Thursday, August 10, 2006

italian/french: JOYCE EAST

128 Xin Yi Road, Sec 5
(02) 8789-6128


visit reviewed: 6/3/2006

I've had mixed experiences with Joyce East. The most memorable dish there for me is the souffle. You have to order it before you finish dinner so that they have time to make it. I've even gone there for after dinner for the souffle alone.

The first time we ordered the souffle, my friend gasped in horror when the server cut into the puffed up top and poured the sauce in without asking us. I suppose he wanted to dig in himself to have the pleasure of deflating the souffle and dipping the bitesize pieces in the sauce. The next time we went, we asked the server to let us do it ourselves. The most recent time I had the souffle, we ordered hot tea and milk to go with it. Unfortunately, the tea was so screaming hot that my dinner date burned his tongue and could not enjoy the dessert or tea. And the bill for the milk and tea were each almost as expensive as the souffle!

Recently, I discovered that Joyce East has a huge private room in the back, when I attended a baby shower there. The meal I had that day was a set course, with steak. The soup, the starter, and the steak were all pretty succulent. The dessert in the set meal typically is very pretty to look at, but not that tasty.

However, I honestly can't recall now what I ate the other times I've had dinner there. But if they always make their steak the way they did that day, then I'm a fan.

Joyce East is one of those restaurants that might seem imposing to walk into without a reservation if you have never been, but we have and everything turned out perfectly fine. With big wooden doors and the hostess greeting you, the tables often seat nicely dressed people with wine glasses in their hands. Their service is sometimes friendly, sometimes strictly professional, but they are usually hovering nearby. With lots of light and windows, it's a nice place for lunch or afternoon tea, which they serve until 4:30pm, like their sister restaurant, the original Joyce. At night, Joyce East transforms into a romantic candlelit setting with a lounge in the back lit with purple and pink lights. The menu offers various meats, pastas and seafood, but as I mentioned the most memorable thing for me is the souffle.


Lisa Wang said...

I went there a couple weeks ago and of course got the souffle based on seeing it in your blog. It was delicious and fulfilled my chocolate craving. I thought the food was soso though.

joanh said...

i'm glad you enjoyed the souffle.. what did you order? like i said, the food i've gotten mixed experiences. i totally pick the souffle over the afternoon tea though!

David said...

Had a very mixed experience at this highly recommended venue. Physical ambiance is sleek and modern, but not warm or friendly. High marks for the kitchen and the presentation. Staff was indifferent and mechanical. They are functional and workman-like, but no more. I felt like I was parachuted into a Hollywood set; no soul. No energy.

Joyce East has a nice wine list, expensive, but navigable. And they permit corkage. I ordered three different glasses of house wine, one of which was BADLY corked. After examining the wine, the sommelier agreed, but simply poured my mini carafe back into the corked bottle and continued to serve it to other guests. Moreover, they did it within our view. That really set me back. I couldn’t believe they were so indifferent to us and more importantly the quality of food and the experience.

So all in all, a mixed bag and at NT$ 3000 a person, I frankly expected more. I really miss Burgundy in the XinYi Eslite Building that closed last year. It still has no peer.

Anonymous said...

I go there regularly for business diners with my boss and I'm overall quite happy. The lamb is truly amazing (although not the one in sauce which is far too cooked). I've had better experience than other posters with service, perhaps because I'm going in the evenings when it is far from full.