Justin Quek (郭文秀) shouldn’t be a stranger to a lot of people. A celebrated Singaporean chef who gained recognition in French cuisines. La Petite Cuisine was the first restaurant that he opened in Taipei after he left Les Amis at Shaw Centre in Singapore. After the closing down of La Petite Cuisine last year, Quek opened a new bistro at Neo 19 in Taipei June this year which served “franco-asian style” cuisines at a relatively friendly price.
Located at the very center of Taipei City, few blocks away from the landmark skyscraper Taipei 101 and Eslite Bookstore (Chinese: 誠品書店) in Xinyi District, it wasn’t too difficult to spot the restaurant as we walked down the road from Eslite Bookstore.
Featuring semi-fine-dining fusion cuisines, the atmosphere and setting of the restaurant was quite suitable for the food they serve – simple and neat. The restaurant was lit with a warm yellowish tone that blends with the beige and orange furniture, and that created a rather laid back and cozy feeling.
Before we decided on the meal, we ordered two glasses of wine to start with. The only selected burgundy house wine they had by glass was Louis Jadot Bourgogne 2008. It was reasonably good as a table wine.
We gave the Oyster gratin a try as it was on the seasonal menu. The oyster used wasn’t any fancy French or Australian oysters but rather the small little oysters that are commonly found in a typical dish in Taiwan called Oyster vermicelli(蚵仔麵線). Even the oysters were so tiny, the appetizer was amazingly delicious – definitely a dish that I would recommend.
The other main course we had was the Grilled New Zealand veal cutlets and Pan grilled Ocean Saint Pierre fillets Mediterranean style. It was my first time having a Saint Pierre fish fillet (aka John Dory). John Dory is a fish with flat round body and peculiar-looking long fins. Unlike the seabass, it has a coarser texture (or was it a little overcooked? I couldn’t really tell) and the meat itself was rather sweet.
The grilled veal cutlets was nicely cooked. Texture was somewhat similar to lamb chops but very different in taste.
We gave the desserts a miss because both of us were pretty full after a late lunch and a drink at Eslite Bookstore Coffee Shop.
We went there on a Friday night at 7:30pm but the tables weren’t fully packed by the time we left at around 9pm.
Just in Bistro & Wine Bar (XingYi Flagship Restaurant)
Neo 19 1F, No.30, Songshou Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei City 110
Tel: +886 2 8786 2000
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun: 11:00 am – 12:00 am