A quiet, exquisite setting with cuisine to match
By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Naomi Lai
177, TaiZhongGang (Taichung Port) Rd, Sec 2 (Hung's Mansion); (04) 2255-6688
Hours: 11:30 am-1:30 pm, 5:30-8:30 pm (lounge bar hours to 11 pm)
Credit cards accepted. 10% service charge. Free basement parking.
As Hung's Mansion hotel manager Brian Tsai notes, his first-floor restaurant, J'adore, tends to be a quiet place. However, in this case, that's a positive thing and one that's greatly valued by its customers. For diners isolated from the outside world in the 80-seat restaurant's muted, high-end, lounge-like ambiance, staring out the huge glass windows at the hotel's entrance lawn, the modern skysrapers and traffic passing outside, this becomes a relaxing, romantic retreat. Like the hotel itself, J'adore exudes exclusivity and privacy with its luxuriously-appointed interiors and closed-off spaces, decorated liberally with tasteful, modern art.
It was exactly a year ago that Hung's Mansion turned J'adore from a pleasant lounge bar into a full-fledged restaurant. Now, the success of that approach is leading them to completely upgrade the menu with a variety of beautifully-presented Western entrees, designed and prepared by newly-arrived Head Chef Chang Ah-feng, previously employed at the Evergreen Laurel Hotel.
The menu revamp, which takes full effect from Oct. 20, revolves around an interesting selection of main courses, which may be ordered a la carte or--it is recommended--enjoyed as part of a generous set meal. Entrees include the Fresh Salmon with Brandy Sauce (NT$620), a creation that wraps the fish in a light flaky pastry and features the unique sauce. Then there's the Filet Mignon with Truffle Sauce (NT$900 set meal), Provence Baked Lamb, German Pork Knuckle (NT$760 set), and Mushroom Risotto. Some stand-out a la carte items include the jade-colored Pesto Mussels with Squid Ink Spaghetti (NT$300), and the fragrant Thai-Style Seafood Risotto (NT$250). Some popular holdovers from the restaurant's old menu include the Classic Beef Noodles, cheeseburger, fried rice, and six-inch pizzas.
If you opt for the set meal, it comes with generously-portioned bread, soup and appetizers, wrapping up with J'adore's dessert specialty--Movenpick ice cream. Those with a sweet tooth can also enjoy an all-day Movenpick special, which offers either a Two-Scoop Sundae (NT$210); Ice Cream and Cake (NT$240); or Choco Banana Split (NT$320) with a drink and fruit. If all this isn't enough to get you into one of J'adore's cushy chairs for a culinary escape, the current 20% discount on all food items--continuing to December 31, 2010--should certainly help. Also, don't forget that evening diners can stick around afterwards and chill out after 8:30 p.m., when J'adore becomes a swanky (but quiet) lounge bar again.