Fri, Jan 14, 2005 - Page 15 News List

Restaurant: La Quiche

Address: 18, Alley 40, Ln 216, Zhongxiao E Rd, Sec 4, Taipei (台北市忠孝東路四段216巷40弄18號)
Telephone: (02) 2773 2838
Open: 11:30am - 2pm, 5pm 8pm
Average meal: NT$200
Details: English and Chinese menu. No credit cards accepted

By Max Woodworth  /  STAFF REPORTER

A quiche Lorraine is a nice slice of France.

PHOTO: MAX WOODWORTH, TAIPEI TIMES.

People are spoiled for choices of good food in the Zhongxiao-Dunhua area, which makes La Quiche easy to pass up for its understated storefront. But for a quick taste of France that doesn't bust the budget, this would be a good place to seek out amid the clutter of cheap restaurants in the network of alleys that branch off bustling Lane 216.

True to its name, this cozy, 20-person eatery specializes in baking home-style quiches and does so in style by serving up a dozen varieties baked daily on the premises. While sticking with the standard quiche Lorraine is a safe and tasty option with its plentiful onions, bacon and generous serving of Gruyere cheese, there are plenty of choices that offer a chance to expand one's horizons and discover just how versatile this all-purpose pastry can be.

Take the mashed potato with pineapple and chicken quiche for example. It seems an odd combination, but only to those who haven't tried it yet. Or try the tuna with sweet corn and cream sauce quiche. And in keeping with the current trend for curries, there's a chicken curry quiche on offer, as well. The quiche Provencale and the countryside mushroom with Parmesan cheese quiche, meanwhile, are exquisite.

To fill out a full meal based around a quiche, the restaurant offers side dishes, including pork chop or chicken breast on rice, or a serving of pesto spaghetti. These hardly seem like side dishes at all, but rather like an accommodation to local palettes that will usually demand either rice or noodles to round out a meal. The pesto spaghetti topped with slices of chicken breast that I ate tasted fine, but wasn't a worthy companion to my slice of quiche Lorraine. I couldn't help but feel that a simple garden salad next to a thicker wedge of quiche would have brought me closer to heaven. The set meal comes with a choice of coffee, tea or fruit juice and a clumpy, powder-based cream soup that had no business in this otherwise fine eatery.

Diners who make their way to La Quiche do so presumably to sample the quiches and might be better off just sticking with a selection of single orders, which run NT$90 per slice. Set meals average about double that price.

Due to its small size and popularity among the office-lady demographic, getting a lunch-time seat will require sharpening your elbows or, better yet, showing up a few minutes before noon. Business is fast and furious from that point and by 1pm some side dishes begin to sell out. The quiches, however, are consistently in plentiful supply. Given the low price range of the food, the restaurant is surprisingly comfortable and service is attentive and competent.

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