness: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Quality of food: 10/10
Overall: 10/10

 
 
 
So many times have I avoided Italian food in Taipei due to a few bad experiences, but I had heard great things about this place. And, as you can see by my rating for Bencotto, it didn’t disappoint in any way. 
 
 


Inside the restaurant there are vast areas of open space and it doesn’t feel crowded in any way. 



There are areas of relaxed seating, too.





The kitchen is vast and looks wonderfully clean.


 
The wine cellar is right near the back of the restaurant and you can go in to look at the wines and choose which one you’d like. Heaven! 
 
 
Here’s what we ordered:
1. 4 Course dinner $1,800
1a. Cappesante E Frutto Della Passione – Hokkaido scallop, passion fruit and braised lettuce.
 
1b. Maltagliatali Al Reagu Di Vitello E Funghi – Hand-cut tagliatelle, Canadian milk fed veal ragout and mushrooms.
 
1c. Brasato – 12hour braised Wagyu beef cheek, mashed potato and green peas with prosciutto.
 
1d. Cannoli Siciliani – Ricotta and chocolate filled pastry cone
 
2. Pecorino di Fossa – sheeps milk cheese aged underground $450 
 
3. Special selection Carnaroli Acquerello Risotto aged for 12 months – Saffron risotto with wine glazed duck tongue $600
 
4. 2 Glasses of Berlucchi 61 Brut $800 (each glass is $400)
 
 
 
 
1. 4 Course dinner $1,800
1a. Cappesante E Frutto Della Passione – Hokkaido scallop, passion fruit and braised lettuce.
 
 
I was a bit wary of the passion fruit in the dish but it turns out it is really just a light sauce, which marries well with the scallop. Scallops are among one of my favourite things to eat, and I was very pleased with the dish. The braised lettuce is a little weird, but this may be a personal taste – I don’t like my lettuce warm.
 
 
1b. Maltagliatali Al Reagu Di Vitello E Funghi – Hand-cut tagliatelle, Canadian milk fed veal ragout and mushrooms.
 
 
This hand-cut tagliatelle gives a very vintage look and is left quite thick with an al-dente bite to it. The meat sauce is pretty decent and is quite rich.
 
 
1c. Brasato – 12hour braised Wagyu beef cheek, mashed potato and green peas with prosciutto.
 


This was the star dish.



Smooth mashed potatoes served next to a pea and prosciutto mix and served with this sensational piece of beef cheek, which has been braised for 12 hours.


 
The meat just falls apart at the slightest touch and is so amazingly rich and full of flavour. The sauce compliments everything nicely, imparting a further richness. 
 
 
 
 
1d. Cannoli Siciliani – Ricotta and chocolate filled pastry cone
 


The cannoli is a Sicilian specialty consisting of a fried pastry, usually filled with a mix including a ricotta.


 
This cannoli was decent, filled with a ricotta and chocolate mix. It’s served with a raspberry jelly-like substance and an ice-cream. 
 
 
 
2. Pecorino di Fossa – sheeps milk cheese aged underground $450 
 
 
Fantastic! Pecorino is one of my favourite cheeses – a sheeps/goats milk cheese which has a very strong and unique flavour to it. There were 4 bits of pecorino, served with two pieces of bruschetta and a nice salad.
 
 
3. Special selection Carnaroli Acquerello Risotto aged for 12 months – Saffron risotto with wine glazed duck tongue $600
 


Glazed duck tongue, really? Yep, and it was great! However, I did manage to hold off on taking a close up of one of the duck tongues – I thought it was a bit too much.


 
The taste of the glazed duck tongue was very good, and the risotto held a wonderfully luxurious consistency with great depths of flavour.
 
 
 
4. 2 Glasses of Berlucchi 61 Brut $800 (each glass is $400)
 
 
We indulged in a couple of glasses of some of the Brut, too. Solid!
 
 
 
 
 
Overall, I was hugely impressed with Bencotto. As you exit the elevator, you arrived in the restaurant immediately and the lights are dimmed down with big tables and a relaxed and quiet atmosphere. The kitchen seems to tick along nicely and every member of the staff we spoke to seemed knowledgeable. The staff explained the dishes both in English and Chinese, speaking pretty decent English, too.
 
I feel that the quality of the food for the price is very difficult to beat!
 
Best dish: 1c. Brasato – 12hour braised Wagyu beef cheek, mashed potato and green peas with prosciutto – Just awesome.
 
Dish I wouldn’t order again: I’d gladly order all of them over and over again. 
 
Opening times:
Lunch time 12:00 – 14:30
Dinner time 17:30 – 22:00
 
+886227156868
 
 



 
 
 
Happy Eating!

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