Innovative French cuisine at VVG Bistro

By Ken Lin Translated by Cheryl Robbins

20, Alley 40, Lane 180, ZhongXiao (ChungHsiao) East Rd. (near Civic Boulevard)
Tel: (02) 8773-3533 (reservations recommended)
Hours: 12 noon-11 pm Mon-Sat; 12-8 pm Sun
Happy Hour 5-8 pm
Weekend Brunch: 12 noon-4 pm Sat-Sun

VVG Bistro was created by a group of designers and advertising professionals and it shows. The eclectic style is intentional, with the interior including an open kitchen, to give diners the chance to watch their dishes being prepared.

The mismatched furniture gives the restaurant a playful feel and the frequently-changing artwork hanging on the walls was produced by an artist friend of the owners'. There is a small outdoor garden, filled with flowers, that provides a retreat from the concrete surroundings of the city.

The name VVG comes from the words "very, very good". Although it is a French restaurant, traditional French dishes have been modified by the innovative chef so that they themselves are works of art.

The menu changes according to season. On the current menu, the most popular dish is the roast chicken thigh with stuffed mushrooms (NT$360), served with French Dijon mustard. One dish synonymous with French cuisine is pan-fried duck confit with mashed pumpkin and ratatouille (NT$340). The duck meat is fried over a low flame so that it is tender and moist inside and crispy outside. The mashed pumpkin brings out the sweetness of the duck meat. Another unique selection is the rack of lamb with pistachio & parmesan crust (NT$490).

VVG Bistro also serves great desserts but, if you get here too late, you might find that everything is sold out. The most popular dessert is the canalle, made with a crispy crust outside and soft filling inside. Even those who don't have much of a sweet tooth will find it hard to resist this treat. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays and includes choices of two set meals called "dolce-vita" (NT$320) and "vivi felice" (NT$220).

I really like the comfortable atmosphere at VVG Bistro. It is perfect for enjoying a meal, or an afternoon cup of coffee (NT$130 to NT$160), flower tea (NT$130 to NT$160) or Belgian beer (NT$150 to NT$180).

If you are looking for ways to boost your quality of life in Taipei, be sure to include frequent visits to VVG Bistro.