Monday, September 8, 2008

Indian food in Taipei

MIK-6 hookah bar and restaurant

What is this? Places to go for your real (not Japanese-style) curry fix...especially if you know what real Indian food should taste like. I'm putting it all together in one post for easy reference, updated every few years as restaurants come, go, change management or experience and uptick or downturn in quality. I do think I'm qualified to review Indian food in Taipei, having lived there for a semester in 2000 and cooking it myself, often, to some acclaim.

This is not a complete list, but I think it comes pretty close. I can't possibly find and keep track of every single place offering Indian (or claiming to) in Taipei, so if there are any I've missed or you've been recently and want to add your comments, please do so. I also can't visit every restaurant, so some are listed but have not been tried - I'm happy to add reader comments to these. We can keep this going together!

Mayur Indian Kitchen

My birthday party at MIK-6 hookah bar and restaurant
6 locations - here are a few:
#350-5 Keelung Road Sec. 1 (the original)
#38 Sec. 1 Xinsheng N. Road
#103 Sec. 3 Minsheng E. Road

MIK 4ever (their fourth location) at Tonghua St. Lane 171 #34
MIK-5 in Dazhi: Bei-an Road #630)

MIK-6/mik'sutras: Songjiang Road #1-1 (on the corner of Weishui Street)

They have idli-dosa (at most but not all locations - Keelung Road and mik'sutras don't), and other regional specialties! Most Indian restaurants (OK, all other ones) seem to go for the "three types of meat four ways, and some vegetables" style of Indian food. Mayur actually cooks regional recipes from various states in India. My current favorite. VERY highly recommended.

MIK-5 in Dazhi stands out because it's a bit fancier, more of an upmarket dining experience (the Tonghua Road location is also more upmarket), and MIK-6, also called mik'sutras, is more of a live bar/hookah lounge with Indian food, which we visited recently.

Amma's Kitchen
Amma's Kitchen
#2 Lane 357 Heping East Road Sec. 2, Da'an District Taipei 106
MRT Technology Building 

Update: Amma's has moved! 

Amma's new address is above, in a small lane off Heping East Road, a short walk from MRT Technology Building (the closest bus stops would be National Taipei University of Education or Wolong Street).

The new Amma's is larger, and no longer a single long room in a decrepit building but a street-level restaurant. It's all-around nicer, with more tables and is already popular.

Amma still excels at South Indian tiffin and indeed is one of the few places in Taiwan where it is available. It might be the only place in Taiwan where you can get pongal (a ghee, curry leaf, pepper and ginger flavored mound of cooked moong daal and rice) - if you call ahead. The Thali (below) has dosa but I honestly don't think even they would do pongal.

Their dosas are delicious and their podi idli is still one of my favorite items. It's still South Indian-run and still has the look, smell and flavor of a restaurant in Tamil Nadu. I love that the coffee is served in South Indian-style tumblers with bowls, a style of coffee drinking I came to love while living in Madurai.

Onion uthappam at Amma's
There is a 'but', however.

Amma used to also serve excellent curries, including the only good (perhaps the only) Chettinad chicken and Chicken 65 available in Taiwan. Having recently been to Chettinad and having lived in Tamil Nadu before, I know Chettinad chicken when I eat it. It's a distinctively pungent, spicy chicken curry.

Now, sadly, the spice and distinctiveness of the non-tiffin curries (North Indian staples like aloo gobi) are gone. We visited twice shortly after they opened in their new location, once for tiffin - which again, was excellent - and once for more regular curries. While the lemon rice was still amazing, it seemed as though every curry had the same sauce. Granted, the sauce was delicious (though not very spicy), but it was the same sauce on everything, including the aloo gobi, which is supposed to be more of a dry fried curry, not sitting in a gravy. That exact same sauce appeared with the Chettinad chicken, which simply wasn't Chettinad chicken. The coconut chutney, too, lacked flavor - it was really just wet coconut, no curry leaf, mustard seed or anything else you'd put in a proper South Indian coconut chutney. The masala vadai were similarly less flavorful, though the texture was perfect.

We were told that Taiwanese apparently prefer the less spicy curry - okay, but the same sauce, delicious as it is, on everything? - and that if we wanted real Chettinad chicken we would have to ask in advance or ask for "spicy".

Okay, but honestly, I shouldn't have to ask. It would be much better to make it properly as a default and ask customers if they want it dumbed down. Don't make the dumbed-down kind and act surprised when people expected something authentic. 

Balle Balle Indian Restaurant
#12 Guangfu N. Road, Songshan District

Balle Balle focuses on Punjabi cuisine (hence the name, which is an expression of happiness in the Punjabi language) and is quite good, with extremely accommodating and friendly service. I go to Mayur for regional foods that I like, but will go to Balle Balle for my Punjabi cravings. See my review here.

The Brass Monkey
166 Fuxing North Road,
Zhongshan District Taipei, Taiwan 110
Just north of MRT Nanjing Fuxing
(02) 2547 5050
Chicken korma and pork vindaloo with rice (that's food coloring, not flavoring in the rice) from Brass Monkey

All of the other restaurants on this list are Indian food - the Brass Monkey is a large British-style pub that specifically offers the cuisine of British curry houses. If you're missing Hyderabad, this isn't quite going to do hit that note. But if you're missing absolutely will. And that's intentional - the point was to offer a British curry house experience, not another "Indian restaurant in Taipei". You can eat in or get takeaway (which you can call ahead for).

Flavor of India
#34 Heping East Road Section 3 (MRT Technology Building/Liuzhangli)
In the same location as the old Fusion Asia

Shahi paneer and channa masala at Flavor of India

Hey, this place - which replaced the old Fusion Asia (which was fantastic) - is great! It's vegetarian, but everything we got was excellent. They hit all the right spots: both tamarind-date chutney and green coriander chutney, perfectly spicy food, channa masala made with green chilis - these guys know what they're doing. Excellent masala tea. We got samosas, shahi paneer and channa masala - all highly recommended. A lot of places put Kingfisher (a not-very-good Indian beer that I love drinking with Indian food) on the menu but never stock it - these guys do! The only thing I think is a bit odd is that it's a vegetarian Indian restaurant that doesn't serve pure veg south Indian. Usually veg places do. But I'm not complaining too much. Oh, the naan is tasty and soft (though the garlic naan could use a little more garlic), but the puris are a little greasy. Still good, though.

Don't worry too much about Fusion Asia being gone, as the owners have opened a new place in Tianmu called...

Jai Ho
#22-1, 1st Floor, Lane 50 
Tianmu E. Road (Shilin Dist., Tianmu)

The old owners of Fusion Asia on Heping E. Road (now Flavor of India vegetarian restaurant - see review below) have relocated to Tianmu with their Punjabi-centric menu. The location is smaller but also better-decorated, with outdoor seating and very close to the Tianmu Shinkong Mitsukoshi. We went here recently and I dunno...the food was all well-made to a high standard, with some interesting menu flair. There's homemade gulab jamun! There's paan flavored kulfi - which takes some getting used to because it, as my husband put it, "tastes like soap smells", but I've cultivated a taste for it. There's masala lassi (salty not sweet). But...

Well, I asked them to make the food good and spicy except for the butter chicken, which isn't meant to be particularly fiery. And they just...didn't? I did say I'd lived in India once upon a time, and was quite clear that everyone eating with me could handle real heat, but even the lamb rahrah (probably my favorite dish by this particular chef) was just missing that fiery kick with that warm after-dinner mouthfeel. I said something about it - especially as all of our dishes were clearly made well and the other flavors were well-balanced - expertly even - and the waitress confessed she'd just told them to make it "中辣" or "medium spicy", which is not what I asked for. 

I don't mind too much if a restaurant doesn't get it quite right because I didn't specify, but I have a huge pet peeve about specific requests being disregarded for no good reason.

I liked the food and would return, but I can't say I'm too happy about paying a lot of money for Indian food that just isn't spicy enough.

Out Of India
#26 Lane 13 Pucheng Street (in Shi-da)

An old stand-by in Shi-da, the same owner now runs 3 Idiots Toast and Curry. I don't know if they still have a branch at the old location of Bollywood Indian Pizza, and I don't know if their third branch in a lane across from NTU (the back entrance - if you go to where Fuxing meets Xinhai, then when facing the NTU entrance from across Xinhai turn right, it's the first lane on the right. The lane runs north-south, the other Out of India is near the southern end closer to NTU than Heping Rd).

In any case, this is sort of the bog-standard choice for Indian food. The curries are pretty good (though in recent years I've had to tell them to make it "India spicy" because they've been making it blander for the local market) and it's an okay option if you're in the neighborhood.

A word of warning, unless you specifically ask, their garlic naan comes spread with that absolutely disgusting sweetish garlic-margarine spread, the ones you can buy in tubs in Wellcome. It's so gross. But if you ask they'll make you real garlic naan.

Masala Art
Maji Maji (MRT Yuanshan)

Rather like Jai Ho above, the food here was well-made, and I like that they have both gulab jamun and falooda on the menu (a good dessert menu can make or break Indian for me, and so many restaurants leave it off entirely). We got butter chicken and channa masala with garlic naan, and samosas.

The samosas were great - I liked the crispy shells, and the potatoes were well-spiced (I would have preferred both tamarind-date (red) and coriander (green) chutneys but we were only offered green, though. The butter chicken was very good (though all white meat? I prefer a mix of white and dark in my butter chicken). The sauce was spot-on though. Just how I like it - with a nice red warmth, but also creamy and a little sweet in the way tomatoes can be. Almost like you caramelized the tomatoes.

Samosa at Masala Art

The channa masala, though, just...well, like Jai Ho again, it wasn't spicy enough. Good channa masala has a hot kick from mashed green chilis, which can be heightened with the addition of red chili powder (which I never say no to). It has an afterburn - not quite as hot as lamb rahrah or a vindaloo but righteous in its own way. I said I wanted it hot, like India hot, and I got...not. Not hot. It was a bit warm, to be sure. For maybe 5 minutes after I felt a nice warmth in my mouth. But the right kind of heat gets you a little high and stays with you, and it didn't.

Big fan of the falooda though. Good choice if you are near Maji Maji. I have heard this is the "best in Taipei" but, while not, it's not the best. beer. But there are places nearby to get it, and I'd guess they allow BYOB.

(Finally, the garlic naan is nice and thin the way I like it, but they use garlic powder, not fresh garlic.)

Azeez Indian
Maji Maji

This is more like a food stall in a whole row of international eats at Maji Maji, not a full restaurant the way Masala Art is. We haven't eaten here but plan to soon.

Masala House (formerly Exotic Masala House?)
#6 Lane 269  Roosevelt Road Sec. 3 (in the Shi-da neighborhood)

I can't for the life of me figure out if this place in Shida is still open, but their TripAdvisor and Facebook pages seem active and as of 2015 Forumosa says they're still open (closed Wednesdays). I have heard from multiple sources that the newer "Masala House" is simply Exotic Masala House under an abbreviated name - same management. I can't remember if the location is the same. I haven't gone back to check because I was not that happy with the food the last few times I went several years ago, so I haven't returned. We really liked this place in its early years and I even had one of my Thanksgiving gatherings there, but the food got steadily worse and we stopped going. I have no idea how it is now. 

Calcutta Indian Food
#70 Xining S. Road (B1 level)

This place used to be good. Now it's terrible. They were still really good - and the mutton samosas are still great - after moving to the bottom of the U2 building in Ximen. We've been back recently, No. Every curry seemed like it was cooked in the same sauce, nothing was remotely spicy (even butter chicken needs a bit of warmth - nothing - it was weirdly sweet?), and the "aloo gobi" was made with broccoli, not cauliflower! Unacceptable! What's more, aloo gobi is a dry, brownish curry where the cauliflower (NOT BROCCOLI) is fried in spices, onion, garlic, and just a bit of sauce. This was served in a big gravy-full tureen of red, tomato-based curry sauce which is simply not what aloo gobi is meant to be. It was just...the wrong curry.

Sometimes restaurants make mistakes yet should not be written off completely. However, this was unforgivable. They didn't even respect their customers enough to make a curry with the correct ingredients, from the vegetable to the sauce. I will never return.


Ali Baba's Indian Kitchen
Nanjing E. Road by Jilin Road (you can walk from Zhongshan MRT or take a bus a few stops from there) across from poorly-named Silverfish Thai. Very cos

This place is actually run by Pakistanis and offers halal food - they are best at tandoori and other Punjabi treats (there is a dish that is basically butter chicken under a different name) as well as more Muslim-influenced fare such as seekh kebabs and other dry meat dishes. Great food though the spice level varies. We went once, ordered vindaloo, and nearly got our taste buds blasted off - OK in my book! - and yet another friend claimed that their spices were tame. Ask for spice and you'll get spice, don't and you'll get mild, I suppose. The veggie-covered papadam is fantastic, as is their masala chai. The kheer is good but the gulab jamun comes from a can. This is the only place in town that offers kheer. As they're Muslim, there's no beer available. But, they allow BYO alcohol!

We don't go as often anymore as it's not convenient to where we live, it's kind of expensive and there are more convenient options, but I don't dislike them at all. 

Their Facebook says it's at:
#38-6 Tianmu E. Road (behind Shinkong Mitsukoshi in Tianmu)
But I suspect there's a mistake in the address - it's next to The Spice Shop

Saffron is upscale and chi-chi looking, which is why I haven't eaten there yet. But they seem to have Indian cooks and the place smells nice - and my friends say its excellent - so I'll give it a try someday. I just don't go to Tianmu often. I do have a student (one who has been to India) who has been there, and her review? "Meh". I know Hungry Girl recommends it, as does the Taipei Times, though. More coming when I try it for myself.

The Spice Shop
On one hand, I remember this place being next to Saffron (above)
But, tbeir website says it's at #6 Lane 50 Alley 10, Tianmu E. Road, which seems like a different place?

At The Spice Shop in Taipei
Expensive but very good Indian food with a 1950's funky wallpaper feel that brings to mind curryhouses of the UK. I've never had a curry I didn't like here, but I've always paid through the nose for them. No Indian beers though, and they don't seem to know the difference between mango chutney and mango pickle. Good thing I like both.

This place is one of my favorites, and we always choose it over Saffron because we know the food is good and the decor is more our style. We don't go often, though, because they're at the opposite end of Taipei. In fact I don't think I've been since I first wrote this post in 2008.

Abad Indian Restaurant

#130 Guangfu Road (just north of Nanjing-Guangfu), Songshan District

I...don't know what to make of this place. They advertise themselves as South Indian but they are definitely not. There are a few dosas on the menu, but no masala dosa, which is odd. Why offer paneer dosa etc. but not standard masala dosa? No idli, no vadai, none of that. No upma, no idiyappam, no Kerala fish curries or Hyderabadi lamb biriyani (for the places that aren't pure veg). It's just not south Indian. Putting a few non-standard dosas on the menu doesn't make you something you're not.

The service is friendly and I genuinely like the folks who run the place, I mean, insofar as I can know what they are like as a customer. Whoever is making the food clearly has cooking skills - the texture of the samosas was perfect with a flaky, moist but not greasy pastry and perfectly cooked potato filling. The lamb biriyani was well-cooked, too.

And they have falooda. I love falooda and this might be the only place in Taiwan offering this unique dessert. Yet again this shows that they are not a South Indian restaurant - I associate falooda with Mumbai and points north.'s not spicy. It's just not spicy at all. The samosa was plain potato, served with ketchup. No masala. No spices. It was the color of a croquette. The lamb biriyani was moist with excellent quality chunks of lamb (though a very small serving for a high price), but it wasn't spicy. The paneer dosa, something I never ate while actually in South India, was midly warm, but not spicy, not really. I can I recommend this place when their food isn't spicy? It's not even flavorful-spicy. It's just...nothing.

I mentioned the unspiced samosa - I was so disappointed - and they said it was because "Taiwanese don't like spicy food". But...come on, they expect at least some heat, yes? Something? Anything? Even so, if you distort your own cuisine that much to cater to local tastes you cease to be an Indian restaurant.

I can ask them to make it spicier for me, can't make a samosa spicier. They aren't made to order. And at some point it's just not worth it to ask.

I'd recommend Abad, if the owners read this, focus on what they do well - perfectly prepared, perfectly textured Indian food - and quit trying to "market" themselves as something they're not. They're Indian chefs - make it taste like Indian food. They can do at North Indian cuisine - make that. They could do a lot better. 


#10 Lane 73 Hejiang Street, Taipei
Minsheng E. Road near Zhongshan Junior High School MRT 

We ate here years ago and it was pretty good. The food is solid and we enjoyed everything we ate, except for the very lackluster samosas.  Kind of small and deflated. The only reason we don't eat here more often is that it is rather expensive.

As always, you need to specifically ask for truly spicy food.

Alla-Din Indian and Pakistani Kitchen
#101 Raohe Street, Songshan District (in Raohe Night Market)

I used to get take-out from this place often, and the food was fiery hot - which I love - and spiced with depth and care. We often got the chicken or lamb rolls, and the kebabs we've had while eating in were also great. It's a solid choice in Raohe Night Market. The only complaint I have is that while the rolls are affordable, the curries can get very expensive.

Or at least, it was good. We returned at one point and got what I can only describe as mildly-flavored Indian food slathered in chili paste. No depth, no care, just heat. We haven't been back so maybe that was a one-off, but I just don't know. 

#26 Lane 81 Fuxing N. Road, Taipei

Yum yum yum yum yum. While this place has more than just Indian food, there are plenty of curries on the menu, not to mention samosas, really nice lassi (yoghurt) drinks and other tasty treats. I can't really place where the food is from - there are Southeast Asian dishes that you'd swear were Burmese, Indonesian or Thai, Indian food, Pakistani food, even Middle Eastern staples like hummus and I swear a few Chinese offerings. I've never had a bad meal here, though, and strongly recommend the lassi and samosas.

Tibet Kitchen
#217 Heping Road Sec. 2 (very near Technology Building MRT)

This restaurant specializes in Tibetan food (the way that Kunming specializes more in Burmese-Muslim fusion), but still serves up pretty decent Indian food. I'm including it here because it's a great restaurant that deserves your patronage, and does offer Indian dishes, but if you go I would recommend ordering Tibetan food.

Khana Khazana
#366 Section 1 Keelung Road (north of Xinyi and south of the original Mayur Indian Kitchen).

We've eaten here and I can confirm it's good. Pretty typical north Indian food with an emphasis on Halal (as with many Indian restaurants in Taipei the owners are Muslim and many are actually from Pakistan - I don't care where you're from as long as the food is good though). But still, good, a solid choice in Xinyi. Well-decorated with cushy velvet chairs.

Sagar Indian

2nd floor #195 Sec. 2, Xinyi Road Taipei (near Yongkang Street)

Not sure if this place is still open, actually - it's the same address as Saathiya below. We haven't eaten here, but the TripAdvisor reviews are good. However, a friend of mine did eat there along with her husband who is a chef, and they said "the curry was watery and my husband's tasted weirdly fermented. He felt sick after." So I'm not that excited about trying it...

3 Idiots Toast and Curry
#28 Lane 293 Roosevelt Rd. Sec 3
Another location is near Ren'ai Hospital on Da'an Road
Also #318 Changchun Road, Zhongshan District

Multiple locations - I haven't been here yet but will try it soon and let you know. Run by the same folks from Out of India.

Zhongshan N. Road Sec. 6 #138 (Tianmu)

Because Tianmu didn't already have enough expensive Indian restaurants...there's this one. A few of my friends have checked in here, and it looks nice. Huge menu, includes South Indian (but expensive). We'll go at some point.

Namaste Indian Cuisine
#30 (or 32 - Google Maps and Facebook don't agree)
Lane 3

Jiuzhuang St. (舊莊街) Section 1 (in Nangang)

This place also advertises itself as South Indian, and the only reason we haven't been is that it's way out at the ass-end of Nangang by Academia Sinica. That's really far and inconvenient...but we'll make it out there eventually. I do want to try this place and give it a review.

Taj Indian Restaurant#1 Lane 48, Civic Boulevard (市民大道) Section 4
Where all those popular restaurants are on Civic

I have to admit I didn't even know this place existed until I googled "Indian restaurants in Taipei" and it showed up. Haven't been, don't know how it is, will try at some point.

Oye Punjabi
#121 Yanji Street

Again, have not been here, so can't comment. Will try - it's not too far from us.

Janny Curry House
#4 Alley 1 Lane 199
Jinhua Street (near Yongkang Street)

I haven't been here but I know the owner's daughter on Facebook, so I'll be trying it very soon.

#195 2nd Floor
Xinyi Road Sec 2 (near Yongkang St. MRT)

Same address as Sagar above, and also gets a pretty bad review from the Taipei Times. I suspect they might be the same restaurant.

Joseph Bistro
#13 Lane 69 Songjiang Road
MRT Songjiang Nanjing 


I greatly enjoyed this high-end Indian restaurant! I don't really know how to describe it beyond delicious elevated fusion, so please do check it out. My fuller review is in the link. The Indian classics are great, the starters and desserts are memorable, and I'm excited to go back to try the more adventurous menu options.

Don't miss the stinky tofu curry, one of the few truly delightful, perfectly-executed fusion curries I've tried. Be prepared for the ultimate stink - I had to throw away the face mask I wore home. The lamb infused with argan oil, though it isn't really Indian food, is also a treat.

Reservations recommended.

India Palace (or something)
Taipei 101 B1 level food court

As a rule I avoid food court curry, but Brendan has been here and says it's serviceable. There's another Indian Palace on Taiyuan Street (#103, B3 level?) and another on Chengde Road (#1, Sec. 1) which is very confusing. I'll have to walk around a bit in that area and try to figure out the situation on the ground.

Namaste Indian Cuisine
#180 Anhe Road Sec. 2, Da'an District Taipei, Taiwan
MRT Technology Building, or any Dunhua, Heping or Anhe Road bus

This small Indian restaurant in the shadow of the Far Eastern buildings on Anhe Road cooks up standard North Indian fare, but it does it well. The heat level is just about right - which means warm for me, way too hot for my friend - and they have Kingfisher to wash it all down. You won't find anything innovative on the menu, just the curries you already know and love, but the food is good and the heat is right. 

Nataraj Indian Cuisine
#75 Nanjing East Road Sec. 5, Songshan District
Taipei, Taiwan
MRT Nanjing Sanmin or any Nanjing Road bus

I haven't tried Nataraj yet, but I've passed it on the bus several times now and will give them a shot soon. 

Buran's Indian Kitchen
#2-1 Lane 389 Zhonghe Road, Yonghe District, New Taipei
MRT Yong'an Market

This new restaurant is one of the few choices outside of Taipei proper, in Yonghe. The area around Yong'an Market is quite nice, and we'll be trying Buran's soon.

And this post would be remiss if I didn't mention...

Trinity Superstores (import store) #23 6th Floor (ring up), Ren'ai Road Sec 3 Lane 143 (Zhongxiao Fuxing)
#35 Zhongxiao E. Road Sec 5 Lane 71 (City Hall)
#535 Zhongshan N. Road Sec. 5 (Shilin)

They now have three locations - one just south of Zhongxiao Fuxing/green Sogo, one at City Hall and one in Shilin. Their own information online is confusing so I'm putting it here for you - a good place to buy Indian spices and ingredients.


Prince Roy said...

sorry, I just have to disagree. Indian food in Taiwan just basically sucks. Especially if you know what Indian food 'should' taste like.

For one thing, it's practically all northern. Having lived in Tamil Nadu, I may be biased, but I find the most complex, most nuanced Indian cuisine hales from the south, be it the amazing curries of Kerala or the fiery palate of Andhra Pradesh.

And it seems like the majority of 'Indian' food on offer in Taipei at least is in fact Pakistani. Similar in appearance only.

I'm wondering if there are some undiscovered gems out in hthe Xinzhu Science Park area, b/c there are a lot of Indian expats out that way...

Prince Roy said...

oh, and for the beer lovers out there: be glad, be very glad if there is no Indian beer in these places. Unless you absolutely have to have that glycerine/formaldehyde aftertaste. Just think of Taiwan Beer back in the day.

Jenna Lynn Cody said...

You'll find if you're nice to the owners and request that they make the food hot - "the way you would eat it, not the way a white or Taiwanese person would" - that you DO in fact get pretty authentic Indian food...north Indian anyway.

If you don't request or you're not nice, of course you're going to get something bland.

I have not tried the one place that has south Indian on the menu, but plan to this weekend.

By the way, I lived in Tamil Nadu as well (Madurai) and have been to India (all over) three times. I know what it should taste like by now, thank you very much.

Jenna Lynn Cody said...

BTW, except for Ali Baba, which is run by Pakistanis (and openly advertises halal food and the like), the food isn't so much Pakistani as Punjabi. Sure, it's not the Telugu food you crave, but it's no less Indian for that.

And I like Kingfisher...but only with curry. Alone or with any other food it tastes like Sprite mixed with horse urine.

Prince Roy said...

sure, the menus are Punjabi style, that is true, but the majority of the owners are Pakistani-the smaller places especially. Regardless, northern Indian never did anything for me. What Taiwan direly needs good South Indian.

Honestly, my impression of Taiwan's Indian food is that it is comparable to overpriced long distance bus/train station restaurants in India.

I've heard of a Sri Lankan place or two, but Sri Lankan cuisine generally has the rep of a 'poor man's Tamil Nadu'. Although Athula in Xindian makes what I thought were the best rotis in Taiwan. Taiwanicized however.

Back to the beer, it's the one thing from India I do not miss under any circumstances. If I have to, I can go with a Kingfisher Superstrong or a Haywards, but only b/c they were 'fortified', allowing me to move beyond the awful glycerine/formaldehyde aftertaste and get to the happy place that much quicker.

Jenna Lynn Cody said...

I prefer south Indian too - as my post notes, there is now a south Indian restaurant in the Shida area, across from Out of India.

I am going there tonight, so until then I can't say how good it is (or not).

The owners of Out of India and Calcutta Indian food are not Pakistani, they're definitely Indian. I have talked to the owner of Out of India and we're on a face-recognition basis, and there was a story in the Taipei Times about Calcutta Indian Food - they specifically mentioned that the owner is Taiwanese but has lived in India...or something to that effect.

But yes, Ali Baba and Alla-Din's owners are Pakistani.

I don't care - I'm cool with north Indian, especially butter chicken. If you ask nicely for extra spice they'll cook it "right", so as far as I'm concerned that's good enough.

It's no better, anyway, than Indian food in the USA, where you also have to request that it be cooked to their standards, not the standards of the usual American clientele, and where south Indian food is nonexistent outside areas with a large Dravidian expat population. And don't get me started on Indian food in Britain. It's an entirely separate cuisine.

I've tried the Sri Lankan food here and it's more Malayali than Tamil. Lots of fish and coconut. A Sri Lankan acquaintance agreed with my opinion.

It's not bad, but it's not as good as regular idli-dosa.

. said...

I no longer live in Taiwan but there's was a superb Pakistani place on a street off zhongxiao east rd on the north side between zhongxiao dunhua and sys memorial hall mrts. I think it's on the one immediately west of yanji st. It's bring your own alcohol. I highly recommend the the hot vegetable/potato dish.

Jenna Lynn Cody said...

Huh. I work in 101 and at the Guotai building a few days a week and frequently walk up that way (Zhongxiao between SYS and Dunhua) afterwards...I've never seen that place. I'll have to redouble my efforts. Then again if it's off the main drag it could take forever to find without a full address.

At least Indian in Taipei is not as dire as Ethiopian, which is nonexistent outside my own kitchen.

Kerim Friedman said...

I'm still waiting for the first Indian-style Chinese food restaurant to open in Taiwan.

Jenna Lynn Cody said...

Aren't we all, Kerim. Aren't we all!

I specifically promised Brendan an Indian Chinese meal when we fly into Bangalore early next year.

joanh said...

hi! thanks for the list.. i've still been wanting to try Saffron and few others on the list that i've heard are good. i am used to US Indian food and have never been to Indian, so my tastebuds might be adjusted for a milder flavor!

Robin said...

Prince Roy needs to understand that South Indian food is not as appreciated as North Indian food which calls for more effort & gastronomical skills. You would know it if you ever cooked Rotis & rich gravies, its not like steaming rice and dumping sambhar on it. Excuse me if I offended anyone.

Anonymous said...

I am completely agree with Mr. roy ....100 % correct

we really need a real and good indian food restaurants in taipei...mostly all sucks and damn expensive....!!!

few days before i had indian open in an shilin night market in taipei ...the food was ok and the guy was cooking food in front effect the was super hot and delicious and price was as same like india...excellent ..i am very surprised how they are managing to do in such price ?? check out

Anonymous said...

Calcutta Indian Food have a new website

They have moved to 西寧南路70號 (B1-2) (萬年大樓 美食街)

Indian food in Taipei said...

Thanks to the blogger- Lao Ren Cha - 老人茶
for such nice words, We are doing our best to
WoW our guests on each and every visit.

We will keep changing our menu and style but the theme will be same 'Traditional and Authentic' Indian cuisine from all corners of India. We believe in regional cuisine as India has countless options for Vegetarian and Non vegetarian.

We are a vastly growing chain of Indian restaurants in Taipei,Taiwan that serve authentic Indian curries, thali, set menus, breads, and Tandoori dishes. We serves 14 different cuisines of India as per people's choices, including Halal food, pure vegetarian Jain cuisine and many more. It also boasts well-equipped bar with many varieties of beer, whiskey and wine.We are also open for Indian food caterings, food deliveries, take away and organizing events in Taipei,Taiwan.



Balle Balle Taipei said...

Balle Balle Indian Restaurant & Bar
Thx for Recommending Blogger !!

We are newly opened Indian restaurant in Taipei Songhsan District.
Punjabi Indian Cuisine with a wide variety of Tandoori Snacks, Main Courses in Vegetarian & Non Vegetarians.

We offer tasty Indian food with friendly service.
Healthy Fresh Indian Cuisine using finest ingredients and freshest products.

Owner of Balle Balle Indian Restaurant & Bar opened the restaurant with the Intention of providing Ethnic Indian Punjabi Cuisine.

Mr. Kant has assembled a highly skilled team of chefs representing Punjabi Cuisine from India

This is an intimate restaurant extending over a ground floor and basement floor for inviting private room for parties and events.

Address:No. 12 Guāngfù North Road, Sōngshān District, Taipei地址:台北市松山區光復北路12號
Phone:(02) 2570-7265

Nearest MRT: Nánjīng Sanmin Station 南京三民站

Jenna Lynn Cody said...

I will check it out and review it when I get the chance, thanks!

Balle Balle Taipei said...

Thx allot Jenna Cody
Looking forward

Unknown said...

Puhleeze list those with buffets? Ali Baba's is OK for 500 (incl service charge) but I'd like an alternative...

Unknown said...

Ever been to Sree Indian Palace? It's on the second floor of a building just outside Dongmen MRT station. They do more southern Indian cuisine and their food is amazing.

Jenna Lynn Cody said...

I haven't but I'll make a point to try it out!

Guy said...

It's not cheap, but Joseph Bistro (in an alley east of Songjiang Road, south of Songjiang Nanjing MRT Station) is ridiculously great. Owner/chef Joseph is from Goa, and his incredible food is unlike anything else in town.


Unknown said...

Isn't Tibet Kitchen closed? It has been every time I've gone past. And Khana Kazana has sucked pretty bad (never never get the budget lunch), as has the original Mayur lately -- no spices, just chili heat, and I'd swear no butter in the butter chicken.

A Moroccan friend has been selling Indian food in Taipei Main Station for a few years; look for Casablanca. She has had a long evolution from a storefront selling ices with Maroc food occasionally, to the outdoor Yuanshan food court, to Main Station 2nd floor where no one wanted mideastern so she went to a mostly Indian menu. (Just last month she opened a shawarma cafe in ShiDa near Saizeria; the chicken rolls are healthy and grease-free with yogurt sauce and vegs.) Staff at both locations is Indian, and Main Station has naan.

Jenna Lynn Cody said...

I'll check out the Indian food in Taipei Main - I probably would have missed it if I ever went up there (I rarely do anymore) because when I hear "Casablanca" I don't really think "Indian".

I'm sorry to hear about Khana Khazanaa - I went probably 2 years ago now and back then, it was good. I'll try the original Mayur again and see - I know the owner so if there's a quality slide I can tell him personally. He's been busy of late, a lot on his plate.

Guy said...

For South Indian awesomeness, get thee to Amma's Kitchen on Roosevelt near the intersection with Shida Road. It's run by some friendly guys from Tamil Nadu and is well worth checking out. Guy