Value for money: 8/10
Quality of food: 9/10
If you’re in the market for a ‘homemade flavour of Taiwan’ experience, then James Kitchen is certainly worth checking out.
Character spilling out all over the place here.
Humble on the inside with pictures and decorations on the walls, but very little else.
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.
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.
This was our total for 5 people inc drinks.
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
yòu xiān gtián suān lián ǒu
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
liáng bàn lóng xū cài
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!
Scallop and pork gravy over rice
Gānbèi ròu zào fàn
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
Cōng xiāng zhū yóu fàn
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
Sù shāo xiānggū fǔ pí juǎn
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.
De-skinned chilli chicken
bāo pí làjiāo jī
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
Jīn jí bái qiē ròu
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
sān bēi xiāng bào gū
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
zhà jī juǎn
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
Monday – Friday 17:00 – 23:45
Saturday and Sunday 11:30 – 14:00 and 17:00 – 23:45
No. 65, YongKang Street, DaAn District, Taipei City