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TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE, April, 2006.

Olala

371, Ren Ai Road, Sec. 4
停業 Closed

--By Rebekah Godfrey Translated by Liu Fang Ru

Olala, a restaurant that gets rave reviews by foreigners and Taiwanese alike, is owned by Patrick "Paco" Sturbois, who is no stranger to Taipei's dining scene.

Having lived in Taiwan for 12 years, Paco has owned five different restaurants, including the former Mr. Paco's Pizzeria and Pasta Place. Olala opened two years ago, much to the delight of French-food enthusiasts.

To borrow the words of a very satisfied customer, Olala is "high quality, modern French food in a casual atmosphere". This same customer also admitted that the foie gras "took his breath away", which should convince anyone to give it a try. You can order a pan-fried foie gras appetizer or make it your entree for NT$710.

Appetizers, salads, pasta dishes and at least 12 entrees are on the menu, including the highly recommended Duck Confit (NT$620). But you may not need the menu at all -- Paco is adamant about offering new dishes on a daily basis, using the freshest of ingredients. Loyal customers enjoy the variety and know that they are eating high-quality cuisine.
Set meals are also available, for NT$1,000 and NT$1,300. Both set meals include a soup or salad, main course, dessert, and coffee or tea. The NT$1,300 set meal includes an appetizer.
And what would a French restaurant be without creme brulee? You can find it here for NT$160, along with Crepes Flambees (NT$180) and Dark Chocolate Mousse with Walnuts (NT$160).

Olala's wine list is also fairly extensive and includes special vintage wines that range from about NT$2,000 to NT$19,000 a bottle. If you happen to have some extra change in your pocket, the 1991 Domaine de la Romanee Conti - La Tache will set you back NT$19,500.

Olala is somewhat hard to find. Although the address of Olala is listed as RenAi Road, it is actually located at the back of a building and fronts the alley running behind. Don't visit Olala if you're looking for a pretentious, upscale atmosphere. Visit it for its cozy surroundings, excellent food, and pleasant service.

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