Today saw the grand opening of Sarabeth’s Taiwan on the B1 level of Sogo DunHua Department Store (next to Coffee Lover’s Paradise, which by the way if you love coffee you should go check out). And all I can say is wow, about time a all day brunch-focused restaurant opened up in Taipei and what a success on this opening day for Sarabeth’s. Service, food, ambiance was all on point, and it felt just like New York but with a touch of Taiwanese hospitality. Will definitely return and I can see it becoming quite a popular place.
This is the first branch of the New York based brunch restaurant to open in Taiwan, following successful Asia launches in Japan and South Korea. From the moment I heard about Sarabeth’s coming into Taipei in March, I got really excited. I’ve been many times in New York and believe their brunch is among the top 5 in the city. Taipei lacks good brunch options. Often times brunch-type items can only be found as part of a larger American/ Western menu, and very few brunch-focused places exist. A lot of brunch-focused places in town are very localized, not a bad thing, but when you want a good Western style brunch with those eggs Benedict, french toast and pancakes it can be difficult to find.
Like with any global brand that decides to enter Taipei, I was a little apprehensive about trying Sarabeth’s. Often times brands localize their foods and it loses the authenticity of the brand and its flavors. I was also apprehensive that on opening day the service and SOP would be chaotic and messy as is often the case in Taiwan. But none of the above held true.
First they have a fully operational website that includes their menu as well as a Facebook and Instagram page, which is more than I can say for many other restaurants that launch in this city. Second, reservations have yet to be accepted during this launch period but the process of lining up, getting your number ticket and waiting for it to be called was very smooth. Each person get a ticket with a QR code, you scan it and see your place in line, keep posted until its your number and they will also text you (though I didnt receive my text), you have 10 minutes to report back to the front desk. We were part of the second seating and waited a total of 1 hour. Service was impeccable and professional. Not sure if it was because Sarabeth herself was on site (was fortunate to have a brief encounter with her, and what a lovely lady she is!) or if the Japan team’s presence helped or if simply they managed to find some of the better service talents in Taipei. Food and drinks came out in a timely fashion, and when we asked for extra plates to share, the waiter gave us a few extras in order to eat sweet and savory items on separate clean plates, as it should be. At one point when a waiter accidentally knocked over some utensils that created a loud bang, every wait staff turned to apologize to guests in unison.
The food was delicious. We ordered Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict (NT$380/USD$11.64), Apple Cinnamon French Toast (NT$480/USD$14.70), Orange Julep: orange juice, milk, yogurt, honey, and vanilla (NT$160/USD$4.90), and Four Flowers Juice: orange juice, pineapple juice, banana and pomegranate (NT$180/USD$5.51). The juices were fresh, light and energizing. The eggs Benedict may be the best I’ve had in Taipei, with fresh smoked salmon, perfectly poached eggs and a tasty hollandaise sauce accompanied by a light tossed salad. The best thing though was the signature Sarabeth’s fluffy french toast, we got the Apple Cinnamon flavor one that comes with sliced bananas, Apple Cinnamon compote, syrup and butter; without a doubt the best French Toast in Taipei.The french toast was a balance of toasty crunchiness with fluffy soft inside. The food tasted just like it does in the New York Sarabeth’s stores. The prices are reasonable and comparable to any other brunch food options in Taipei and the portions are standard New York, they did not downsize it for Taiwan, thank goodness.
Not sure when they will start taking reservations, which will be via online, keep a lookout on their FB page. In the meantime be prepared to arrive early and for even longer lines than what we experienced as it slowly gained popularity in the days and weeks to come. I definitely recommend.
Mon.- Sun. 9:00AM-9:30PM (last order 9:00PM)
B1 of SOGO DunHua Store: #246 B1 DunHua South Road, Section 1, Taipei, Taiwan
Nearest MRT: Zhongxiao Fuxing and Zhongxiao Dunhua
Seats 90 people
No take out
Online reservations will open up in the future, currently only walk-in/line up on site.