Madame Jill’s Vietnamese Cuisine (Taipei)
A quick one about one of the better Vietnamese joints in Taipei, Madame Jill’s (which has a completely unrelated Chinese name of 翠薪越南餐廳), located in Gongguan off Roosevelt Road. As a lover of Vietnamese food, I was spoiled in Sydney, which has some of the best pho around, but Taiwan has so far been a relative disappointment in comparison. That said, Madame Jill’s is definitely one of the more authentic ones I’ve tried over here, with the proper rice noodles and traditional flavoured soup. It’s apparently the first Vietnamese restaurant to come to Taiwan as a result of the Vietnam War and has been in the country for the past 40 years.
The restaurant is spacious, and while clean, has a little bit of that “cheap and dirty” look shared by regular Vietnamese restaurants you’d find in Bankstown or Cabramatta. The menus are very extensive, with a wide selection of pho, dry vermicelli, rice, baguettes, appetizers and cooked dishes.
We ended up ordering three things for two people — a beef pho with beef balls (which comes with the usual vegetables and bean spouts — for NT$150), a set of BBQ pork skewers (NT$130), and a dry vermicelli with fried Viet spring rolls (NT$125).
The headliner, the beef pho, was very solid. The soup was nice and hot, very aromatic, but not heavy to the extent that the soup is opaque. The beef come semi-rare, which is great, and it’s topped off with a healthy serving of onions and spring onions.
The chicken skewers taste as good as they look, especially with the dry vermicelli underneath. The chicken itself was tender and contained lot of flavour.
The dry vermicelli with Viet spring rolls was also fairly decent with generous serves of chopped carrots and cucumber, plus a well-blended fish sauce to pour over it. The spring rolls are fried well and contain actual meat as opposed to some cheapskate places I’ve been to that only add taro.
I’ve been to a bunch of Vietnamese places in Taipei already and Madame Jill’s is one I will gladly head back to for repeat visits. It’s not Cabramatta or Bankstown, but it’s good enough.
Madame Jill’s Vietnamese Cuisine (翠薪越南餐廳)
Address: No. 11, Lane 24, Roosevelt Road Section 4, Dà’ān District, Taipei (nearest MRT Gongguan, green line)
Phone: (02) 2368-0254
Hours: 11:00 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 – 9:00