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TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE, August, 2005.

Kiki

(02) 2781-4357 / 2781-4250
47, Lane 280, GuangFu S. Road,1F
(02) 2700-2777 / 2700-2778
396, XinYi Road, Sec. 4
(02) 2709-9078 / 2709-9079
51, DongFeng St
(02) 2752-2781 / 2752-2791
28, FuXing S. Road, Sec. 1
Tel: (02) 8773-1997
Hours: weekday 11 am-3 pm, 5 pm-12 am weekend
www.kiki1991.com

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--By Claire Tyrell Translated by Jean Huang

Kiki is well-known for its Taiwanese celebrity owners, who include singer-turned-TV-host Lan Xin Mei. However, diners unaware of this fame can also rest assured that the food here is good, too.
Four of Kiki's restaurants can be found around Taipei, varying in size, but all with an atmosphere that compliments the food. The stylish, unfussy decor and tasteful lighting make this place feel like a special occasion but, like the best Chinese restaurants, the air is filled with enthusiastic conversation. Whether you're seated at an intimate table for two, or with friends at a table for 12, this is certainly a place where good food and good conversation equal a great dining experience.

The food is billed as Sichuan cuisine, but has a fresh approach for the Taiwan gourmand. And, before alarm bells start ringing for some ("Sichuan! Spicy! Can't do spicy!"), the informative Chinese/English menu gives each meal a spiciness rating from 1 to 5. If the mouth does start to tingle you can order some of the delicious rich plum juice they make especially to relieve that spicy feeling.

The menu is extensive and the most popular house specials include Stir Fried Minced Pork, Chinese Chives and Fermented Black Beans (NT$180); Braised Chili Beef (NT$290);and Crispy Deep Fried Egg Tofu (NT$180), as well as a good selection of chicken, pork, beef, seafood, fish, duck, soups and hot pots. All this and tantalizing glimpses from neighbouring tables can make the choices difficult. There's also a separate, quite adequate vegetarian selection, my favourite being the Sichuan Style Spicy Braised Bean Curd (NT$180) and the Quick Fried Silk Melon with Salted Egg (NT$220).
The drinks menu has plenty of teas, coffees and juices, although it is perhaps a little thin on the ground with alcoholic beverages. The dishes are of a good size, making this a great value. Just take as many friends as you can, so you can try and sample them all!

 

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