Just In Bistro & Wine Bar
(edit 6/2012 this location is closed, but the new location at Neo 19 remains)
website: Just In Bistro's facebook page
hours: Tues-Sun 12 PM -5:30 PM (closed Mon lunch)
dinner 5:30 PM -12 AM (tapas available only after happy hour)
Kid friendliness: no high chairs spotted
Visit reviewed: 10/14/2009
If you go to a restaurant, then you should eat its specialty right? If you go to Lawry's, you should order the prime rib. if you go to Mos Burger, you should order the rice burger. If you go to a seafood restaurant, you shouldn't order the steak and vice versa.
But unfortunately, when we ended up at Just In Bistro and Wine Bar, it turned out they didn't serve their tapas at lunch, which is what they are known for and why we picked that restaurant. So if you're looking for tapas, go at dinner time.
So instead, we had some gourmet Western and French fare from their lunch menu. I was about 20 minutes late to the lunch so I didn't order.
Just In Bistro was opened by chef Justin Quek last year and his second restaurant in Taipei. I had heard a lot about La Petite Cuisine, but have yet to give it a try. For me, it's always tricky trying restaurants with famous chefs because then I have a lot of expectations, but then what if the day you are there, it's not even the "famous chef" cooking the food? Or is a measure of a good chef/restauranteur how well he trains his other chefs to maintain that consistent quality?
Starter salad was mixed greens and chicken.
Everything was shared and the piece of beef bourguignon that I got was a tad dry, though I heard some the other pieces were not. Trying this dish made me think about the bourguignon at La Cocotte.
The much heard about gourmet burger with gruyere cheese and mushrooms (NT$360) was a bit soft- the bun was soft, the patty was soft. I've had better burgers for less.
My favorite dish was the snow crab pasta - slippery noodles that had great sauce and bits of crab hidden in bites.
Once all the food cleared from the table, the waitress brought out the dessert tray. There was a card on the tray that indicated that there was a baked apple tart and that was what was recommended, so we ordered it.
Instead of a small apple tart a la mode that I had pictured, it was almost like a dessert pizza. Just In Bistro's version of a baked apple tart (NT$280) was flaky layers of phyllo underneath super thing slices of apple and almonds. Served in a hot pan, we each had one piece, but the waitress said sometimes couples order one to share, or one person could eat one by themselves. I definitely could have eaten a couple pieces, but I don't know about the entire pan!
After lunch and my group of friends went their separate ways, one friend and I wandered down the alley and mutually agreed that we needed a snack because we were still hungry. We ended up at the stinky tofu vendor sharing a bowl of vermicelli and stinky tofu that seemed more satisfying and at a fraction of the cost that the pricey lunch we had just had.
Of course, this is just one lunch on one day, and hopefully I'll get to return to try the tapas or one of Chef Quek's other restaurants and have my expectations met. Have any of you been to any of his restaurants and which would you recommend?
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