Friday, August 8, 2014

Tai Ho Dien (Taipei Flagship) (太和殿) (台北總店)

Tai Ho Dien (太和殿) is the most well-known amongst the three Taiwanese hotpot restaurants I went this trip.  Rumor has it that even Aaron Kwok (the well-known Hong Kong artist) is a fan.  (A few of my friends recommended it too!)  I had high hopes going in, even brought my co-worker's boss, who love spicy food, there and promised him a spicy, good meal. 


Needless to say, they higher the expectations, the higher the disappointment.  If Chan Chi set the standards on the food and Elixir Health Pot set the standards on service, Tai Ho Dian failed both miserably.  There is only one thing they exceled - the price.

The duck's blood here contains chicken blood too :(
No, there is nothing you can do to make the food tastier here...
The spicy broth was super oily and a severe lack of spice
I am not even gonna comment on the white soup...
The spicy broth was anything but spicy...
when we told our server it broth is not spicy,
she gave us some chili oil...
seriously, chili oil???

Not only it did not add any flavor or spiciness to the broth
it made it ridiculously oily
I have completely failed my co-workers on this one.
We order the local "yellow" beef expecting it to be fresh
(e.g. something similar to what I had in Shing Kee)
nope... it was frozen beef that didn't have much taste
Sliced mutton
well, other than it tastes like lamb
I really have nothing else much to say
Since one of my co-workers doesn't eat beef or mutton,
we got him some pork (he is also the one who loved super spicy food)
He ate it without any complain but I don't think he was impressed either
He flew here all the way from NYC too
scallops that were not very fresh
complete waste of money?
some kind of clam
I can't say they were fresh either
completely forgettable
the black fungus was the handful of things that taste alright
iced tofu were fine also
I guess the best thing tonight was these bamboo shoots.
The duck + chicken blood is considerable tougher
compared to Chan Chi and Elixir.

Bigger is not better in this case.

My co-worker said he would have been happier if we went back to Chan Chi and I couldn't agree more.  (He didn't go with me to Elixir since I went there with my friends.)  So my quest to uncover the best and the spiciest hotpot in Taipei continues... You can see this post is considerably shorter than the other two... the reason why I even post this is so that you can learn from my mistake and avoid this place at my cost.

If you love this place (good for you) and was disappointed at my review, I am sorry but I can tell you already this place is on my banned list now.  Life is too short to give a mediocre / bad restaurant a second chance.

Tai Ho Dien (太和殿 台北總店)
信義安和站 (5號出口) 左轉直走大約五分鐘
(Take the Xinyi Anhe Exit 5, turn left and walk for 5 minutes)
Tel: +886 02 2705-0909
Hours: 12:00 pm ~ 03:00 am


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