December 13, 2012

espressamente illy at Taipei 101

Italian sandwiches

My last Taiwan post covered the crazy food court located in the basement of Taipei 101.  This time, I took the elevator to the 35th floor and found espressamente illy.

Espressamente illy is a nice, quiet cafe, and it has a much more sophisticated feel, since it's amidst the offices in the buildings.  I think usually office workers come here to eat, but visitors are also welcome.  Just make sure you make reservations ahead of time.


Coffee Cup Table Numbers!
Cute coffee cup table numbers


Ever wake up in the morning, all groggy, thinking "I NEED MYSELF A CUP OF COFFEE!"  Well, your best friend is probably your trustworthy espresso machine.  And guess what?  Espressamente illy is the daughter company of the people who invented the world's first espresso machine.  So of course, I had to order a cup of coffee while I was here.

Um, I'm actually not a big fan of coffee (it makes me crazy sleepy!), but I did try a sip.  Even though I'm a total coffee newbie, it was one of the most flavorful coffees I've had.  And to put it into perspective, my coffee-addict uncle claims they have one of the best coffees!  Bottom line: inventors of the coffee maker make great coffee themselves.

Coffee Galore

Cute Coffee Cups
Cute display of coffee cups....with fish on them!

Espressamente illy also serves food!  Given that they have Italian roots, their menu consists of mostly Italian sandwiches.  Here goes...

Focaccia al tonno
Focaccia al tonno

First, up, the Focaccia al tonna! To translate from Italian, it's simply a tuna sandwich with Focaccia bread!  I'm not a big fan of tuna, but my madre said it had a very nice flavor, not fishy at all! 

Ciabatta al pollo
Ciabatta al pollo

Ciabatta al pollo, aka Roasted Chicken Ciabatta Sandwich.  Remember those Jack in the Box commercials, with mini-Jack struggling to say "ciabatta"?  Ahh, those were the days.  

Anyways, I was worried that the ciabatta bread would be hard since it was so flat, but it was actually very soft!  It had a nice crisp crust, but the inside was quite chewy.  The chicken, sliced very thinly, had a fragrant rosemary taste, and it went perfectly with the nuttiness of the pesto.

Focaccia al salame
Focaccia al salame

And finally, we have the Focaccia al salame, or salami sandwich with Focaccia bread.  Italian's getting a bit easier, yeah? 

The Focaccia bread was nicely toasted so that it had that crispy outer edge, but the inside was still soft.  It was very similar to a sourdough texture, but with a more herb-y instead of sourdough flavor.  I could have eaten loaves of that bread by itself if I had some balsamic vinegar and olive oil!

Jambalaya Rice
Jambalaya Rice

Black Tea
Black tea

In Italian, this would be tè nero.  Hahaha, but this was just your usual Asian sweetened black tea.  

Taipei 101

Here's Taipei 101 on a dreamy, puffy-cloud day.  Imagine eating on the 35th floor!  And here's the (free) view...

Panoramic window view of Taipei

espressamente illy 
Taipei 101, 35th floor
No. 7, Sec. 5, Xin Yi Rd.
Taipei, Taiwan
(02) 8101-0798