Saw James Kitchen being featured on an episode The Layover with Anthony Bourdain long time ago and decided to give it a try while passing by Yong Kang Street. This was during my visit to Taipei in the New Year of 2015. Overhyped? Thankfully not. The decor etc might seem "gimmicky" with Theresa Teng's songs and a rustic set-up but it was enjoyable and the food was pretty good.
I was rather impressed by the Grilled Threadfin (午魚一夜干) with its delicate crispy skin and smoky aroma and that succulent, juicy flesh which tasted great with a squeeze of lime juice.
Another classic is the Scallion Pork Fat Rice (蔥香豬油飯) which was delicious and fragrant. Portion might be considered small for some.
My meal in 2015 ended with a tomato served with vinegar. This was an eye opener, a simple combination that worked so well. The vinegar was sweet rather and the juicy, plump tomatoes helps cut through that richness of the vinegar. Very impressive. Probably something like tomatoes with an aged balsamic vinegar might have the same effect.
Revisited James Kitchen again in December 2016 with my mum this time round, glad to find that James Kitchen has been consistent and the food was great again. Mum loved the oldies played in the little quaint space. An added bonus is to walk around Yong Kang Street, a less crowded area of Taipei a more colourful place than Ximending.
No. 65號, Yongkang Street
Taipei City, Taiwan 106