Kiwi Kafe & Angel's Kitchen
471, XingAn Rd, Sec 2
After 15 years in New Zealand, where she studied cookery, Angel Yang has opened this cozy, quaint-looking two-in-one establishment. On the first floor is Kiwi Kafe, offering a wide variety of salads, soups, sandwiches, handmade pizzas, main courses, desserts and beverages, from teas and Italian-style coffees to wines and Guinness. Even cozier is the upstairs Angel's Kitchen, which resembles a European country restaurant and is only available by reservation, at least one day in advance. Here, each set-menu multi-course lunch or dinner (NT$800-2,000) is custom-designed by the chef after consulting with diners, who take home their personalized English-Chinese menu as a souvenir afterwards. Angel, assisted by sister Amy, strictly adheres to healthy cooking measures, with all cuisine (except a few desserts) butter free and using grapeseed and olive oils. Plus, her vegetables are all hydroponically grown and her pork is organic. --By Douglas Habecker, translated by Naomi Lai
A. Angel's creative main courses (offered with seasonal veggies, mustard seed paella, soup, bread and lemon tea) include items like Beef Tajine (NT$390), a Moroccan/Middle Eastern dish made by cooking beef and chick peas in special spices. Another stand-out is New Zealand Manuka Smoked Chicken (NT$350), smoked by Angel herself using manuka wood brought back from New Zealand.
B. All set meals at Angel's Kitchen come with a great sampling of bread (pumpkin, wholemeal, rosemary, etc.), made by the chef herself and also available at Kiwi Kafe. This is served with three dips--a sun-dried tomato relish, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and the exotic Dukkah--an Egyptian mixture of ground-up nuts, seeds and Middle Eastern spices.
C. Angel has put meticulous work into her establishments, including attractive bilingual menus and comfortable, painted wooden chairs, all custom-made with the restaurant logo carved into the backs.