The BBQ house (yes, the Owner is THAT creative) is located in the city of Hsiunchu, about 1.5 hours south of Taipei. The city is known for the Hsinchu Science and Technology Park packed with girlfriendless, loney and loaded engineer nerds who allow restaurants like the BBQ house the chance to survive in the cut-throat restaurant scene on this little island.
The dining area is rather small, fits about 10 tables which provides a cozy, relaxed ambiance with electronic music playing in the bg. What’s so special about place is that, it serves American Angus beef and is priced according to the weight of the steaks ordered. Customers would go to the fridge area (see pic above, brightly lit area) and choose the cut they prefer and the Owner (rumored to be French Canuck) would slice off a piece of meat as per the customers’ liking. Choices of cuts are: short rib, fillet, ribeye and new yorker.
What was unacceptable was that our server DID NOT explain how they charge in the restaurant and asked us if we wanted soup and salad as soon as we sat down, giving us the illusion that the soups and salads were free or charge. It turned out that everything is priced separately, from soup+salads to side dishes like fries and mashed potatos. Soft drinks were un-refillable.
The soup was the worst dish of the night – simply no trace of seasoning. Heeelloo? Where’s my S-A-L-T?? (I’m dying to watch that movie btw) The consistency of the soup was decent though.
The salad wasn’t bad, but not memorable, either.
The entree was served when we were half way through our soup and salad. The four of us all ordered the ribeye. The plate above consists the shiny ribeye, mashed potatos, stir-fried beans, red peppers and mushrooms, and a dipping sauce for the steak. The sauce was good, tasted like redwine and gravy.
I myself ordered fries as the side dish. It was very good actually, very crispy and it came with a white dipping sauce for the fries. The ribeye was very tender and cooked to a nice medium-rare degree. To be honest this was probably the best non-steakhouse steak I’ve had.
I did a little research online and found the pricing of the steaks: So, for a 10 oz ribeye it would cost close to 18 bucks US. That doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up with the sodas and salads and bland soups which included the cost of salt that we didn’t get. We were in awe that the 4 of us spent over 4k TWD (around $150) that night while I was expecting 2-3k.
So why do I sound so hateful in the beginning of this post? Here’s why:
First off, the server did not explain how the fewd was priced which made us feel like gullible idiots. While I’m totally fine with the prices of restaurants such as Ruth’s Chris and Lawry’s, I wasn’t satisfied with what we had to pay at the BBQ house. It’s all about the customers being treated right and feeling respected. It’s a lot like how a guy should treat a girl, or his pet ferret nicely.
The place had nearly no A/C. The open dining area faces towards a street under a bridge, therefore any trace of A/C would seem non-existent. With heat waves coming from the open kitchen and the humidity outdoors, it made sweating like a pig easy.
Second, I’m just disgusted by foreigners coming to Taiwan thinking they could make big bucks off innocent Taiwanese folks by charming away stupid Taiwanese girls, plus the Owner had no charm in him, just like his restaurant having no A/C. IT IS NOT OKAY to open a restaurant in an Asian country expecting to rip off customers and get away with it. Whenever I dine in foreign cuisine restaurants in North America, my little mind usually picture good flavours and great value with seasoned soups being served.
No address nor phone numbers will be posted here because I simply don’t feel like doing so. Google the place online if you adventurous foodies still decide to pay this place a visit. This place actually has decent reviews in some of the blogs I’ve read.