Monday, July 15, 2013

western/italian: i recommend VVG THINKING

at Huashan 1914 Cultural Creative Park
No. 1, Bade Road Sec. 1
紅磚六合院 / C 棟 ( 杭州北路.北平東路口 )
(02) 2322-5573

MRT: ZhongXiao/XinSheng

website: VVG's FB

hours: Noon- 9:00pm


Kid friendliness: room for strollers. pastas and risottos and dessert fare

Visit reviewed: 1/25/2013

Sometimes you need a quiet place to be alone with your thoughts, with a cup of coffee and some atmosphere. Where to find that among the hustle and bustle of crowded cafes and diners and food courts in Taipei? 

Deep inside the Huashan 1914 Creative Park is VVG Thinking, the latest restaurant from the VVG empire, which may be the biggest, most eclectic and hipster of them all. I was meeting friends there and got a bit lost as VVG Thinking wasn't on the map as there are two sides to Huashan Park. A phone call and some directions led me to a row of red bricked buildings and a pair of angel statues to point me to the entrance.

Once inside, you might find your eyes wandering up as the ceiling at the entrance, at the grand two story ceiling and the industrial meets vintage chic warehouse space.  VVG Thinking transformed the former factory space into a first floor bistro and second floor shop. I didn't even know there was a shop upstairs until my friends mentioned that I should check it out, so be sure not to miss it.

And in true VVG fashion, presentation sets the tone for the meal. Even the potato bread comes in an aluminum tin can, wrapped in layers of paper.

The menu has various lunch sets available at NT$880-1480 (available only from 12noon to 2PM), depending on how many courses you choose, as well as a la carte soups, pastas, salads, risottos and main dishes, mostly around NT$300-500. But the portions run on the small side, so you might find yourself ordering more than one dish to be full, or thinking about a post meal snack elsewhere, so you might consider ordering a set.

The salads come in a glass tumbler, capped with a wooden lid so you can shake and mix the dressing in. It's really a cool way to present the salad, which doesn't look as fancy when it's poured onto the plate with the slim toppings.

The pink shrimp and grapefruit salad (NT$320) comes with a spicy Thai chili dressing which did have a kick to it. We also tried the apple and prosciutto salad (NT$320) which came with long paper thin shavings of apple and a shiso and yuzu dressing. Between the two, I'd order the apple and prosciutto again first.

The dishes slowly made their way to the table one by one and we were getting a bit impatient and hungry. So prepare to share a bit of your food, or don't come too hungry. 

The mentaiko, scallop and mushroom linguine (NT$420) came drizzled with mentaiko sauce (mayo?).

I thought the scallop and mushroom risotto with white truffle oil (NT$420) would be a good dish to share, as the waitress said it was one of the more filling dishes, but it turned out to be a quarter the size I thought it would be. The flavor was on point, but for the price I wished there was a lot more than a few spoonfuls. (For a fuller plate of risotto, check out Bianco or Sonnetor Cafe)

The porcini linguine with white truffle oil (NT$380) came with more greens and pepper seasoning than my friend expected.

The zucchini and shrimp linguine (NT$360) was fairly light, but probably more filling among the dishes we ordered.

Time to go explore...

Looking up at the loft like shelves and second floor...

Looking down at the desserts...

You could instagram here the whole afternoon and not have to post one photo of the food.

Always love thumbing through cookbooks.

All in all, a very cool place to explore and maybe do a bit of thinking, browsing, eating and have a conversation with friends.


InLoveWithFood said...

Dear Hungry girl,

I just wanted to say that I LOVE your blog! I've been reading your blog for years, so when I got to Taipei I tried out some of the restaurants.

Also, you gave me inspiration to start my own blog =) Check it out when you have time!

Kevin said...

Looks nice! I'll give it a shot!

sugared & spiced said...

another VVG venue! i don't always love the VVG guys for the food, but always for the decor and vibe. one more place to try next time i'm in taipei. thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Before moving to Taipei, we went searching for restaurants as we do anywhere we visit or live. My older son found your blog and we have been hooked ever since, for two years now. Thank you so much for taking the time to put this blog together. You have really made a wonderful difference in our Taipei dining experiences. Case in point, per your recommendation, we just tried VVG Thinking and it was outstanding! Please keep up the great work!

joanh said...

La Belle: thanks so much for your comment!! i'm happy to have inspired you to start your own blog!! i'll definitely take a look! :)

Kevin: cool! let us know what you think.

Sugared and Spiced: yes, the decor and vibe. have you checked out VVG Action? that's on my list

Anonymous: Thank you so much for your comment. I always love hearing from readers and which places you respond to. I'm definitely behind on my posts since lately i've been overthinking it. I'll try to get more posts up!