August 17, 2011

Choucroute in Taipei

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Our family are big fans of the Ritz Landis Hotel in Taipei.  We have spent numerous birthday and anniversary celebrations at Paris 1930, and mom regularly buys her bread from the hotel's Liz Gourmet.  Mom had been wanting to try out the current promotion on regional French specialties for a couple of weeks now, and we finally got around to booking a table at the Brasserie for tonight.

The menu listed 5 separate regional specialties, from sole meunière to bouillabaisse and blanquette de veau.  My eyes opened wide as I saw the name of the last dish, and I knew instantly that was what I wanted for dinner.

The last choucroute I had was home made by my good friend Susan, and it had been lovely.  I was happy to find it in Taipei. Despite the waitress warning me that it was meant to be shared between two people, I went ahead and ordered it anyway, thinking that I could manage.

Choucroute garnie a l'Alsacienne, au jarret de porc entier - this was...big.  One look and I knew I wouldn't be able to finish it, despite not having had a starter.  I asked the waitress to put 2/3 of it on my plate, with the remainder on a separate plate for dad to pick on.  The pork knuckle wasn't bad at all... nicely salted and tender, with a soft and lovely layer of skin.  The smoked sausages were kinda interesting, and definitely a little sweeter than what I am used to.  The petit salé was OK, although I would have preferred it to have a liiiittle more fat.  The sauerkraut was, alas, a little too sour for my palate, and not surprisingly I left the steamed potato alone.

I was utterly defeated.  I guess I shouldn't have eaten all that bread when I first sat down, but I was starving and needed something to go with the chicken liver paté.  I packed up the remaining 1/3 in a doggie bag, but not before grabbing the big bone and picking it clean with my teeth...

Maybe I'll come back and try the bouillabaisse.

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