Field Trip: Lady M has arrived in Taipei (來自紐約的蛋糕)

Lady M | Address: Guangfu South Road, Alley 240, No. 26.| MRT: Blue line, Sun Yet Sun Memorial Station, Exit 2 | Hours: 11:00-9:00, (last order: 8:00)|地址:台北市大安區光復南路240巷26號(捷運國父紀念館2號出口)

Lady M originally hails from New York and has expanded to various locations in Asia, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, and now Taipei.  I’m always excited to try the new places, and I’m always interested in observing how well they acclimatize to local cultures.   I’ve discovered that it’s not enough to just transplant the cakes across the ocean.  Instead, more attention should be played to how well the entire dining experience would work in a different country and culture.  I think Lady M has quite a bit of room from growth in this area.

We arrived at Lady M with the preparation that we would be waiting in line, but luckily for us, the weather was cooler then, and the line wasn’t very long.  Keep in mind, the wait is not for a table, but for a time slot.  Then you go off and do other things until your time slot.  I thought that was an acceptable method, but the part that annoyed me to no end was after we arrived at our assigned time slot.  We entered the store, but were “kept back” with a retractable belt barrier! I wish I thought to take a photo of it, but I was too surprised at the time.  I think a simple spoken”please wait here” by the staff would have been sufficient.

Before were handed menus, we were informed that the dine in time was limited to 90 minutes, which is typical of hotspots in Taipei.  We quickly ordered and then settled back for what we hoped would be a short, yet sweet spot of afternoon tea. I snapped a few quick photos of the interior, but I wasn’t too impressed. Something about the grey and marble is not quite right (don’t get me wrong, grey is one of my favorite colors) but it just seemed almost too cold and austere, instead of being sophisticated and elegant.

Some of Lady M’s signature cakes are their Mille Crêpes, in both a classic vanilla flavor, and a green tea flavor.  Each cake has 20 layers of crepes, and is layered with pasty cream. Also shown here is the Checkers cake, which consists of chocolate and vanilla sponge cake, layered with whipped cream and frosted with chocolate ganache.  The cake on the right is their Strawberry Shortcake, which is made from Japanese superfine flour, and layered and frosted with whipped cream.

The three of us ordered a chocolate and classic version of the Mille Crêpes cakes, and also a strawberry short cake.  Both cakes and drinks took quite a bit of time to arrive. Word of the wise, try and stick to the espresso drinks, because I’m sure they would have been more substantial than their teas, which were quite bland.

The cakes were too sweet. (Even for me)!  I gave up eating about 3/4s through my slice, because the combination of the sugar and cream got to be too much for me.  I was relying on the tea to help cut some of the cloyingness, but it was a pretty weak cup of tea.  We also decided that the Strawberry Shortcake was fine, but not outstanding.  The Harbs version tasted better, and was definitely worth waiting in line for.

But by far, the most irritating part was the waitstaff that kept coming around to remind us that we had a half an hour, 15 minutes, and finally 5 minutes before our time was up.  Lady M doesn’t feel like the place where you would stay for hours chatting, so I think we would have left well before our 90 minutes was up, but we kept getting distracted from our conversation, by the “reminders” so we probably ended up staying longer than planned.  All in all, I was exasperated by the experience at Lady M. I’m not sure if they are still trying to work out the kinks in their service, but until they do, I’m not in a hurry to go back.  For more ambience and pleasant service, I’d rather go to Cova, where you feel like you are really being welcomed and looked after.

Information: Lady M| Address: Guangfu South Road, Alley 240, No. 26.| MRT: Blue line, Sun Yet Sun Memorial Station, Exit 2 | Hours: 11:00-9:00, (last order: 8:00)|地址:台北市大安區光復南路240巷26號(捷運國父紀念館2號出口)






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