VVG Bistro (Taipei)
The VVG in VVG Bistro stands for very very good, and so it was necessary for me to confirm this. Located a short walk from the Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT station, VVG Bistro is just one of several joints in the VVG franchise (the others include the nearby VVG Table, as well as VVG BonBon and VVG Something). This one serves Western fusion with a French influence — main courses such as roast chicken, roast pork, grilled fish and sirloin steak, an assortment of casseroles, about eight types of creative pastas and a selection of salads and sandwiches. They also serve snacks such as french fries with white truffle oil, hot chicken wings and cheese platters.
The look of the restaurant is very bistro-like, with one outdoor table out front, a few sofa seats and a couple of tables, with an open kitchen where chefs are either busy cutting up vegetables or cooking on the hot stoves. The desserts are on display in a glass cabinet so you can check it out for yourself before making a selection.
Price-wise it’s reasonable but relatively expensive, with the mains costing around NT$500, the casseroles NT$680, and the pastas and salads averaging around NT$400 each. The desserts are not cheap either, with the cheapest, the apple cinnamon roll, priced at NT$120 and cakes at NT$220 each. The chocolate fondant, which takes 30 minutes to prepare, is NT$280.
Anyway, we ended up going with recommendations from the waitress, who suggested a chicken stew casserole over the roast thyme-mustard chicken because it was more unusual, and the scallop and mushroom linguine with fried garlic and mentaiko (Japanese marinated cod roe sauce).
Next came the pasta, which was surprisingly good. It was a very Japanese-y dish, as the mentaiko sauce was tangy and had that roe texture to it and the scallops went well with the al dente linguine. I hadn’t anything quite like it before and I enjoyed it a lot.
Then eventually the casserole came, along with a pumpkin soup and a salad. The soup was thick and creamy, and the pasta was fresh and served with a dressing that had a real zing to it. The casserole itself didn’t feel very heavy. The chicken was soft and juicy and the vegetables it was cooked with (a lot of onions, carrots and red peppers) provided a nice mix of flavours. And it smelled really good.
Lastly, the dessert. We agonized over the chocolate fondant, but ended up going with what looked like a safe bet — the caramel cheese cake with kosher salt and caramel sauce. It was a rich cheese cake that didn’t taste too sweet because of the salt, and the added whipped cream on top with a dash of caramel sauce really hit the spot.
On the whole, I’d say VVG Bistro is a nice place for a casual gathering with friends, as the setting is comfortable and meal selections are quite interesting and not what you would find elsewhere. That said, the food wasn’t extraordinary, nor was it very very good, though I admit it was pretty good. Taking into account the price, however, it might not be a place I’d go back to again in a hurry.
VVG Bistro (好樣）
Blog: http://vvgvvg.blogspot.tw/ (Chinese)
Address: 20, Alley 40, Lane 181, Zhongxiao E Rd, Sec 4 (nearest MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua)
Phone: (02) 8773 3533
Hours: 12pm-11pm Weekdays, 11am-11pm Weekends