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Salt & Bread

269, DunHua S. Road, Sec 2
(02) 2738-2700
Hours: 6:30 am-12 pm
(Lunch 11 am-2 pm, Dinner 5-9 pm)
MRT: between Technology Building and LiuZhangLi
Credit cards accepted. Smoking section.
10% Service charge.


--By Claire Tyrrell Translated by Michael Ho

Salt and Bread has been making its name known in Taipei for over a year now (a Russian restaurant certainly being a rarity) and boasts a menu thankfully more lavish than the name suggests. Not content with just being a restaurant, the front its entrance has a busy bakery selling a variety of breads, cakes and Russian ice cream.

On the lunch and dinner menu, the famous Beef Stroganoff (NT$520), Chicken Kiev (NT$460), and Bortsch (Russian beetroot soup, NT$180) make an appearance and are amongst the most popular dishes. The menu, however, includes quite a variety of other European flavours. German and "French fusion" dishes also make the list. Main course prices range from NT$400 for Shashlik (grilled-meat skewers), to NT$1800 for a black caviar set. There is also a selection of soups, German sausages, desserts, and an extensive drinks list.

Although it's not quite like crossing the threshold of the country itself, a visit to Salt & Bread does offer the chance to sample something different. I was pleased to see Balthika Beer (lager/porter/wheat NT$200), a fine Russian beer, as the typical accompaniment to a meal there!

While there are elements of a theme restaurant (live folk music accompanies evening meals), the place is thankfully free of Kremlin kitsch and the like. The restaurant is large, but the warm colours and subtle lighting certainly make it an attractive place to while away the evening.

What also makes the place unique is the much talked-about "ice bar" -- a small room kept at minus 20 degrees, and containing over 100 different vodkas. It seats six people comfortably, reservations can be made, and thick jackets are provided!