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Several weeks ago, I had the absolute pleasure of accompanying a friend and a classmate to Les Deux Singes de Montarvie for a tasting. The distinctive restaurant name immediately intrigued me. Nada, the current owner of the place explained the story behind the unique name:
In North America, the term ‘buffet’ usually brings to mind a low brow, sort of pedestrian dining experience. Here, in Asia, it is quite the opposite. Some of the best restaurants in Taipei are buffet style – Shin Yeh is a good example. Offering all-you-can-eat Japanese cuisine, there is a wealth of foods and drink to choose from. At the drink bar, there is Calpis (sweet white colored drink), white and red wine, plum vinegar wine, sake, Taiwanese beer, fruit juices, hot and cold tea and coffee. There is a sashimi bar that includes the largest oysters I have ever seen, trays of fried rice, tempura shrimp and vegetables, soba noodles, stir fried oolong noodles, tea kettle soup, steamed eggs, sushi… the list goes on. The pictures speak for themselves.
Welcome to the food! I ordered the roasted beets to start. They were chopped to bite-sized pieces that were perfectly tender and nicely complimented by the horizontally sliced chevre chaud that lay on top of the beets like a warm, creamy blanket. Both the Jane Salad and the Caesar Salad were comprised of Roman lettuce though the former had an Italian style dressing while the latter had an obvious Caesar dressing along with hot cheese puffs (the warm temperature a nice touch).