Robuchon in Taipei!

January 25, 2010 in Food, Taiwan, Travel by pacejmiller

Salon de The de Joel Robuchon in Taipei

Restaurant: Salon de The de Joel Robuchon
Level 3, Bellavita, No. 28 Song Ren Road, Taipei
Opening Hours: Weekdays 10am-10pm; Weekend/Holidays 10am-10:30pm
Contact: (886) 2 8729 2626

When I was living in Cambridge, we took at least a dozen trips to London, and each time we would make it our mission to dine at a ‘nice’ restaurant.  We took full advantage of the effects of the global financial crisis on the gourmet cuisine world, which gave us plenty of special offers (as high as 50% off!).

To be honest, pretty much all of these places disappointed us.  All except one.  And that place, was L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon.

Anyway, when I ventured into Bellavita in Taipei, literally on the other side of the planet, I was stunned to see the familiar name jump out at me.

That’s right, baby.  The chef with the most Michelin stars in the world, Joel Robuchon, has extended his presence to Taiwan (since November 2009).

Initially, the plan was to visit the same restaurant we attended in London, situated on the fifth floor of Bellavita.  However, to our surprise, the place was booked out.  It was filled with people, even at almost 2pm.  What financial crisis?

We did get to take a look inside, and it was fitted out almost identically to its London counterpart.  Rather than wait for another hour, we were advised to visit the tea and pastry salon on the third floor, Salon de The de Joel Robuchon, which apparently had some of the same stuff.

Now, look.  I don’t want you to judge us.  We were famished and we were eager to try, so keep that in mind when you read on.

(To read on and see the photos, click on ‘More…’)

First, we ordered this foie gras ravioli in soup, with this chilli cream you can put in yourself (TWD 580).  To be honest, the lukewarm soup didn’t have much taste, but the ravioli itself was sensational.  The foie gras was bursting with flavour and literally melts in your mouth.

Foie Gras Ravioli

Next up, we got a chicken sandwich (TWD 200) to go with a fresh grapefruit juice that cost even more than the sandwich (TWD 220).  Frankly, it was just okay.  The bread was toasted so it was crispy, and the chicken is marinated and succulent, but it wasn’t outstanding.  Nothing you couldn’t get at a decent deli.  The juice, on the other hand, was…fresh.

Chicken and Salad Sandwich

And after that, the most expensive beef burger I’ve ever tasted (TWD 1080).  And man, it was awesome.  Really one of the best burgers I’ve ever had.  The beef was thick and juicy and cooked to perfection, and the flavours of the vegetables and BBQ sauce combined to provide a delicious hit.  Even the fries were great, hot, crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.  Wow.

Beef Burger with Fries and BBQ Sauce

Then, it was time for dessert, and this was where things may have gotten a little out of hand.  First up, the praline mille-feuille (TWD 190) – and I kid you not, it was definitely (and I am rarely definite about anything) the best mille-fueille I have ever tasted.  By far.  It was insanely good.

The best Mille-Feuille ever!

At this point, we had become hypnotised by the brilliant mille-feuille, so we decided to go all out and get some more.  A lot more…

An assortment of delicious desserts

I can’t remember what these were, but they were all great.  They were around TWD 200 each.

In all, a superb dining experience, primarily because of the desserts.  The price was a little dear for Taiwan (but reasonable for Europe) and the staff seemed like they were still trying to get the hang of things, but apart from that can’t complain.  9 out of 10!

How to get there

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon is on level 5 and Salon de The de Joel Robuchon is on level 3 of Bellavita, which a is high class mall near Taipei City Hall MRT station (on the blue line).  Take exit 3 and follow the crowd towards the shopping malls and Bellavita is the first one you’ll see.