Salon de The de Joel Robuchon
Bellavita Mall 3F
No. 28 Song Ren Road
Dining date: 2/6/14
For my first meal in Taipei (which happened to be solo), I figured I’d ease into it by dining somewhere sort of familiar and possibly more Western-friendly (turns out Taipei has been one of the more English-friendly international cities I’ve been to). Joel Robuchon has two restaurants in Taipei, his ‘casual’ L’Atelier and his even more casual Salon de The. Plans to dine at L’Atelier were already booked later in the trip, so I stopped by the Salon for lunch.
Similar to my experiences with La Boutique de Joel Robuchon in Tokyo, the Salon de The includes a retail patisserie serving a fairly large variety of breads, pastries, cookies and sweets. Definitely a nice stop for a quick treat.
A two course fixed menu is available as well as a la carte (~$25-$33 for two courses with optional $5 dessert). The menu is not nearly as ambitious as the more upscale Robuchon outlets, featuring a number of salads, soups and sandwiches. There are some more composed plates though and I tried to stick to these. I also splurged on a cheeseburger with fries too at $23.
I began the morning with a latte.
Pumpkin Soup country bread crouton and olive oil
Hot and creamy with a good pumpkin flavor; pistachio and the mini croutons provided the textural effect.
Sea Bream celery cream and clam jus
The fish was dense but moist, bathed in a pretty tasty celery-clam broth. Small pieces of flavorless clam meat didn’t add anything, nor did the sundried tomato.
Le Cheese Burger fries
I thought this burger done pretty well with a toasted crisp bun, juicy double patties and oozing cheese. The fries were a touch oily but were still quite good with a nice crunch. Was it worth $23? Probably not, though it wasn’t abominable.
I thought this was done very well, tasting as good as it looked. Flaky with sweet strawberries and a delicious custard filling, this was an ideal way to end this meal.
I found this meal at the Salon de The to be okay, below expectations. The millefeuille was excellent and the burger was quite good, but the rest of the meal failed to really excite. Service was attentive for the first 2/3 of the meal, but was almost non-existent for the last 1/3 after my primary server went on break. It was both curious and awkward given I was the only person dining in the restaurant for the majority of my meal, and servers would keep busy slightly out of sight on random tasks. My local guides later suggested it may have been their fear of having to speak English – whatever it was, it definitely took away from the experience.