When I visited Taiwan last May, a good friend recommended that I try Charmonix should I get tired of street food. I shrugged his suggestion off initially, thinking that wasn’t going to happen. He was right — as I got really homesick by the 5th day and the thought of XXL fried chicken and minced pork with rice put me off.
So much that I didn’t even eat them when I was in Taipei last weekend. Charmonix offers a unique dining concept inspired by Teppanyaki and French cuisine, with set menus comprising a selection of appetizers, soups, salads, main courses, desserts and beverages. I found it pretty value for money; NT1300 (less than RM150) for the Teppanyaki Set Menu of Champ Élysées.
Reservation is a must — otherwise you risk being turned away. Throughout the meal, you’re assigned a personal chef to prepare your main courses a la minute. To start, I had a French asparagus soup and rif, the seafood consommé. My soup tasted alright, though I did find the colour slightly off putting. Better was rif’s choice; a light yet flavour packed broth with bits of caramelised onions.
While the shrimp salad looked fancy, I preferred the mixed mushroom salad with truffle. The latter was prepared teppanyaki style with cracks of black pepper for added oomph. I loved the Sakura shrimp fried rice, cooked with a generous amount of crab roe for crunch and bursts of umami. There was a good char and texture of the pearl rice was just right. They offered to cook me another portion, to which I greedily agreed.
Our mains were good — I was impressed with the chef we had. She managed to get the doneness for my ribeye steak spot on; a perfect medium rare. Even the duck liver was perfectly cooked, rendering each bite rich and creamy. The French Lamb Rib was equally as delicious, cooked to tender perfection and bone licking good.
We were ushered upstairs for dessert where the ambiance is brighter, albeit not as romantic as the one below. Capped off our meal with a raspberry panna cotta and a lemon mousse with white chocolate. Nothing particularly mind blowing but good enough to make the meal a memorable one.
Food: 6.5/10 (non halal)
Verdict: A combination of French and Teppanyaki cuisine, done with flair.
B1F., No.44, Sec. 2, Zhongshan N. Rd.,
Zhongshan Dist., Taipei City, Taiwan(R.O.C)
Tel: +886 2-2571-9608