Cari de madame 咖哩娘 (tpe)

Full House. (fb/cari.de.madame)
Full House. (fb/cari.de.madame)

I don’t remember how I got wind of Cari de madame 咖哩娘, but after reading up about it and checking pictures on their fb page, I made sure to go feast there on whenever my next trip to Taipei was to be. Until that journey occurred, I found myself craving curry now and then, my mind kept flashing back to pictures of their trays of spices, and I’d end up sighting, knowing it wouldn’t be another couple of weeks before I’d head up to the capital again. But after all, as the saying goes, hunger is the best spice… although, in this case, there was maybe a spice that was one too many, and it wasn’t hunger.

I haven’t dabbled much with cooking curry at home. I mean, I’m not sure throwing one of those Japanese chocolate-bar looking curry into a pot of boiling water qualifies as making curry. Still, that stuff is awfully convenient and does not taste so bad, thinking of it, I should probably include one pack in my typhoon/Apocalypse survival kit. On a separate occasion, feeling inspired, I had bought a bag of Thai green curry paste, but then never mustered (not mustard 😛 ) the effort to gather all the required ingredients, tried to wing it with my meager food pantry, and well, the result wasn’t too glorious, but as far as I recall it didn’t make me 拉肚子. TMI? Yikes, sorry,  probably a sign that I’ve been in Taiwan for too long 😄 .

At any rate, Cari de madame makes curry from scratch with their own spice blend, which was the main reason drawing me there in the first place. They have a restrained menu, and try to source quality products with local free-range eggs and cereals-fed pork, and natural farmed beef from New Zealand. A place that carefully selects their products, I can dig that.

The menu is made up of stainless steel plates for the choice of curries, and wooden plates for side items. The English, is pretty self-explanatory, except for the mysterious Limited 限, which consists of a duo of stewed pork and beef.

Onto the food, just follow the pictures and comments 🙂 .

CariDeMadame_AmuseBouche
Amuse-bouche . Pickled sweet potatoes and cherry tomatoes. Looks good, but two tads too sour and almost sickly sweet, per my taste at least.
CariDeMadame_StewedPork
煨 Stewed pork. Wasn’t as melt-in-your mouth as expected. And, doesn’t that piece of meat look so lonely on this big plate? :/
ghj
Pork. Oink. Similar to a cordon bleu, some lean pork meat stuffed with cheese, and a touch of mustard seeds. I could have eaten two of those!

Now, about that curry I so longed for. To all those with absolute zero tolerance for anything spicy, as in spicy hot, beware! The curry actually does pack a small amount of heat, but enough that people not used to spicy food will find it unbearable. There’s a soup curry option with vegetables, which I imagine is a little toned down in terms of spiciness, but I can’t attest to that, so order at your own risk. If you want it extra spicy, they’ll actually bring small jars of condiments for you kick it up a notch.

The spiciness didn’t bother me so much, although my friend was agonizing over it, no, it was more the bitterness that spoiled it for me. Despite being a trained bitter gourd 苦瓜eater, something tasted off, and well, I think that the extra sour amuse-bouche only exacerbated this unpleasant bitterness. Taiwanese food bloggers seem to be split over this bitterness point, but the majority appears to approve, so I’m thinking this may just be an acquired-taste kind of thing.

Usually, when the food is so so, a good service can somewhat salvage the dining experience, but on that day, the guys on duty looked a bit scatterbrained or maybe just high, forgetting to refill the water, taking away my napkin along with the amuse-bouche tray and having me request twice for a knife (for my friend and then myself).

Even if I was little disappointed and went a bit harsh 😐 on my review, I still felt like writing about this place. For the curious curry lovers out there, who knows, maybe you’ll actually like it.

I also still think it’s rather cool that they take the effort to blend their own spices, but only wish that  they’d adjust the recipe to tone it down a bit and make it less aggressive on the taste buds, or find the right balance in their spice blend. But well, this an entirely personal opinion from a picky-as-hell eater 😈 .

A French version of Chinglish. Reading it just raises a bunch of “WTF?!!” bubbles above my head. o_O
I keep wondering how in the world people here come up with such crazy text, as I can’t possibly believe a sane human being to come up with such nonsense. I’m suspecting, someone must be doing a brisk business simply running a script that vomits out those grammatically mind-boggling masterpieces.

Website: http://www.facebook.com/cari.de.madame
Price: 300NT+
Additional blog reviews: pixnet/hsuan1203, pixnet/joycewu1120

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7 thoughts on “Cari de madame 咖哩娘 (tpe)

  1. At a few German restaurants I found some crazy texts as well. Once it seemed that they just added randomn words from a dictonary together….
    When writing about restaurants there will be always few which are not that great. Usually I try to find something really good in something else there or perhaps it might be just my own odd taste sense which is not suitable for certain dishes 🙂

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  2. Got the similar idea with you that the curry taste in Cari De Madame is quite different with other curry we could buy other-where, thus many people may not like it at all. However, this got me think of that does the people in Taiwan (or any country?!)are getting used to the convenient curry block and can’t accept the original natural spice taste?! 😄

    By the way, as same as the design concept of the ordering stainless pieces, the lemon water in Cari De Madame is self-service, which you do not need to wait for the waiter though he looked like “HIGH” (aha).

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    1. The waiter also looked “high” when you went? Well, I am glad we both agree on that then 😄 . Thanks for the tip about the water, although I didn’t see anyone standing up to go serve themselves so it didn’t occur to me that it was self-serve.

      As for the curry, I must say that they have certainly succeeded in getting through the natural taste of the spices, maybe too much! 😉 But like I said, their curry is an acquired-taste.

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    2. Taiwanese don’t like curry. It’s cultural. They need to have an affinity with a country in order to enjoy their food-hence a love with all things Japanese here. The Taiwanese aren’t too keen on India or Indians themselves , they don’t go there on holiday so there is no emotional connection whereas again, Hokkkaido and Kyoto receive regular plane loads of Taiwanese on a weekly basis.
      All curries are ‘dumbed down’ here to suit the local palate and it’s the same with Thai food. You cannot get a good Indian or Thai restaurant serving authentic food in Taiwan.

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      1. I wouldn’t be as categorical as saying Taiwanese don’t like curry, actually, I find that they do. Curry is actually also part of the Japanese culinary repertoire, so i’m a bit confused at the first part of your comment.
        Also, I wouldn’t say that the curries are “dumbed down”, but rather “localized” to the local palate (as you said) and the ingredients available. As with any cuisines heavy on spices, it will always be hard to find that authentic taste outside of the country of origin.

        If you ever find yourself in Kaohsiung, I’d recommend you give Maharaja a shot, but then again, I’ve never been to India to fully attest to the authenticity of the dish 😉 .

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  3. ah bummers. i wanted to try this place (it’s near my grandma’s house. haha) but that small dab of curry looks rather disappointing..

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    1. Lol, I think the big plate makes the portion look small, when it was actually enough to not leave hungry.
      I think the place is still worth checking out, actually, I’m even tempted of giving another shot, lol. The pork cordon bleu was good, and since I’ve been eating more curry recently, I’m curious to see how if my tastebuds have changed. They do make their own curry blend, and that’s rather badass, although like I said, I felt it needed some tuning, but many people seem to love it as is, so who knows, it may just be an acquired taste.

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