We’ve heard a lot of good things about Closet – one of them being that they don’t compromise on the quality of their creative cocktails and fashionable dishes. In fact, back in 2019, they won the 50 Best Discovery bars and restaurants in the world.
Once you’ve stepped through their unique blue doors, you are transported to a luxurious (or even fantasy-themed) European tavern.
Getting to Closet is pretty easy as it’s only a 4-minute walk from Zhongxiao Dunhua Station, exit 7.
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The entire place inside is a different world compared to anything else.
It’s everything you’d expect a luxurious wine cellar restaurant to be, including vaulted ceilings, leather seats, and exposed brick walls.
The atmosphere was calm and cozy with jazz music playing when we visited on a Sunday evening. The lights begin to dim after 9pm, which is when they bring out the flickering candles.
The vibe also changes to be a bit funkier as they change the music to something a bit more upbeat.
Closet also has a downstairs area that leads down to a room filled with leather sofas and tables for relaxing and drinking cocktails.
Since we came here for dinner, we didn’t get to fully explore their cocktails on this occasion. However, we did order two drinks from their cocktail menu to try and get an idea of how creative they are.
The drink menu alone was pretty extensive so we had a tough time deciding what to order. In the end, we went for two cocktails with some interesting presentations and ingredients.
Here’s what we got:
Marilyn’s Nightgown ($400)
This cocktail came in a small glass with an attached wooden scented paper that the bartender lit just before serving. The flavors were seasonal flower vodka, clarified grape juice, Becherovka, Fino Sherry, and oolong tea.
It’s supposed to represent perfume – you even get a perfume bottle that comes with the glass to refill the cocktail.
It had a nice level of sweetness that wasn’t overbearing (rated at a strength of 5/10 in their cocktail menu).
Kelly On Her Trip ($450)
This elegant-looking cocktail was served in a glass slightly bigger than Marilyn’s Nightgown. The top part of the glass was decorated in little rose petals and mastiha, which is a plant resin – leaving only a small place to put your lips to drink it.
It was flavored with sour cherry gin, cognac, Old Tom gin, amaro, and lemon.
The sour notes of the gins really came through, so it was slightly overpowering – rated at a strength of 6/10 in their menu. It took us longer to drink this as it needed smaller sips compared to the first cocktail.
Fried Squid with Bolognese ($320)
This beautifully decorated dish was our first appetizer. The squid was served perfectly warm as it rests on top of the hot bolognese.
It was a delicious dish to eat as the squid was easy to cut up and mix in with the fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and mustard sauce.
Red Wine Stewed Beef with Mashed Potatoes ($380)
This bowl was the last appetizer to arrive. The beef was surrounded by few slices of baguette and freshly grilled and crunchy vegetables which are chopped up corn, sprouts, tomatoes. You get a decent amount of mashed potato which was at the bottom of the bowl.
We found the best way to enjoy this was to use a fork to put the food on the slices of baguette to eat. Sadly, we soon ran out of the baguette slices and resorted to just eating the meal directly.
It didn’t bother us as we still felt this was the best of the two appetizers. We absolutely loved the beef as it was rich and tasted amazing with the smooth and creamy mashed potato.
Pan-fried Scallop XO Sauce Gnocchi ($450)
This dish is from the pasta and risotto section of the menu.
The gnocchi pasta came in a large dish with three pan-fried scallops and stir-fried with XO sauce full of chili.
We thoroughly enjoyed this dish, the pasta had a high-quality and creamy texture to it as it mixed in really well with the cheese and XO sauce.
One thing we must point out is it was a bit spicy – if spicy food is your kind of dish, then we highly recommend this option.
12-ounce Pan-fried Steak ($1,280)
This dish is from the top of their main course section of the menu.
The pan-fried steak is served as thick slices sizzling on hot pebbles in a pan for easy sharing.
Tongs are provided for you to flip the sizzling beef around before taking them out. If you order the pan-fried steak, be sure not to leave them cooking too long on the hot pebbles or they’ll become dry.
The steak also comes with a set of three different kinds of salts and peppers to try out with the meat. We really appreciated having this seasoning tray as it really helped to bring out the meaty flavors.
The garlic also paired very well, although it was quite difficult to get it out of the cloves. When we did, we found it was totally worth it as it added a subtle smoothness to the beef.
The desserts are all on the last page of their menu. We ordered the Paris-Brest, a French dessert that’s typically made of choux pastry with nuts and cream in the middle.
When it arrived, it was slightly different from what we expected – the nuts were replaced with strawberries and blueberries. This was assumingly to adapt it more to the Taiwanese audience (as they generally prefer fruits over nuts).
The pastry was slightly crispy on the outside and sprinkled in a sugary frost, but it wasn’t overpoweringly sweet. We did find it to be a really creamy treat which we quite liked.
Check out their food menu below:
If you’re interested in seeing all their Cocktails, you can check out Closet’s Cocktail Menu on Facebook.
We’d say Closet is worth going to chill out with friends in the dimly lit and calm atmosphere, even if you are there just for the drinks.
We don’t usually shell out for fancy cocktails and food, but it’s nice to do once in a while.
Since we don’t frequent upscale cocktail bars, we probably wouldn’t go back very often unless there was some reason to. Having said that, we wouldn’t mind visiting again just to try out more of their other creative cocktails.
Government Health Warnings on Alcohol:
– Excessive consumption of alcohol is dangerous,
– It is prohibited for minors to drink alcohol.
Telephone: 02 2731 7919
Facebook: Closet Restaurant & Bar
English address: No. 15, Lane 101, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106
Chinese address: 106台北市大安區忠孝東路四段101巷15號
Zhongxiao Dunhua Station, exit 7 (4-minuet walk).
🗓️ Visited: March 2021 – Taipei.Expats