Sunday, November 11, 2012

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La Mairie Café, Taipei

11/11/2012 Taiwan Explorer
The Mayor's Salon

La Mairie Café 市長官邸咖啡, literally Mayor's Official Residence Café, also known as Official Residence Art Salon 官邸藝文沙龍, is a restaurant inside the former residence of the Mayor of Taipei during the late period of the Japanese occupation of Taiwan. This wooden traditional Japanese style residence was built in 1940, merely 5 years before Imperial Japan was defeated in World War II and had to cede Taiwan to ROC. The building itself might not bear that much historic importance like the Guest House, but because there is not that much traditional Japanese architecture found in Taipei today, that makes it a rare gem, that is definitely worth a visit. The cafe, which is more like a restaurant, is found close to the beautiful Donghe Bell Tower and the NTU College of Social Studies, both beautiful historic buildings. This part of Zhongzheng is less known to the average tourist, but it should not be missed, if you're a real Taipei fan.

My wife and I were heading to La Mairie for dinner and we were lucky, because there weren't that many people. The wooden interior was very pleasant, the staff was friendly and the menu was quite rich. It's hard to put a label on this restaurant, because it offers a mix of Western and Eastern food... and no, they don't serve mayor's favorite udon soup.

Here are some photos from our visit a few weeks ago:

The wooden interior is exquisite, the tables and chairs very plain.

Another angle on the dining room/art salon.

I chose the creamy spinach pasta with salmon, it was super delicious.

My wife ordered beef noodle soup and it was ok.

We both ordered a menu, which included the main dish, starter and dessert. I was very happy with my choice, it was super tasty and I highly recommend it. My wife felt the beef noodle was just ok, but she regretted ordering it, when she saw how much I liked my dish. I paid around 400 NTD, she something over 300. After the meal, I went out to take some photos of the house and garden.

The garden is beautifully maintained.

Another part of the residence. I have no idea of its purpose.

To the front and back.

This cat enjoyed himself on top of the roof.

Au revoir, la Mairie!

The verdict

I do recommend this restaurant for those, who look for something less hip yet interesting and for those, who don't want to be a DTF sheep. The food is pretty decent, the setting is very charming and unique and the food is not overpriced (it's not cheap either). There's a lot of art displayed in the salon and walking around the garden is a real pleasure. I liked it a lot and I will definitely return.

English name: Le Mairie Café
Chinese name: 市張官邸咖啡 (官邸藝文沙龍)
Romanization: Shìzhǎng guāndǐ kāfēi (Guāndǐ yìwén shālóng)
Address: 台北市中正區徐州路46號
Phone number: (02) 2396 8198
Opening hours: 9.00 - 18.00
Money per person: Over 350 NT$
Need to book: No.
Find location: Google maps
[My FOOD IN TAIPEI page][All photos by MKL, 2012]