250 Wusing St, Taipei
Visited 26th October 2009
My girlfriend loves Taiwanese pop singer Jay Chou and somehow a romantic long weekend in Taipei became a bit of a Jay Chou odyssey. The first day we had a decent lunch at Butaya his Japanese tonkatsu restaurant and on our final day we visited his flagship outlet Mr. J Secret restaurant. A bit of fast talking meant I avoided the noodle shop where he liked eating dumplings as a school boy (I kid you not). Mr. J Secret Restaurant actually ended up being a bit of a secret and we had to ask directions off a policeman to find it. We eventually found ourselves feeling a little out of place in the grounds of Taipei's Medical University, where the restaurant is found. Inside it's decked out in tribute of the movie Secret, which our man Jay not only starred in but also directed. The waiting staff are garbed in the uniforms of the school in the movie and we sat next the 'magical' piano around which the film revolves.
Mr. J Secret Restaurant claims to be 'French-Italian Restaurant' which I think means it serves a random mix of western food. I ordered a set lunch with a salad and spaghetti bolognese, along with a Taiwan Beer. My little Jay Choy fan went for mushroom soup, the 'authentic' Italian curry chicken risotto and a bubble tea. One of the options for salad dressing was 'orange' and I couldn't resist; while the dressing was surprisingly good the four tiny lettuce leaves and half a cherry tomato wouldn't have been enough to feed my hamster. The pasta was pretty average with the watery sauce lacking meat and needing another couple of hours of slow cooking. The mushroom soup was OK and the risotto was weird, but OK, though not made with risotto rice. Our lunch cost TN$757 (about HK$200) which was OK I suppose.
Mr. J Secret Restaurant is an acquired taste and that taste is Mr Jay. I guess you've got the impression that the food is just OK, but that's not why you go. If getting your photo taken next the piano from Secret, staring at massive photos of Jay Chou or buying a souvenir magnet is your idea of a good time then Mr. J Secret Restaurant is for you. If you're a fan you've probably already been, if not don't bother.
Visit restaurant website.