April 19, 2008

La Petite Encore

Pin It

Last night I went back to La Petite Cuisine in Taipei after a very long absence. I had only been there once before, almost 4 years ago after it first opened, and have chosen not to go back after that experience. While it is famously run by Justin Quek - formerly of Singapore's Les Amis Group and currently the man behind Le Platane in Shanghai - unfortunately he is almost never in Taipei and I felt the service and food qualities didn't match my expectations.

When we arrived at 8pm, we were the only table seated at the restaurant. Now, I know that Taiwanese people usually eat dinner early, but to finish by 8pm is a litte bizarre. The maitre d' claimed that there was a big group who arrived earlier but had already left...Anyway, this wasn't the first time that I found myself to be the only table at a fine dining restaurant, and it certainly won't be the last.

I had been eating a lot recently, so I chose to order a la carte instead of taking a degustation menu. We were served two types of bread - sourdough and a small French roll with pointed ends. The sourdough was OK, but the French roll was terrible - soft and mushy in the middle. Not a good start.

I was given a complimentary cup of tomato consommé, which was not bad. The mild acidity of the tomato worked well with the beef flavor.

My starter was the Salade Printemps, which was actually very enjoyable as it had some unusual elements. It's a medley of spring vegetables such as frisee, baby corn, asparagus, radicchio and included crunchy lily buds. Nice and refreshing.

For main course I had Challans duck two ways: duck leg confit and pan-fried duck breast. The confit was pretty good, crispy and fragrant on the outside, tender on the inside. Somehow it's a notch below the one I had at the Legend Concept - maybe it's not fatty enough and a tiny bit dry? The sliced duck breast was also good. There was truffle sauce all over the plate to add flavor. I'm glad I chose this course.

I didn't have a bottle of wine with me, so I ordered from the wine list. The 2003 Torbreck Juveniles was a really nice bottle to drink. It's a bit young, but already drinking a very well, with nose of strawberries, tropical fruits such as lychee, grilled meat, some floral notes. The wine was incredibly sweet, both in terms of nose and palate. Finish was also reasonably long, possibly due to the high alcohol content. It's a big, powerful wine in Parker style and quite reasonable in terms of pricing. Yummy.

We were told that the restaurant is due to move into the Evergreen Laurel Hotel in Taipei by the end of April. I hope that being in a hotel would bring them more traffic.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map