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Pan Fried Beef Tenderloin with Avocado in Red Wine Sauce(NT$350)

Grape Spaghetti with Cream Sauce (NT$180)

Fruit Mania

By Cat Thomas Translated by Ann Lee

(02) 8752-3286
15, Alley 22, Lane 513, RuiGuang Rd, NeiHu District
Hours: 11:30 am-3 pm,5:30-10 pm
Credit cards accepted. Smoking: on the decking. Parking: avail. in evenings
Nearest MRT: Yuanshan (then bus Red 21or Red 2)
Taipei City Hall: (then bus Blue 26, blue 27)

Fruit Mania is one of the most innovative restaurants in Taipei. The owners, Jade and Cynthia, have been in the fruit business for six years and two-and-a-half years ago transformed themselves into a full-blown, fruit-restaurant bonanza. As the name suggests, the focus of the restaurant is fruit cuisine. Glancing over the menu reveals some rather startling dish names, such as Salmon and Banana Spaghetti in Cream Sauce (NT$180), or Shrimp and Grape Spaghetti with Cream Sauce (NT180). The shrimp dish was a generous helping of pasta with onions, green beans, bacon and garlic. The sauce was refreshingly light and the prawns were succulent, whilst the green beans were satisfyingly crunchy.

Our favourite was the Pan Fried Beef Tenderloin with Avocado in Red Wine Sauce (NT$350). The steak came medium rare topped with avocado and breadcrumbs, and extra red wine sauce in a small jug. The flavors quite simply burst in your mouth, the sauce is rich, yet not heavy, and the avocado added a nice tang. Above all, the steak itself was incredibly tender; it soon became clear that not only was this a good cut of meat, but also, as Jade the chef explained, the avocado oils helped make it extra tender. For each different cut of meat, there is a perfect fruit.

Fruit Mania use fresh fruit from Taiwan. As such, they follow the fruit seasons, so their menu is always fresh and exciting. Upcoming dishes include New York Beef Fillet Strips with Rosemary, Thyme and Taiwanese Mandarin, as well as a Strawberry and Steak Salad (available in winter only), plus baked, scooped-out mango stuffed with seafood and topped with cheese.

On top of all this, Fruit Mania also serves smoothies made with low-fat, unsweetened natural yogurt, a rarity in Taiwan. Once again they pushed the boundaries to come up with Matcha Banana Magic (NT$120). The dry taste of the tea balances out the sweetness of the banana and the overall impression is light and refreshing.
Friut Mania's dishes are inspired by passion and come with an artistic flair. It's well worth the trip out to Neihu for this truly original dining experience.

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