Fri, Nov 15, 2002 - Page 19 News List

Restaurant: Bon Bon Gourmet

By Vico Lee  /  STAFF REPORTER

Bon Bon Gourmet serves up a creative blend of Eastern and Western cuisine.

PHOTO:VICO LEE, TAIPEI TIMES

The friendly manager of Bon Bon Gourmet, Christina Su, reminds one of one's mother. She greets customers with a sincere smile and looks after their every need throughout the meal. Su takes her time understanding what the diners prefer. "If there's anything you want in your food, just tell me," she says.

Customers aren't likely to find themselves among crowds of noisy diners as Bon Bon provides a comfortably large space. "We would rather there were not crowds of customers," Su says. "I believe more in the quality of the service, which is only possible with an appropriate number of customers."

Apart from the cozy and no-frills surroundings, diners will find dishes that fit their tastes and are healthy to boot. Thanks to Su's patient communication with customers about their specific needs, she and her cook are able to take into account each customers' age and background in preparing their meals.

The previous restaurant to occupy Bon Bon's space was Ching Liou, the first restaurant in Taipei to specialize in huai shi (懷式) Japanese cuisine, and it was preceded by Taipei's first European buffet. After its chef and owner reluctantly retired in June at the age of 80, Su, a good friend of hers, decided to take over and carry on in her friend's tradition of innovative cooking.

Having studied the cooking techniques of various Chinese provinces and European countries, Su has invented her own recipes, which she calls "cuisine without nationality." She has a way of reinventing even the most common dishes. Her latest idea is a series of hybrid dishes in which popular Western fare is arranged in a way so that it can be eaten with chopsticks instead of knives and forks.

Address: 3, Lane 248, Chunghsiao E. Rd., Sec. 4 , Taipei

(台北市忠孝東路4段248巷3號)

Telephone: (02) 2773-7561

Open: 11:30am to 10:00pm

Average meal: NT$400

Details: English and Chinese menu. Credit cards accepted


Su has revealed some of her cooking secrets in newspaper columns which are published in China and Taiwan.

Another of Bon Bon's strengths is the price. For NT$320, diners can enjoy a French-style chicken leg set meal, which includes an appetizer, salad and soup of the diners' own choosing. In her Italian pumpkin soup Su replaces the usual white cream sauce with rice sauce for health concerns, but it tastes just as creamy, making the soup one of the most popular items at the restaurant. Romaine salad with spicy dressing is another healthy item that has proved popular with diners.

The chicken leg, like many of Bon Bon's meat dishes, is first prepared with vegetables to get rid of its extra fat and give it a refreshing tinge. Sauteed to just the right degree, the chicken is nicely soft and fragrant with a vegetable flavor.

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