Last week being the week of Chinese New Year, my children were out of school and me, being a teacher, had no classes to teach. With all of us being on vacation at the same time, we were able to take the opportunity to do some things together like go to the Taipei Zoo, spend time with extended family, play at the park, embarrass ourselves at KTV, and eat in a mock-up of an Airbus A380 for lunch.
Yeah, it kind of sticks out a little at the mall.
The concept is actually a good one, especially considering that the target audience is children. Well, I assume it’s children as it’s located on the children’s wear floor of the Mistigoshi A8 building. While adults tend to associate airplanes with taking off your shoes, cramped seating, tiny bathrooms, and the occasional TSA-administered prostate exam, children associate airplanes with flying.
And there is nothing cooler than flying.
Themeatically-speaking, the execution of the “airliner” concept is quite good. The seats are upolstered in a pattern similar to that of aircraft seats. The restaurant windows are the same ovals as airliner windows. Need to be waited on? Simply push the flight attendent call button over every table, which is nested in a “air/light” cluster similar to that over every seat on your average airplane.
This being Taiwan, the upostery design and “flight attendant” uniforms are modeled after China Airlines, the national (however misnamed) carrier.
Yes, China Airlines doesn’t actually have any Airbus A380 aircraft in its fleet, but they do have some ordered. And yes, I am hoping that they are put into service covering the TPE-LAX leg.
Overall, I have to give the A380 Sky Restaurant theme concept and execution a solid ‘A’. Unfortunately, how cool a restaurant theme is isn’t important in the context of, well…a RESTAURANT. I can forgive Disneyland for having crappy food (and it does) because it is an amusemet park and as such it’s primary job is to amuse me. A restaurant’s primary job is to feed me. So, how did this place do?
My order was for pork with tomato sause and cheese and the plate brought to me looked very appetizing.
The meat portion was big (yes, I’m a little heavy on the carnivore side of the omnivore scale) and the few vegetables that were there were well-used from an artistic perspective. Then I took a bite and felt severly let down. It’s not that it tasted bad. It’s that there was absolutely no taste at all. It had the texture of meat but the flavor of a warm glass of water. At first I had thought that perhaps the kitchen had forgotten to season mine, but overheard my wife mutter the same thing: flavorless. She had ordered noodles with cream sauce and baby clams, something as different from my dish as you can get.
As an adult, I have to give the food a D+. However, children aren’t the biggest fans of seasoned food (how else do you explain the popularity of McNuggets?) and even though the portion is adult-sized, the palette isn’t. For kids, the food is probably good enough.
To summarize, eat there once for the kitch value and to say that you’ve been but I don’t expect that many will choose to return for a meal much less make it a regular place.