Genghis Khan Restaurant, Taipei
It may seem weird to come all the way to Taipei and eat Mongolian BBQ, but don't forget that Mongolian BBQ is actually Taiwanese. We asked the hotel's concierge for a recommendation and he pointed us to this place (Nanking East Road Section 3 Number 176, 2711-3655), apparently a quite well-known one that has been here for ages. And the age certainly showed. This place wasn't pretty, that's for sure. Then again, which Mongolian BBQ's are?
As expected, they had the requisite trays of thin frozen meat sheets and vegetables, complete with a row of sauces and the signature round grill to cook your selections on. They also provided those Taiwanese sesame bread things. But surprisingly, there were no noodles available, nor any sesame seeds to sprinkle on. It admittedly didn't make that much of a difference in taste in the end, but it was interesting to see that (are all Mongolian BBQ's in Taiwan like that?).
Perhaps what was more disappointing though was the horrible looking buffet spread that they ran concurrently. They had all sorts of prepared food, including soup, salad, and ice cream (and even some of that seasoned edamame), none of which had any appeal to me. They also had a grill on the side that prepared fish, chicken, and even Taiwanese sausages (with raw garlic cloves on the side) that nearly pulled me in. But I kept my distance.
This place is probably known for just being an all-you-can-eat bargain at under NT$500 (US$15) per person more than anything. In that sense, this was quite a letdown, and frankly I'd much rather just go to the US to get Mongolian BBQ instead. Unless someone can recommend a better Mongolian BBQ place in Taipei?