Pastry in Taipei – Boîte de Bijou

While in Taipei for Andy and Sugi’s wedding banquet, I visited a cute little patisserie called Boîte de Bijou (“Jewel Box”). Both visits were to their second location on AnHe Road in the Da’An district, just across the street from Far Eastern Plaza mall. The first visit was fantastic. The second visit was a disaster.

This location is not very large but has a stylish, modern decoration that mostly showcases the beautiful pastries they create. You can select many of your own items and fancier, more delicate items (cakes, for example), can be selected at the counter.

Indoor seating is limited to one communal table and a half-dozen seats at the counter at the coffee bar. With beautiful marble-lined walls and a great view of the barrista, who is preparing most of the dishes on the menu, the counter is a good place to be.

The pastries are fantastic. Beautiful, well-executed, and nicely presented. This blueberry tart featured beautiful ripe berries and inside the tart was a hidden pocket of jam.

This pistachio cake was beautiful to look at and had a delicate foamy texture with a cookie crumb base and a raspberry filling. 

A surprise find was kouign amann, a Brittany-style pastry that has been gaining popularity worldwide. It is made similar to croissant dough except that sugar is sprinkled on each layer as it is folded and rolled out, making for a sweeter, more caramelized treat. The kouign amann here was a little tough and not as special as the other desserts.

Andy, Sugi, and I had a very pleasant afternoon break while Tawn was back at the hotel, taking a nap. Sadly, when I returned with Tawn a few days later, eager to share this cute little find with him, we ended up with a bad taste in our mouth.

Most of the seating at Boîte de Bijou is in an outdoor patio. When we arrived the second time, all the tables were occupied except one. Tawn sat down and I went inside to order pastries. As those were being prepared, I went to the coffee bar to order some drinks. The (manager? supervisor? random employee?) asked me where I was sitting and when I said we were sitting outside, she said that there was no room outside. I assured her we already had a table and even walked outside with her to show that Tawn was already sitting at the table.

In the next sixty seconds, my pleasant feelings about this patisserie melted away like spun sugar in a warm mouth. 

“Oh, that table is reserved,” she said. When we asked why there was no sign or any other indication that the table was reserved, she simply repeated that the table was reserved. When I asked where we should sit instead, she replied that they were full. “But I’ve already ordered our food,” I explained. “We’re busy today,” was her response.

I understand that there was probably a bit of a language barrier. We didn’t speak Mandarin and English is probably not her first language. But for so classy a shop, there was absolutely no class to their service. No apology, no attempt to accommodate us, nothing. The ideal solution would have been something like, “I’m so sorry we forgot to put a sign on that table. Since you’ve ordered your food already, could we prepare it to go and I’d be happy to give you your drinks for free to make up for your inconvenience.” 

Instead, she seemed uninterested in helping us, so we decided to leave. No food, no payment, just walked out the door, abandoning our pastries.

So if you make it to Taipei, there’s a really cute patisserie down a small lane. But before you go, be aware that their customer service lags behind their baking skills.

 

0 thoughts on “Pastry in Taipei – Boîte de Bijou

  1. Disaster indeed! Well, I’m sure that must be a language barrier, or some kind of misunderstanding. Haha~by the way, you guys would explore other nice patisseries in town on your next visits!

  2. That’s sad to hear that the service was less than spectacular, which is surprising because I normally find Taiwanese service to be quite good. I’ll have to explore that kouign amann, as I love croissants and i love sugar. 😉

  3. If only our stomachs could take unlimited food.If only service was not done by a fool.If only we were to blog more on xanga and pay our feesLater on we would worry only about the teas.

  4. I really think you should email or find a way to tell the manager or owner about your experience. That is totally unacceptable. If it were me, I would have raised a stink and told her off, as nicely as possible though. haha! Clearly they had to customer service training.

  5. Ouch! And I’ve never read a review from you that was this bad before. Well, the thing is, it didn’t go unnoticed, so pooey on them. I really dislike bad service, even if the food is good.

  6. @ZSA_MD – On one level, I was going to skip the review entirely. On the other level, I think they have something (their pastries) worth recommending and my hope is that they will improve their service to match.@CurryPuffy – That’s a shame.@stepaside_loser – Yes, I generally don’t bother reviewing places with bad service.@tehls – Had a thought to contact them but am sure it would get lost in the translation. They are busy so probably will just chalk it up to a disgruntled foreigner who hasn’t bothered to learn Mandarin.@grannykaren – The pistachio cake was very nice.@Inciteful – That really is true, isn’t it? Business owners usually think about their craft but don’t begin by thinking about the service.@Wangium – Ha ha… you a funny man.@PPhilip – I am honored by your verse.@Texasjillcarmel – Yes, what more do we need than pastries?!@Kellsbella – But of course that would have immediately given away that I don’t work for the magazine since true reviewers don’t give away their identity… @ElusiveWords – It was unfortunate.@brooklyn2028 – Yes, most service we received in Taipei was very good. I think it was probably more of a language issue compounding an oversight – forgetting to put out a “reserved” sign – that led to the situation.@rudyhou – Almost enough to make you overlook the service…

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