Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Macarons, East Si-ide

I'll digress a bit from the usual restaurant and multi-course meals and fill you in on what I did all day while in Taiwan. Work days at VVG, depending on who you are, can range from 20+ hours to just a couple of hours of serving hors d'oeuvres. The mornings are a mad rush to prepare hors d'oeuvres that will be served either late afternoon or that evening. The afternoons are a mad rush of pulling various silverware, china, glasses, and utensils for each event. The platters and cups are carefully selected to coordinate with whatever canape is being served that night. The best day working would be one where you just show up to the event and pass around canapes at posh product launch parties. I had an early day at work one day, and got to leave at about 2pm after I had finished assembling the canapes. I was going to venture out in the fun and exciting East Side of Taipei to find food, as I had neglected to feed myself on the way to work.

The East Side (Not really the east side; mostly just an area of new development) of Taipei is one of the "NEW! EXCITING! TRENDY!" places that you must visit. It spans Zhong Shiao Dong(east) Road and the Shin Yi District. Within the rough bounds of this area contains anything from Taipei 101 and the mega malls to small streets lined with the same kind of shop that warrant nicknames like "tea street" or "beef noodle" street. There are whole streets with lined exclusively with Korean clothing boutiques, or tea merchants (not to be confused with stores that sell bubble tea variations). With so much to choose from, you need more than a day to fully sample what all is there to taste.

Luckily, my boss felt sorry for me not having eaten, and donated a few macarons to the "i need feed" cause. The macarons below come from Franciacorta Maison de Patisserie on Yan Ji St between Shin Yi Rd and Ren Ai Rd. (MapQuest) Christabelle has a good review of the shop, if you can read Chinese. This dude has pictures of them in their nifty boxes on his flickr page. I thought the macarons tasted just fine, perhaps a bit too sweet. My boss and the other culinary masters at VVG decided that they were nothing exceptional. I think a good macaron has to be fluffy with a hint of chewy, sweet but not too sweet. The easiest mistake to make is to make your macaron too sugary...just ask Joel Robuchon.

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