VINO VINO CAFE
2, Lane 80, ShiDa Rd.
Visit reviewed: 12-12-2006
I had been hearing so much about Bongos... but after a winding taxi ride around the lanes and alleys near Shi Da, we simply could not find it. The telephone number we had was not being answered. The address we had seemed to lead to a dead end. So hungry and lost, we directed the taxi to take us out to the nearest main street and spotted a charming looking Spanish looking cafe with people lingering on the patio with a little park in front of it, and that is how we ended up at Vino Vino Cafe.
However, maybe we should have tried harder to find Bongos? Despite the appetizing sounding choices of pasta and main dishes on their English and Chinese menu, we ended up with some not so savory plates (NT$960 for 3 set menu lunches). Well, at least my friend did- her penne pasta was so salty it was inedible.
My risotto was not bad with bits of mushroom and chicken mixed into the creamy, soft rice, but the other parts of my set menu were nothing to brag about and I felt bad that my friend didn't enjoy her food.
A very plain lettuce salad and a watery soup under a not flaky puff pastry. I think the most places I have seen so many puff pastry soups is only in Taipei- it's not a phenomenon that I've seen as much elsewhere. But it doesn't mean that it tastes as good as it looks.
And then a sad watered down gelatin dessert- the pale lemon yellow looked slightly like "ai-yu" or yellow jello, but tasted like someone had forgotten to add the flavor packet.
Watered down seemed to be the theme- the watered down soup, the watered down dessert, the watered down ice tea, the watered down service.
With so many great little Italian spots in Taipei to discover and eat at, this was a big disappointment- so don't be lured in by the good looking facade unless you just want to hang out on the patio.