Le Bistro de l’Olivier (Taipei, Taiwan)

Le Bistro de l’Olivier (Taipei, Taiwan)

Le Bistro de l’Olivier
No. 122, Sec 2 An-He Road
Taipei Taiwan


(+886) 2-8732-3726

NTD3200 for two people, no booze.  That’s around HKD810 / USD100.  Yeah, I converted the NTD to USD / HKD for your reading pleasure but it don’t matter what currency it’s in – THIS MEAL WAS TOO FUCKING MUCH.

The deal:
At some point during my Taipei trip I was feeling like my blood was slowly becoming fryer oil as a result of fuck yeah night market adventures and the hotel choices appeared to be too familiar, uninspiring and overpriced for what they were.  Sir Crunchalot was tasked with finding somewhere to eat and in a rare lapse of judgment, I decided not to be a total raging control freak for only about the second time in my entire life and foregoed doing my own due diligence, accepting his alleged claims that he’d found a well reviewed French bistro run by a Taiwanese celebrity chef, Maggie Liu, which was walking distance from our hotel.  

In an ominous sign, there was barely anyone in there – but I ignored this initial warning sign and put it down to the restaurant being in a city which has a normal density of people versus the all encompassing fuck no crush of Hong Kong.  The bistro has well and truly tried to bring that French bistro feeling by cramming a fuck tonne of black and white photos of Parisian street scenes onto its walls. If there had been any length of fence in the restaurant I would have been compelled to attach 27 cheesey fucking padlocks to it, in order to demonstrate my undying and eternal commitment to my one true love.  I glanced through the menu and holy fucking shit, prices were off the goddamn chart with little sticking out as sounding amazing.  Taiwan is well known for its fuck yeah value – I often say that Taiwan’s prices are the same as HK, it’s just that Taiwan prices are in New Taiwan Dollars vs Honkie Bucks which mean everything is about 25% the price of HK.  However this NTD pricing mechanism is definitely NOT TRUE at Le Bistro de l’Olivier which was offering a lack lustre menu with some really pricey shit.  I settle on the duck breast which clocks in at a NTD880 (+10% service charge = HKD243 / USD31) which just so you know, is more expensive than what the Mandarin Oriental Taipei’s Bencotto charges for a duck breast (NTD850 + 10% service charge).  Predictably, my homie Sir Crunchalot who has the complete inability to do any sort of currency conversions to assess affordability, orders the astronomically priced steak and fries at the ball tearing price of NTD1780 (+10% service charge = HKD490 / USD63).

The head waiter was totally on his shit and he oversaw a fleet of two to three waiters who worked through the confusion of removing the cutlery we didn’t need, replacing it again, switching them around, before finally removing the unnecessary cutlery. A basket of bread arrives which is entirely forgettable and in a tell tale fuck no sign, served with rock hard, cold butter which is in those little plastic containers with the foil wrappers. Sir Crunchalot tries to valiantly maintain the enthusiasm that shit’s gonna be ok but my hope starts to slip away as rapidly as an expat’s dignity at their first adventure to the Rugby 7s South Stand.

My duck breast arrives promptly and halfway through eating it, the attentive head waiter comes to ask how everything is.  I pride myself on the fact that I always try to give honest feedback if I’m asked rather than saying shit’s good then bitching about it on the Internet. But considering the multiple food related crimes that were in front of me, I didn’t know where to fucking start without sounding like a massive douchefuck. That’s right, Sgt Noms, King of the Feedback, couldn’t muster the energy to rattle off a five minute soliloquy on how everything on my plate was so totally and completely fucked up.  Feedback would have gone something like this:

“My duck has been cooked to within an inch of its life, leaving its flesh, grey, dry and tasteless.  However, despite cooking the fuck out of this piece of duck, your chef has still somehow managed to fail properly rendering the fat off the meat, leaving it congealed beneath a flaccid and uninspiring layer of duck skin.  The sauce you have served this with is so fucking sweet that I am having an all over body reaction where my teeth are set on edge while my pancreas is straining against my abdomen, threatening to evacuate my body in protest to this criminally sweet hot mess.  Finally, the roasted vegetables are a mushy-ass clusterfuck, complete with a lingering manky aftertaste which I can’t identify except that fuck me, that shit ain’t right. A massive congratulations, your kitchen has managed to fuck up absolutely every component to this dish while setting the price point far too high (ie. More than $0).”

My eyes flash mean, dark and outraged at Sir Crunchalot, shooting death daggers at him which cannot be interpreted as anything other than “You are going to hear about this until the end of time about your abysmal choice of restaurant”.  He tries to placate me with a piece of his outrageously USD60++ expensive steak. But Le Bistro de l’Olivier’s steak dish provide no uptick in quality, considering they’ve managed to fuck up their fries which are too thick, underseasoned, barely crispy and unremarkable in every aspect of their existence.  Which is pretty major, cause how the fuck do you make deep fried potatoes so unexciting?  I chew forlornly on a thin piece of gristly steak with some sort of weird chestnut mustard and reflect that this is must be how a cow feels before she sends her fibrous meal through four stomachs just to get shit digested.  I narrow my eyes to tiny slits, glaring tempestously at Sir Crunchalot and spit out “What the fuck is Maggie Liu a celebrity for?  Is she an actress?  Because there’s no fucking way that she became famous for this sorry ass bullshit food”.  I snap my cutlery to the finished position, wholly unsatisfied with life before remarking:


For all the razzing I give Sir Crunchalot, I didn’t come to this with clean hands because there were some key warning signs or actions I could have taken to have prevented the culinary atrocities we endured at Le Bistro de l’Olivier.  I should have fucking checked the menu outside the restaurant before we went in to see the ludicrous prices.  I should have seen the tacky walls crammed with Parisian street signs and stormed right the fuck out in the name of good taste. Most importantly, I really should have googled Maggie Liu to see that she was definitely too slim to be a decent chef (or paid attention to her cardboard cutout placed outside her “restaurant”) and realised that her claim to fame seems to have been hosting twee as fuck shows on the Discovery-TLC Channel with vom-inducing names like “Maggie’s Magic Menu” or “Maggie Meets The Chefs”.

The only way I can make sense of my experience at Le Bistro de l’Olivier is that perhaps it was fate that led me here to bear the heavy cross of an abominable meal so this FYN review could end up in the Google search results to provide a warning to all about the abhorrent overpriced French bistro horrors that are available in Taipei, despite the 4.5 star bullshit claims of Tripadvisor.  Most importantly, this meal has reinforced a solid life lesson for me that there is ZERO payoff in relinquishing my iron grip on dining decisions and acquiescing to some totally bullshit concept like allowing people to make inevitably poor food related choices on my behalf.  NEVER AGAIN MY HOMIES – NEVER FORGIVE, NEVER FORGET:


Dredging up the memories of this meal makes me want to repeatedly shout FUCK NO until my vocal cords rupture and burst in a raw, bloody mess.  Such is my desire to warn the public that there is nothing but overpriced disappointment and abysmal execution should one decide to dine at Le Bistro de l’Ballbag.  DON’T DO IT HOMIES, LIFE’S TOO FUCKING SHORT.


Fuck yeah or fuck no?

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