Su – Xinbeitou
Every time I have gone to Beitou to soak in the hotsprings, there has been a restaurant I have wanted to try, Su. The character 素 means vegetarian in Chinese. The place looked nice, so I had to do it at a time when I would not be going to the hot spring after. I have difficulty releaxing in a hot spring if I have eaten.
On this visit, I decided to order the Mexican Platter (墨西哥總匯). The meal came as several courses. The restaurant was not big, so it put me in proximity of other diners, and I could hear what they talked about. Maybe because of the economy, other diners were very picky about the amount, the apparent quality, and how the dishes were served.
Bread (not bad):
Organic salad, lettuce was of the cheapest variety, not particularly green, and the utensils were ineffective at picking the interesting parts from the bowl:
Soup, with a souffle on top. The soup would not have had any filling qualities at all if I had not ordered the souffle. Only a few little pieces of daikon and mushroom were in the soup:
The next dish had a smattering of various things, including something I’d consider a dessert. It was better than the dessert served in the end. Again, the given utensils of fork and spoon were not effective. A knife would have been very useful:
The actual main course was very satisfying for what it was. Not really Mexican, but at least they gave me a bottle of Tabasco to add some flavour. The salsa was fairly minimal, but tasty. It was a sort of pineapple salsa. The sour cream was extremely good. No guacamole. The utensils were so useless that I simply decided to use my hands, as inappropriate as it was for this restaurant.
I ordered Japanese genmai powdered tea as the drink. I should note that this was not on the English menu – there were slight differences between the English and Chinese menus. The tea was brought out after I had finished the main course. While not as bad as the typical bagged tea, it was not as good as the cheapest powdered genmai tea I could buy while in Japan. Maybe they keep the good stuff for themselves, since Japanese tea overseas always seems to be lacking.
I was about to go to pay when a waitress brought out the dessert. It seemed cheap, but I suppose since I had been hiking all day, it was additional food to put in my stomach. The jelly on the starter plate seemed to be a better dessert, even if it was not served as such.
The place is not bad if one happens to be in the area, but there are better places to go for the vegetarian fusion food this restaurant seems to aim for in Taipei. Given that there was a decent amount of food for the money, I would rate it 3 stars out of 5.