closed/vietnamese: paris in the orient (東方小巴黎)

 date may 25, 2011

contact B3F, No. 1, Sec. 1, Chengde Rd., Datong District, Taipei/台北市大同區承德路一段B3/02.2552.7255

hours 7 days a week 11:00-21:30

price 300NT (according to their website)

rating ♥♥♥ (3 out of 5 hearts)

nearest mrt Taipei Main Station MRT (捷運台北車站站)

website http://www.dcb.com.tw/

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UPDATE

My most recent trip to the QSquare food court found that Paris in the Orient has closed. I’m not sure when it closed, but a new restaurant has been opened in its place.

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A last minute dinner invite from a friend landed us at the QSquare food court at Taipei Main Station. For someone who has lived in Taipei for two years, I totally failed to realize that A) QSquare had a food court, and B) there was a B3 level. My friends said they found Paris in the Orient by accident one day while lost at Taipei Main.

According to their website, Paris in the Orient sits 86 people. I believe it. It was pretty spacious. We ate at around 7pm on a Friday night and there was plenty of seating.  The menu is in both English and Chinese and has pictures of every item on the menu. They have a small section of set meals and the rest is mostly family style dishes. Of our group of five, two decided to order set meals for themselves, and then the remaining three of us decided to get stuff to share.

We ordered three of the Spinach Rice and John Dory Fish with Tamarind Sauce (翡翠飯香酥魚排佐酸子醬) for 199NT. I liked this. I thought the fish was fried perfectly: crispy on the outside, nice and tender on the inside. The rice was good, but not special. I feel like for something called “spinach rice” it didn’t really have a spinachy taste. The tamarind sauce tasted more like sweet and sour sauce, which isn’t bad, it just didn’t taste like anything special.

The waitress ordered us the wrong thing so we ended up with the Turmeric Rice and Fried Chicken with Sour and Spicy Sauce (鬱金香飯雞排佐椒麻雞醬) for 199NT. Funny thing was, we were just about to add this to our order when it came out. Angela preferred the turmeric rice over the spinach rice. I think I did, too; it was more flavorful. The fried chicken was good, but I felt like parts of it were over fried. The chicken was still tender, but the batter on some portions was just hard, not crisp. The sauce was pretty standard and tasted more like a marinade to me than a dipping sauce, but that okay, because I still liked it. I liked that it had sesame seeds and cilantro in it.

What we had originally ordered before the Turmeric Rice dish was the Stir-Fried Vietnam Pho (越南炒河粉) for 180NT.  So this was not what I was expecting, although, I should have known based on the photograph because it looked exactly like the picture. This was basically Pad See Ew, a Thai dish, right down to the flavor. It had the same sweetness that Pad See Ew does, same type of vegetables. This dish was probably my least favorite. I wouldn’t say it was bland, but I feel like it could have had more flavor. I ended up adding some of the marinade-like sauce to add some more flavor. The chicken in it was a little dry and tasteless. I mean, this dish wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

Overall, this place is alright. Everything was edible, service was good, the restaurant is clean. I don’t know how Vietnamese this place actually is, though. They had some other dishes that looked pretty good. I would eat here again, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to.

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