慕哲咖啡 / Cafe Philo – a review of sorts

When I walked into Cafe Philo, I hadn’t really had a proper meal all day, it was raining, I was ovulating, I’d just left an event where Caroline Gluck discussed various depressing and frustrating things and I was going to be waiting to attend another event by the same from 7pm to 9pm.

To clarify, yes, I was going to attend both of her book signing/talks on the same day because 1. practicum hours and 2. I did really want to see how things would change since she would have two different interpreters for each event.

So there’s the backstory.

I ordered a smoked chicken apple panini, smoked chicken Caesar salad, milk tea, and waffles with ice cream.

Yes, I know. Anyways.

The smoked chicken salad was good. It had canned corn, lettuce, two slices of hard-boiled egg, tomatoes, and cucumber. If you’re a fellow American and you’re expecting enough smoked chicken to make this a meal, however, don’t. This isn’t the US. The smoked chicken was very much for flavor, not satiation. Also, the Caesar dressing — it wasn’t. I’m not sure what it was, but it more closely resembled the sesame seed butter Japanese salad dressing than something involving mustard, egg, olive oil, lemon juice, and anchovies.

The panini came with a tiny side salad, which was nice. It also had tomato, cucumber, and cheese in addition to the smoked chicken and apple slices. Pretty darn delicious. I’d totally come back and order this again.

The milk tea was okay. Not particularly awesome, not disappointing. There was a lovely little bit of foam art on top that smelled faintly of honey for some reason. It wasn’t too sweet, which I appreciated.

The waffles were where I hit the wall. First of all, however, let me tell you there’s a lot of waffle involved. They came with a lovely little arrangement of fruit and whipped cream, so apparently Cafe Philo is really dedicated to making sure we get our five a day. Kudos for that, truly.
Two Belgian waffles, so it can be pretty filling on its own. Good thing, as they have savory waffle platters, although just from looking at someone else’s order, I think there’s not enough filling for the amount of waffle given. The waffle should be a vehicle for filling, not the main character. But I digress.
The waffles were crunchy. Palate-scratching crunchy. Tasty, if you like your waffles to resemble cookies, but I like mine to be fluffy with a bit of crunch.
The ice cream, one scoop of vanilla and one of chocolate, didn’t work for me. The vanilla didn’t quite taste like the type of vanilla that I love. Maybe it’s a more Asian type of vanilla, but it didn’t do it for me. The chocolate was actually a turn-off because it was not only not very good chocolate, it was mint chocolate. I want pure, dark, velvety smooth chocolate when I’m adding waffles to the scene, yo!

Overall verdict?
I probably wouldn’t deliberately come here again, but I’d be happy to eat here if ever I had occasion to. Just, maybe skip the desserts.
It was pretty busy on a Saturday evening, but then again, many places in Taipei are. I couldn’t focus enough to do actual work, but it was fine enough for blogging. The waitstaff are very attentive and were complete sweethearts. Also very good at topping up water, which doesn’t always happen.

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