Monday, May 27, 2013

Taiwan's Xinyi District - Kanpai Restaraunts; Australian Wagu Beef; Asahi Beer; "I Love You - Kiss for Meat"; Kanpai Classic; Bon Appetit!

Are you looking for a fun time in the Taipei 101 area with an energetic atmosphere, and delicious beef?   Or what about enjoying a quiet, more intimate lunch or dinner also with awesome beef, exceptional service in a classy and upscale restaurant? Well, Kanpai Co., Ltd. has it all in two distinctive restaurants.   I recently had the chance to experience a lunch and dinner at two of Kanpai’s Xinyi District Restaurant locations.  

 Deputy Manager Mars You (right) & his Staff Assistant

This chain of restaurants keep customers coming back on a regular basis because they keep you entertained with some of the best beef and service in Taiwan.  Kanpai is a Japanese owned restaurant that first opened its doors in 1996 in a small restaurant located in the East Zone of Taipei City with just three employees.  Since then they have moved and opened 17 restaurants in Taiwan.  They have restaurants around the world including the United States, Africa, South Korea, Indonesia, Russia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, China and Japan.
First, lets talk about their Beef!

The tables are clean, the gas BBQ’s are made of brass (I think), and are polished/cleaned to look brand new.



Kanpai uses almost exclusively Australian Wagu Beef. Their beef is never frozen, but aged for at least several months or more.  I was told they buy the whole cow and export it to Taiwan where they process the beef and either offer the meat on their menu or sell the beef parts.   
The first Xinyi restaurant location which I visited is opened about 2 years ago (~2011) at a great location. It is located on the 3rd floor just steps away from the View Show Movie Theater, and is the place to go with a group of your friends or a young adult family.

Right across the street from the Movies!
Next, lets talk about the fun at this restaurant.  

1.  Kanpai:  Everyday at 8pm, if you are drinking beer and you finish your glass when they announce “KANPAI” you get a free draft beer on the house.

Kanpai !!!!!

2.  I Love You “Kiss for Meat”: Seven days a week, Kiss your loved one for at least 10 seconds or more, get your picture taken and let them place it on their wall with hundreds of other kissing patrons.  For this, they will give you a choice of a free meet to barbeque at your table. 

The "Kiss for Meat Wall"

Our Free entrees for the "Kiss for Meat"

3.  Are You Thirsty?: Buy 3 alcoholic drinks such as beer, whiskey, or cocktails and get one free after 9pm only.  Only from Sunday thru Thursday evenings.

4.  Beer King Night:  One night a month they have a beer drinking competition.  

More Asahi Draft Beer Please

5.  and more, so visit and find out for yourself!

Everyone wants good to great service, and this restaurant has it all!

This Xinyi restaurant is a long narrow restaurant with plenty of seating capacity, and perfect for the staff to provide the best possible service and optimize your dining experience.  The staff have great outfits promoting Kanpai and their featured beer Asahi super dry beer.   

Deputy Manager Mars You

They even have special “Rookie” outfits for newer employees. 

Service with a Smile!

I asked , “Why Asahi Beer?”  Their answer was simple, “Asahi is a super dry flavorful and high quality beer that goes perfectly with our fine Australian Wagu beef”

Now I have eaten at many Japanese and Korean BBQ style restaurants in the US, Taiwan, Japan and Korea.  One thing they have in common is that while you cook your meat and seafood at your personal BBQ table, the table and restaurant gets very “smokey” and the BBQ’s look not so clean, just like your personal BBQ at home looks after a year or two of use.  Not so at Kanpai.   The “screens they use to cook the meat on are Stainless Steel grills and Kanpai staff replace them as often as necessary as you cook your meals to eliminate “burnt” meat from creating smoke and making your next dish not so enjoyable. 

Finally, the great food…………………  

After we ordered our drinks, we were pleasantly surprised at the wide variety on their menu!

When the server came to take our order, we were offered a choice of meats for the “I Love You - Kiss for Meat” special.  The choice was either Beef Tongue or Pork Kaubi.   

Delicious Beef Tongue

Both were sliced very thin to keep the meat tender.  The Beef Tongue came with toppings including green onions.   We also ordered their “Caesar” style salad. 

So Good I ate most of it before I remembered to take the photo!

The romaine lettuce was fresh, but the generous portions of grated cheese, pepper and the very special dressing had us ordering another one.  Personally, I liked the dressing and cheese they served on the salad so much, that I used it to dip many of the meats that we cooked on our grill.  When others tasted the combination of meat dipped in the dressing and cheese we all asked for more “on the side” to use with our meal.  They do offer a lemon flavored dip for the meat and seafood, and while it was a great combination with the shrimp and chicken for example, but it was not a good match for the beef and pork. 

We tasted just about every variety of meet including beef, pork and chicken plus some of the seafood on the menu and all were terrific.  We especially liked the marinated beef slices which was incredibly juicy, tender and so tasteful.

The final dessert they offer was a very nice flan in a small glass.  I just wish they served this in a MUCH larger glass!

Good to the last spoonful!
I had a very enjoyable meal with entertainment value as well at this Kanpai Restaurant.  The overall dining experience was Excellent, but the price is somewhat expensive if you are really hungry.    

I decided I wanted to visit another one of their other locations before my trip in Asia comes to an end.    

To contact or visit this location, see the information below:

Kanpai, Xinyi ATT Restaurant
3F, No. 12, Songshou Rd., 
Xinyi District, Taipei City 11051, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Tel: +886-2-8786-0808
Fax: +886-2-7737-5358
Leo Lin, Deputy Manager
Mobile: +886-983-619-036


Well, a few weeks later, I had the great opportunity to try another Kanpai Restaurant before I left Taiwan on my extended 5+ month trip.  This restaurant is not too far from the one I described above, but it is their “High End” Classic restaurant. This is a very modern and stylish restaurant with lots of glass and class too! 



All of their meat and menu items are much higher quality, and of course, more expensive.  Nevertheless, when I heard about this restaurant, I really wanted to experience the very best Australian beef that you can buy in Taipei!

We had a party of 4 and shortly after we arrived we were escorted to a private booth.  

Our Booth

Ahhh....the menu!

So much to choose from....  We decided NO Seafood today!!!!

The booth was clean and they quickly brought special charcoal for our grill.   

As we previewed the menu, the meat looked incredibly marbled and we were sure we was going to have a real special meal.   

Yummy Rice side dishes

Super Beef, and Distinctive presentations!

We ordered many items from the extensive menu including the beef tongue, and a dish of potatoes and sweet potatoes baked in a cheese sauce with onions and other spices. Both of these I truly loved as well.

OMG!  Now this was truly delicious!!!

We balanced our beef eating extravaganza by ordering a chicken combo marinated in three different sauces including a quite spicy marinade.


Marinated Chicken Pieces

Chicken grilled to Please!

The best of the best Australian Wagu beef on the menu offered a special cut of meat and the chef brought the meat to our table to cut a nice thick steak.   


Eula Chen assisting the chef

After the chef trimmed the fat and presented us this steak, a beautiful server then came to our table to cook this meat for us to perfection.  

Our personal cook for this incredible steak!

She must be thinking....."I want this for dinner too!"


Cutting the steak into 4 servings!

Needless to say, it was one of the best tasting pieces of meat I have every enjoyed!

The service was superb and high quality.  Our grill top was replaced often, and the servers were attentive to our every dining need.   

One very pretty staff member in particular, Eula Chen, did a wonderful job for us, and if you are lucky enough to visit this fine restaurant when she is working, you will simply get exceptional service with a smile!

Eula Chen

Service with a smile!

To visit this Kanpai Classic restaurant, also in the Xinyi District, here is the address and contact information:

Kanpai Classic
8th Floor No. 9, Songshou Road,
Xinyi District, Taipei City 11051,
Taiwan - RoC
Tel: +886-2-2725-3311
Fax: +886-2-2758-8190

Bon Appetit, Taiwan Style!

Edward C.