Kooks 異嗑堂 Restaurant – Jaysun Eats Taipei




Kooks 異嗑堂

☆☆☆GOLDEN☆☆

Taipei restaurant offering: Burgers / Milkshakes / Quesadillas / Tacos / Nachos / Hummus, Tzatziki, & Tahini Plates / Sandwiches / Pitas / Wraps / Rice Plates / Salad / Pasta / Dessert / Appetizers / Smoothies / Juice / Soda / Tea / Beer / Wine / Cocktails

Address:
No. 12, Ln. 18, Ren’ai St, Tamsui Dist., New Taipei City 251
新北市淡水區仁愛街18巷12號
Phone: (02) 2625-6161
Hours: 12pm – 11pm Daily
Last Reviewed: 22 April 2017

My friend who lives in Tamsui — which should still be spelled “Danshui” — took me to Kooks. I was blown away with their food, literally blown away! The store owners, Liam McDonagh and Emma Chen (陳佩君), hold true to great North American restaurants by not skimping on ingredients or using cheap ingredients — almost all of their sauces are homemade — even after they became a popular joint, because they understand the concept of repeat business; something that even a lot of Western-run restaurants in Taipei fail to live true to, giving into the Taiwanese-restaurant way of making an extra buck or two as their business slowly slides down the toilet, or they continue to fool brainless followers who eat wherever everyone else is eating or says is “popular” or “famous.” Kooks is a living example in Taiwan for showing how consistently focusing on quality, delicious food at a fair price can cultivate regulars and continue to draw in newcomers through word of mouth. The money they lose on quality and well proportioned ingredients is made back with repeat business. It’s sad that this kind of thing is so rare to come by in Taiwan. Thank you Kooks for holding true to the restaurant moral etiquette and walking that narrow middle path in a country where so many restaurants eventually forget about the passion of food and turn their establishments into soulless money machines that couldn’t care less about customers or the art of food. Actually, I’d say that many establishments are opened up in Taipei/New Taipei City that never were passionate about anything, and were built as money machines from their very inceptions. Yes, of course every place needs to make money or it can’t continue to exist, but everyone knows that the best places are the best, and continue to be the best, because of passion.

At first Kooks became my new favorite burger place; they make the best burgers in New Taipei City, and maybe Taipei as well. They’ve raised the burger bar to another level in the Taipei area. The patties are cooked in their own juices, marinating in all that goodness; the patties are correctly seasoned with salt and pepper; the size of the patty is good; the brioche buns are of the highest quality (I’m told they come from Wendel’s Bakery!) and provide some denseness unlike the mushy crap a lot of burger places serve in Taiwan; and the ingredients besides the patty and bun are quality and nicely proportioned. 

Then they became my favorite place to get a milkshake; their milkshakes are freakin’ spectacular! At the same price as other places, Kooks’ shakes are larger, possess quality ingredients, and completely taste like authentic, delicious North American shakes. John Travolta would have no problem paying five dollars for a Kooks’ shake. We all know that it’s normal to have to pay $5 USD for a milkshake in Taiwan, but if other places served as large and as good of a shake as Kooks does, they’d be charging up to double the price as Kooks does.

Then after trying their Mexican, Indian, and Mediterranean dishes/sauces, I thought, ‘What can’t Liam do? Is he some kind of culinary God or something?!’ Their wraps are easily the best that I’ve had in Taipei. The homemade salsa — and I can validate that it was homemade because I had it on two different occasions, and it was delicious both times but slightly different, which is typical for homemade items — tasted just like salsa I’ve had at quality Mexican restaurants in North America. The chips were crispy, not stale. The heaping nacho plate was loaded with quality ingredients, easily becoming one of my favorite nacho plates in Taiwan. The chicken tikka was tender and swam in a tasty Indian curry. Their tzatziki sauce took me back to one of my favorite Greek gyro joints back home. Even the cool paintings on the walls were done by Liam — WTF! Again, what can’t he do? Liam is as dedicated to his restaurant as Liam Neeson is to getting his daughter back every time she’s taken.

I really wish Kooks was in Taipei instead of New Taipei City, so I could enjoy it more often. The thought of Kooks’ food tempts me to take the red MRT line north all the way up to Tamsui just to get what I can’t get in Taipei. So if you find yourself in the Tamsui area or just want to travel a little for excellent food, Kooks should be your destination for deliciousness.

Vegetarian options: Kooks has two full menu pages heaping with vegetarian items. See for yourself in the picture’s section below and get your veggie taste buds salivating.

Like or Share Kooks 異嗑堂 review Click pictures for prices and critiques

Kooks Facebook page
Kooks Instagram web viewer on Websta
King Yang’s review of Kooks 異嗑堂
Another Chinese review of Kooks 異嗑堂
Kooks 2 Mountain Kitchen Facebook page

Address:
No. 12, Ln. 18, Ren’ai St, Tamsui Dist., New Taipei City 251
新北市淡水區仁愛街18巷12號
Phone: (02) 2625-6161
Hours: 12pm – 11pm Daily

Chinese & English Menu
Average Dish Price: NT$280
10% Service Charge
Cash Only
Free Wi-Fi
Reservations Accepted

Click on the link below for their Google Map page for the street view and/or other visitor’s photos. Afterwards, you can click the dedicated back button on Google Maps to view the destination on a full-screened Google Map for directions.
Kooks 異嗑堂


An entertaining short film by Frans Kromhout that takes place in Kooks, and includes visuals of some of Kooks’ delicious dishes. It stars Anna-wa Chao, Jim Liu, Ben Hao Kuo, and Kooks’ owners, Liam McDonagh and Emma Chen, also make cameos.Like or Share Kooks 異嗑堂 review