Taipei City – 大隱酒食 James Kitchen

Value for money: 8/10

Cleanliness: 8/10

Service: 10/10

Quality of food: 9/10

Overall: 9/10

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If you’re in the market for a ‘homemade flavour of Taiwan’ experience, then James Kitchen is certainly worth checking out.

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Character spilling out all over the place here.

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Humble on the inside with pictures and decorations on the walls, but very little else.

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They have a sister restaurant about 100 paces down the road, so they even manage to cook some things here and walk them down there. It’s quite amazing that they can do this all from this tiny counter.

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For those Chinese readers out there, they have some interesting specials on offer tonight. For example, the cold fish liver salad (涼拌雪魚肝) and the soy braised tofu (古早味紅燒豆腐).

This picture menu is useful to be able to visualise a little more about what you could be getting. But, for those who dare out there, check out the Chinese and English (for most, but not all) for the dishes below.

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This was our total for 5 people inc drinks.

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Whilst the normal Taiwan Beer (金牌) is palatable, the 18 days beer is much nicer, in my opinion.


Lotus root with a pomelo sauce

柚香甜酸蓮藕

yòu xiān gtián suān lián ǒu

$180

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Good to get the taste buds zinging right from the off. The pomelo sauce is thick and citrusy, but both in  good way. It’s a very refreshing starter. The lotus root is used more for the crunchy texture, than for flavour. Expensive for what it is.

Salad of greens dressed with peanut sauce 

涼拌龍鬚菜

liáng bàn lóng xū cài

$180

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A weber van bosse salad according to the menu. If you know the actual name of this (in English) let me know please. Either way, the flavour of the salad itself is quite neutral. It is inoffensive with a crunchy and slightly rough texture on the leaves. The peanut sauce is basically like smothering peanut butter all over a salad – plus points in my book!

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Scallop and pork gravy over rice

干貝肉燥飯

Gānbèi ròu zào fàn

$50

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One more bowl, please!

Absolutely no negatives on this dish at all. The pork and scallop gravy is on point, the rice is brilliant, and mixed together it just works very well.

Shallots with pork fat over rice

葱香豬油飯

Cōng xiāng zhū yóu fàn

$25

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All flavours are great. Only downside? The shallots are fried to allow the sweetness to be released – which means the skin is a bit like paper, something I don’t fancy chewing on all too much.


Mushrooms wrapped in tofu skin

素燒香菇腐皮卷

Sù shāo xiānggū fǔ pí juǎn

$175

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Photographs beautifully. The tofu skin was bursting with flavour, and the mushrooms were cooked really well. The sauce a little salty, but it works really well.

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De-skinned chilli chicken

剝皮辣椒雞

bāo pí làjiāo jī

$295

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Definitely make sure this is ordered. The thai basil gives the fish a great freshness, as does the chilli. The heat is there, but it isn’t overpowering. The chicken is cooked really well and isn’t dry in any way.

Cold cut pork with kumquat sauce

金桔白切肉

Jīn jí bái qiē ròu

$275

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The pork is succulent, flavourful, and fresh. Mixed with the ginger and combined with the sweet kumquat sauce, and now you’re talking!

Three cup style mushrooms

三杯香鮑菇

sān bēi xiāng bào gū

$275

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James’s Kitchen nailed this dish. This is perhaps my favourite dish of the meal: salty sweetness, fresh spice from the chilli, fragrance from the thai basil, all combined with the meaty mushrooms.

Deep fried chicken roll

炸鷄卷

zhà jī juǎn

$165

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The notion of a chicken ‘roll’ is pretty weird to me, not sure why.. Either way, the salty chicken, crunchy skin, dipped into the chilli sauce definitely wins. Another high recommendation for your next order.


Tel: 02 2343 2275

Opening Times:

Monday – Friday 17:00 – 23:45

Saturday and Sunday 11:30 – 14:00 and 17:00 – 23:45


臺北市大安區永康街65號

No. 65, YongKang Street, DaAn District, Taipei City


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