Madame Jill's was the first Vietnamese restaurant to come to Taipei, when the Vietnam War was still raging. In 1974, the Lin family (overseas Chinese) moved to Taipei because of the war and set up the first branch of Madame Jill's, across the street from National Taiwan University. Over the past 30 years three other branches have been established and they remain frequently visited spots around the neighborhood.
\nWith southeast Asian food becoming more popular in recent years and with more Vietnamese wives opening their own restaurants in the country, Madame Jill's nevertheless thrives, surviving the economic slump two years ago and the SARS outbreak last year.
\nAsked if there were any secrets to maintaining the business, Liang Hai-ying (
PHOTO: YU SEN-LUN, TAIPEI TIMES
The second expedition of Commodore Matthew Perry of the US to Japan in 1854 sent ships to Formosa on the way back to the US to assess Keelung’s potential as a coaling station. Far-sighted, Perry recommended that the US establish a presence on Formosa, as Taiwan was then known. His suggestion went unheeded, but others were watching, few more closely than Prussia. The Prussians had wanted to follow up the Americans with an expedition of their own. In 1858, when William I became regent, the idea of entering the colonial race in the Far East began to take shape in the
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