“One problem,” the waitress explained when we asked how business was going at Tai Ke, just opened, “is that people confuse Taiwanese with Thai.” Which seems a little weird. And anyway, business did not seem to be suffering much. Tai Ke, St. Louis’ new—and only—restaurant dedicated to Taiwanese cuisine, was already bustling full early on a weeknight. The clientele was, us aside, entirely Chinese.
Consider, for a moment, the sausage "snack" served at Tai Ke (8604 Olive Boulevard, 314-801-8894), the Taiwanese restaurant that opened in a tucked-away University City strip mall a few weeks ago.
In a modest storefront just a stone’s throw away from Olive Boulevard’s main drag of international eateries, a recently opened restaurant brings a new facet of far-east fare to St. Louis. Tai Ke, which translates loosely to “Taiwanese people,” debuted on Sept. 3 with authentic dishes from its namesake island culture.
Everyone knows that along Olive there's an incredible concentration of Asian foods, ranging from various types of Chinese to Korean to Vietnamese, in addition to several notable Asian markets. One of my favorite places is KC Rotisserie (if you haven't tried it you should make it a point to go sometime) which is across from LuLu's.
“Where shall we go?” I asked, unfolding my wet umbrella and lumbering onto the front seat of the car, feeling like a sheep dog dampening her space. She pulled out a copy of Sauce magazine and pointed to a piece on Tai ke, the new Taiwanese restaurant.
If I were planning an ultimate eating trip through Asia, I’d start in Japan, bounce down to Taiwan, swing over to Hong Kong, dive down to Vietnam, then finish things off in Singapore. Surprised to see Taiwan on the list? You shouldn’t be. The sub-tropical island off the Southeastern coast of China is a food mecca, full of some of the most food-obsessed people I’ve ever met.