Amici Italian Cuisine
Amici hits the spot with
tasty, filling food and great prices
By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Ann Lee
33, JingMing 2nd St
Hours: 11 am-12 am
No service charge.
Credit cards not accepted.
Amici Italian Cuisine was one of those little Taichung restaurants that I kept hearing great things about, but had never visited until last month. Now I understand what all the fuss was about.
This cozy, stylish eatery has lots of natural lighting coming in through big windows and a chilled-out atmosphere, complete with comfortable indoor/outdoor seating, dark wood and lounge-ish music. Being located in the heart of Little Europe makes it a very popular spot for Taiwanese and foreigners taking their lunch breaks. However, food can be ordered any time of the day or night and it's a great oasis for relaxing with a coffee or beer in the afternoon or evening.
Manager KK Huang is the woman behind Amici's very extensive menu, drawn from her personal love of cooking and recipe-sharing with friends. Reasonable-priced entrees, averaging about NT$170-280, include plenty of pasta and rice dishes, pizzas, calzones, ravioli, soups and salads. There is also a variety of weekday business lunch (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) pasta and rice specials for NT$100 to NT$160. If that weren't enough, NT$99 Margarita and NT$150 Hawaiian pizza specials are offered 4-6 p.m. daily (no take-out). The drink menu is almost as big, with a number of tasty milk shakes and smoothies (NT$70-80), coffees, teas, beers (NT$80-90), juices and cocktails (NT$100-120).
KK recommended I try one of her favorites, the Truffle and Salmon Pasta in a cream sauce (NT$260), a hearty, savory dish covered liberally with a delicious, creamy sauce filled with truffle bits, together with slices of tender salmon, broccoli, onions and mushrooms. I also sampled another flavorful recommendation, the Spicy Coconut Curry Chicken (NT$200). A big scoop of rice was surrounded by the creamy orange Thai red curry sauce (green curry also available), which had a spicy edge that wasn't overwhelming and was filled with basil, veggies and big chunks of chicken.
KK also noted popular new entrees, posted above the bar, like the Thai Cream sauce with vegetables, shrimp, chicken or clams, plus rice or pasta (NT$220-250); and the NT$190 Rice with Fish and Fried Herbs. New dishes like these are added regularly and include garlic bread and a drink (also offered with any entree 11 a.m. to 4 p.m daily). Unfortunately, by this time I was too stuffed to try even more of Amici's great food. However, I'll definitely be back to continue working my way through the menu.