Words & photo by Josie Wu
Translated by Alicia Yu
88, YanChang Rd, Xinyi Dist, Taipei City (Eslite Spectrum Songyan Store, B2, 1F)
(02) 6636-5888 ext. 1901
Hours: 11 am-21 pm
10% service charge. Credit cards accepted. Chinese/English menu.
It’s been 14 years since VVG first opened its doors, but during its growth the restaurant group has never been engaged in replicating or franchising but tried different things at all times. Wouldn’t it be exhausting to run business in such a way? “Of course it’s exhausting, but that’s the way to have more fun!” This is the very first time for VVG to enter th department store market, and the location itself is the greatest incentive driving Grace, the person in charge, to make the decision to be right next to the Eslite Art House, which mainly plays art films or theme movies. Grace and her team want to guide their guests into the flamboyant and gorgeous movie eras of the 20s or 30s. With the countdown sound –3! 2! 1! VVG Action! – here rises the curtain of VVG Action.
Near the doorway are two large lamp stands and turnover seats from the Dutch theater. You can have a seat and take a rest here while waiting. A server wearing a vest and apron or dressed up like a newspaper boy will lead you to your seat. Two eight-metered long wooden tables, a few overhead spotlights imported from Germany and France, the modern lines of bronze- and black-iron-made art deco, graceful black-and-white floor tiles and vanity mirror lights at the theater lounge all create a dazzling experience for a new customer. Nothing is more eye-catching than the glamorous and splendid stage of VVG ACTION, which is actually a semi-open kitchen for food art. Looking around, the feeling is like coming to a film studio, and--gazing at cuisines before your eyes--stay still and re-experience the wonderful era of the past!
A. Carrot Ginger Cake with Orange Cream Cheese (NT$180) is perfectly delectable! Common as carrot cakes are in the UK and US, many people in Taiwan just don’t love cinnamon and carrots, but the VVG dessert chef is going to totally change people’s stereotypes on these vegetables! With the stacking orange-yellow orange chips, the fragrance, moisture, sweetness and general taste of the dessert very nearly approximate the so-called “golden ratio”. Something that goes well with Carrot Ginger Cake is Moroccan Peppermint Tea with Pine Nut (NT$180), recommended by VVG’s Awakening PR Aura. The two desserts together will you a day full of abundant energy!
B. Inspired by the idea of Spanish tapas, the chef tops rolls made purely of potato flour with maple syrup, pecans and Camembert cheese, spicy olives and vegetables, Calamari and Capsicum salad, as well as Sardine Confit salad so as to turn the rolls into different kinds of tapas.
C. The concept of sharing conveyed in the heavy, eight-meter-long table is what many restaurant bosses and chefs desire to introduce into Taiwanese cuisine culture. The stage-like kitchen even has opening and closing ceremonies every day!
D. The enriched, luxurious living room area with sofas is filled with artistic and literary ambiance. Displayed around this room are many image poetry, pop-up books and antique collections related to cinemas. After your meal, take some time and you’ll be surprised many things here are too fascinating to put down!
E. VVG is a sophisticated but interesting restaurant. Its menu is presented as a script, at the back of which are some pages of a novel and with words such as “to be continued.” A few blank pages are still waiting for people’s contribution. For every dish you order you’ll get a ticket-stub-like serving note. On the other hand, there are varied types of handmade crystal glasses and pleasant floriculture worth guests’ appreciation. While many guests may neglect the white-tiled counter seating area, if they observe carefully observe, they’ll find the curving tile is in fact made one-piece!