Kan Pai Cafe calls itself a Taiwanese grill, and it’s a place I drive by on a semi-regular basis. The building Kan Pai Cafe is in was formerly a Black Eyed Pea I would frequent. That Black Eyed Pea had some of the most indifferent staff I’ve ever suffered from. Not so with Kan Pai. I was generally impressed with my service here.

I wasn’t sure when it would open, but I was coming back from a visit to my doctor when the flashing OPEN sign caught my eye. I’ve been largely out of touch for a couple weeks with foot issues, but curiosity got the better of me. I stepped inside and stared at their menu for a couple minutes before an attractive staffer asked me to come inside.

The inside is nice. The tables are a dark red, the seating is black and there is a lot of good dark wood in the eatery. In the middle is a bar with plenty of wine glasses hanging upside down and the rest of the seating is arranged around the bar. There is a serious attempt to be graceful here and I think they’ve succeeded for the most part.

The menu has a wide variety of items under $7.00. It’s a “small plate” (similar to tapas style) menu, at least the parts I looked at. I ordered edamame and I ordered a steamed seasonal vegetable. Along with that I ordered some rice (no brown rice, but the serving size was about right for me) and salmon with miso. Before the entrées came pickles arrived at the plate, a daikon pickle and a cabbage pickle.

bok choy

Both of the pickles were good. If I weren’t being cautious I’d  have ordered more of the daikon pickle. Of the two, the cabbage was a little sweeter, though really, both had the tart of a vinegar based pickling juice.

The bok choy was really good. I can’t get enough vegetables these days. The salmon (less the sauce they usually pour over the fish) was beautifully plated and was tasty. You could taste the miso marinade. I ate half the fish, and doggie bagged the rest of it (my diet is strict on meats).  I finished with edamame and a lot of water, taking my time, savoring the beans.

There were large swaths of the menu I couldn’t explore in a first visit. Kan Pai has more classically Taiwanese dishes. I was sticking to things that had Japanese analogs. They have good looking fruit juices and fruit slushes, a lot of noodle dishes, a set of fried dishes I didn’t try. There is a lot to explore here, and it would take more than one visit to figure out what this place can offer in toto.

Verdict: Affordable Taiwanese eatery with good looking dishes and responsive staff. Highly Recommended.

Kan Pai Cafe
3466 Holcombe Bridge Road
Norcross, GA 30092
(770) 840-8999

Kan Pai Cafe on Urbanspoon

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