Thomas Chien – French Restaurant 法式餐廳 (khh)

An odd location tucked in the front corner of the Kaohsiung Software Technology Park高雄軟體科技園區, but strategic for the future with the China Steel building on the opposite side, the nearby Exhibition Center and Green Library, and the tramway which will whiz by right in front of the restaurants.(pixnet/ksdelicacy)
An odd location, tucked in the front corner of the Kaohsiung Software Technology Park高雄軟體科技園區, but strategic for the future, with the China Steel building on the opposite side, the nearby Exhibition Center, Green Library and many other landmarks in the works, not to mention the tramway which will soon whiz by, right in front of the restaurants. (photo from pixnet/ksdelicacy)

Before memories of this meal vanishes into the ether, I thought I’d better hurry and unload whatever recollection I can salvage (yes, I am so totally using this blog as a memory dump). Luckily, I managed to unearth some snapshots of this meal, for if I had to solely rely on my memory, I fear that this post would end right here.

You may recall Thomas Chien from One One Café, make a step to the right, and you’ll find yourself at his eponymous restaurant. The décor leans towards a fine dining atmosphere, so at the very least, attire ought to be smart casual, but no dress code is enforced, so let’s just say that the sartorial etiquette for Taiwanese wedding banquet will suffice (mentionning this based on my experience… as an observer, eh 😉 ).

The owner and chef, Thomas Chien 簡天才 specializes in traditional French cuisine. He regularly travels to Europe to keep his palate sharp, and annually tries to get prominent French chefs to come cook at his restaurant. He’s really passionate about his craft, and it definitely shows in the plate and all the details put into his establishments. On that note, scroll along for glimpses of a lunch at Thomas Chien.

Bread course, served warm and with butter.
Bread course, served warm and with butter. Extra bread available upon request.
Amuse-bouche, of grilled squid and purée of ???
Amuse-bouche, grilled squid and purée of ??? with edible flowers.
Appetizer 1, pork belly with
Appetizer 1, pork belly with a compote of ???.
This dish is really all about that crackling skin, haha.
Appetizer 2, soup of chestnust and ducks gizzards if I remember well. T'was a homey soup.
Appetizer 2, soup of chestnuts and ducks gizzards, if I remember well.
T’was a homey soup.
Duck
Main course, option duck from Yilan, with some bean based side-dish. Actually, I happened to go just when the menu switched, which was a bummer because the previous one featured a duck dish with a berry sauce, which I thought was a great combination and really wanted to taste it, but oh well. Nevertheless, the dish was still good, and the meat cooked tender.
Main course, option Fish, with some pea
Main course, option fish, with some peas, leeks and grapefruit.
Dessert, option deconstructed tiramisu.
Dessert, option deconstructed tiramisu. Can’t go wrong with a tiramisu, but what grabbed my attention was the amaretto jelly 😍. Tiramisu is like a ubiquitous dessert now, but not many places use amaretto in it (or if they do, they don’t put quite enough of it, hehe), so this came as a nice surprise.
Amaretto is hands down one of my favorite liquor, I put some in my chocolate mousse, tiramisu or coffee when I make some at home, and it also goes great mixed in with some Pepsi.
Dessert, option chocolate cake and mango compote
Dessert, option chocolate cake, mango compote and ??? ice cream. While satisfying, the chocolate cake was a tad too firm to easily cut through with a spoon.
Mignardises, along with tea and coffee (not pictured).
Mignardises, along with tea and coffee (not pictured).
Every meal ought to finish with some sweets, it’s like the full stop of a sentence, 午晚餐缺甜點不行! David Lebovitz nails it when he points out how “in France, well… you need a dessert“, and I know I’m in Taiwan but it’s a habit I haven’t been able to shake off, haha. That’s why I always try to have a stock of fresh fruits, keep a mental list of dessert places for when I eat out, and hide a secret stash of chocolate for desperate situations.

All in all, this was an enjoyable meal, with great service and great food. It was refined without being too out there with overly intricate cooking techniques, ingredients or presentation. Food portions were just right, leaving me full but without feeling bloated like an overfed neopet (looking back, it really comes as no surprise that the person who back then introduced me to that game was Taiwanese, haha.). No wine accompanied the meal, although they do have an extensive wine list to choose from.

Option to order à la carte is available, otherwise the price of a set meal is based on the main course, ranging from 1100NT (35 USD, 28 EURO) to 2500NT (80 USD, 65 EURO) (yours truly calculated in the 10% service fee) for lunch, which I think is some smacking good bang for your buck. A similar dining experience in France would easily cost double the price, so in short, if you want to enjoy French food without having to hop on a plane, this is a place I fondly recommend.

If you go there for lunch and have not yet paid a visit to One One Café, you can still walk-in and take a look at their mini-delicatessen and pastries on display. They also sell a few cheeses, house-made smoked salmon, cured meat, olive oil, etc…

If you’ve read until here, you likely live in Kaohsiung or the vicinities, so you may also be interested to know that they have a catering menu for Christmas through New Year’s Eve, and are also starting to take orders for galettes des Rois (French King cake), only fifty available! And if you’re not from around, I hope you enjoyed reading yet another quirky article from yours truly! 🙂

Website: http://thomaschien.com
Additional Reviews+Photos: ping761004, usagi0915, chaoerh, lovecremebrulee, alex0310
Price: 1000NT+ and 10% service fee
Menu: Chinese and English, four links on the menu page: 午餐套餐 (Lunch), 晚餐套餐 (Dinner), 單點菜 (À la carte), 單酒單 (Wine List).
Business hours: 11:30-14:00 and 18:00-21:00. Closed on the last Monday of the month.
Transportation: Until the tramway passes through the area, you can get to the restaurant via the red subway line, stopping at the R7 Shihjia 獅甲station and walk a good ten minutes, or simply taxi it. Plenty of parking space as well.

(last updated: 2016/10/25 二)

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2 thoughts on “Thomas Chien – French Restaurant 法式餐廳 (khh)

  1. Looks like you found a nice place to eat once again 🙂

    Right now we go always to the same old Chinese restaurant here in my hometown…well mainly because the owner likes to play with Nathan so we have time to eat!

    Like

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