I already had a dinner reservation at MUME in Taipei when I saw that a Michelin guide to Taipei was just released, and MUME had received a star! This Taipei restaurant shows up all over lists for best restaurants in Taipei, so I was expecting it to be good. The Michelin star was just a nice bonus right before we went.
We had a 6pm reservation because I am 100 years old. The other people in the restaurant at the time were also 100 years old, so we were def doing the early bird special. Younger people arrived as we were leaving. When I think about it, I have no idea why I did such an early reservation. Doesn’t matter, I was starving when I arrived anyway.
The exterior of the restaurant is tough to identify, so we hovered outside awkwardly for a minute or two, peering inside the windows trying to figure out if it was the right place. You can’t really see the sign until you look closely at the stone wall. I’m glad there was an automatic door that slid open once we were close enough, cause I don’t know how long we would have lingered outside like weirdos if it hadn’t opened. Anyway – as soon as we entered, the vibe was warm and welcoming. I especially loved the glowing cocktail bar right when you enter. The decor is a mix of warm, natural elements in a small and intimate setting.
The hostess showed us to our table immediately, and a server was on it with the drink orders. I like to order my drinkie right away, so I appreciated the quick service on this. My guy Arash tried two different cocktails because he is brave and I am a boring loser when it comes to beverages. His first cocktail (left photo) was the Flos, made of Kavalan Whisky, dry vermouth, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, and beeswax tincture. It had a similar taste to an Old Fashioned. The cocktail on the right was the Slash, made with tequila, triple sec, passion fruit, and Ardberg scotch. I hate tequila so I thought this would horrifying, but it was insane tasty. If you don’t like too sweet, this one is for you.
We decided to do three items from the Snacks part of the menu, two from the Smaller plates section, and one from the Bigger course. We started our meal with the sourdough bread with smoked beef fat butter, since every other table had it we had to try it too. Also – bread. Come on. It was warm, fresh and delicious. Can’t go wrong with bread. I was feeling the beef fat butter and salt.
Next up was these little baby tarts. Don’t be fooled by the image, they are teeny tiny. Just a perfect bite. The left one was the sweet pea with ricotta cheese and on the right was filled with milkfish belly with fried ginger on top. They were both amazing and I wish they were bigger.
Our third snack item was the liver brûlée, made with chicken liver, topped with fresh seasonal herbs. This one was probably my favourite, but I LOVE liver pâté and this is essentially that, with a crispy top. Arash loved it too, which is funny because he always harasses me about loving pâté. He thinks I’m gross. Note- we ate it with our bread, so I don’t know how I would have felt about eating it with a spoon with no bread had I not already ordered the sourdough. Maybe I’m just uncultured swine. I dunno.
From the small plate section, we had the prawn plate. It was prawns, with shaved yam bean, prawn head sauce, and ricotta snow. I loved the ricotta snow; the server sprinkled it on right at the table. The dish was cold, and the prawns were actually sashimi. I wish I would have known this prior to ordering. I’m not a fan of prawn sashimi so had I known, I would have tried something different. This was my least favourite item, but that’s obviously because of my sashimi aversion. The sauce was flavourful, and the shaved yam bean gave it a nice crunch.
The second small plate was the ox tongue served on a Taiwanese grain tostada. There were greens, as well as cheese and pineapple. This was my first time trying ox tongue, and I have to say, this was one of my favourites. The tostada was crunchy and delicious, and the flavours went together so perfectly. I’m so glad I got out of my comfort zone to try this one.
The bigger plate we ordered was the beef short ribs served with maitake mushrooms and a coffee sprinkle on the plate. I never thought I would enjoy coffee on my steak, but this was. really interesting flavour combo that I enjoyed. The beef was cooked perfectly and was really tender.
Clearly we only had one bigger plate so we could get two desserts. Balance. Am I right. I am a chocolate addict so I always choose the chocolate option on a dessert menu. This was served with a mild chocolate ice cream, longan fruit, coffee and walnut. It was delicious and I was annoyed I had to share it with Arash.
The second dessert was a warm custard apple served with caramelized puff pastry, crème fraîche and ice cream. There were some pecan or walnut crumbles in there too, and this combination reminded me of an apple crisp. Also delicious. Also annoyed about sharing.
Overall, we had a great experience at MUME in Taipei. The atmosphere was casual and laid back, with really amazing food and presentation. I loved the intimacy of the small space, and the music was perfect. Music can really make or break an experience for me, so I always notice if it’s good or not. The kitchen was open so you can actually see the chefs doing their thing. I’m trying to visit lots of Taipei restaurants, but my time is running out here! If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Taipei, there’s definitely a reason this one comes up on so many lists.
If you want to book a table at MUME in Taipei, you can do so here: www.mume.tw
Address: No. 28, Siwei Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106 (this is a nice area to walk around in Taipei as well)