Posts Tagged ‘bars’

finds: new taichung food and art places | part one: elephant

August 8, 2010

In three parts, I will post a feast of images from two of my current favourite places in Taichung. I’ve taken photos inside an old covered market that has been converted into artist spaces and shops, all independently run, and inside Elephant, an awesome teensy restauant with probably the best (and cheapest) Western-style food in Taichung.

UPDATE | 27 February 2013 This restaurant has moved to a new location. It’s now two stories high(!), but thankfully still has the same great food and hole-in-wall atmosphere. You can find more information, including an address, on their Facebook page.

Elephant has everything from risottos to pastas (including a lot of vegetarian fare) to chips with gravy and cheese to fish and chips (yes!). I finally took J there after “discovering” it with a friend last week. Actually, the restaurant has been around since 1999 so it’s certainly not new to Taichung. However, it’s managed to stay relevant with simple architecture and stunningly cheap and tasty food. All pastas are between NT$80-$100, fish and chips are NT$130, you can get a vege, chicken or lamb kebab for only NT$80-$90, the chips with gravy and cheese are NT$100 and they have beer and a variety of soft drinks to wash it all down.

Elephant, near the corner of ZhongMing South and TaiZhongGang roads.

Elephant, near the corner of ZhongMing South and TaiZhongGang roads.

Chips with cheese and gravy, my newest obsession and only NT$100.

Chips with cheese and gravy, my newest obsession and only NT$100.

Lamb kebab, packed with shredded lamb and tons of veg. Only NT$90.

Lamb kebab, packed with shredded lamb and tons of veg. Only NT$90.

Elephant. The menu.

Elephant. The menu.

Inside Elephant.

Inside Elephant.

Elephant. Wall adornment.

Elephant. Wall adornment.

Elephant. Street-side signage.

Elephant. Street-side signage.

Address: 9-1, ZhongMing S Road, Taichung City.

Read part two of this series
Read part three of this series

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Copyright © 2010. This website is for personal non-commercial use only. All written work and imagery copyright to jar of buttons unless otherwise stated.
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write up: cat lair

October 25, 2009

IMG_0173In advance, I apologise for the quality of the photos. They were taken with an iPhone camera. And I also apologise for the lack of English address. And the fact that the only address I have is a photographed business card. But isn’t it more exciting when you have to hunt a place down?

Cat Lair is like your house. Your house if you like cats. And I like cats. So I felt right at home at Cat Lair.

The drinks, the food, the seats, the music; everything is sublime here. After spotting the sign from the side of the road the other day on the scooter, I decided to investigate what looked like an interesting venue.

After parking the scooter nearby we approached a gorgeous low white-painted gate, luckily open, and walked through to a courtyard umbrellaed by a huge tree and dotted with small tables able to seat two to four. We approached the bar area, assembled completely from what looked to be driftwood, and introduced ourselves to Paul, the co-owner of the establishment. (He owns the bar with his girlfriend).

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After taking the offered menu we sat at a courtyard table and ordered a green tea, which came in a beautiful three-sided vessel, and a DITA. I’d never heard of DITA before but it was a bittersweet beverage with a subtle lime tinge. We also decided to sample the mascarpone. It was a homemade treat of chocolate, biscuit, cream and caramel walnut pieces.

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We sat back to enjoy and slowly the bundles of preening fur around us became apparent. One was sitting on a cushion, staring at us serenely with a Cheshire grin and matching scarf. Another was peering cautiously from a carry case with nerves on full display. Another was playing decisively with Paul’s proffered toy, holding one paw in the air like a general going into battle. All around us were cats!

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Paul later explained that they own seven cats. Five live at the venue and two live at their apartment. Sometimes they switch them around. They encourage people to bring their own cats along to enjoy the space, too.

Before leaving we checked out the rest of the abode. Paul noted that, while Cat Lair has been serving their feline infatuated clients for two years, they only recently created the inside areas that exist beyond the bar. I’m glad they did. Inside there are three rooms, separated from each other by partial walls. Furnishings include comfy, homely couches, vinyl footstools, rugs and cushions. There is a bookshelf that you can browse and even a fake deer head on one wall.

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I also really love how you can see into their kitchen. It’s such a nice touch and Cat Lair really makes you feel like your hanging out in the thoughtfully designed home of a friend that is just that little bit cooler than you are but wants to involve you in all that they have. My chaperone even got a cute little grey purrer to sit on his lap. What a treat!

I said before that I felt right at home in Cat Lair. In fact, I want it to be my home.

P1040670

No. 21-55, Section 2, NánJīng East Rd, North District, Taichung City, Taiwan 404

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write up: reichburg

October 6, 2009

IMG_0083Driving by in the taxi, the place just shone out at me like a beacon of hope in an otherwise dark and dismal, pre-typhoon landscape.

Well, may be it didn’t happen in such an awfully cliché way but spying what looked like the perfect mix of hearty beer and decking did get me excited.

So, I went. And it was.

The bar is open plan and mostly outdoors. Long and sturdy wooden tables with accompanying bench seating are nestled comfortably on a moderately-sized wooden deck. The bar and wait staff were always within easy reach.

And the beer was good. Not absolute-must-have-now beer but a brew with substantial flavour. It’s available in 500 ml (in a glass), 1500 ml and 2500 ml (both in an at-your-table tap contraption to share). Best of all, it’s locally brewed so tastes very fresh.

On arrival we were treated to a serving of sliced and quartered cucumber marinated in a super-spiced chilli sauce. Yum. We sampled a little bit of the menu including crab pinchers, divine salty shrimp and some sliced beef stir-fried traditional Taiwanese style. Sorry, no pictures. We ate it all way too fast. Next time I hope to try some of the fried rice and noodles combos available.

Reichburg had only been open for three days when I visited this weekend. I hope it is here to stay because I can easily see myself on their deck whiling away the final hours of daylight of many an autumn Sunday with a few sundowners.

Reichburg is located near the corner of Daya Road and Jinhua North Road, Taichung City. I’ll put up a Chinese address as soon as I can find someone to type one up for me. There is no English menu yet but the staff are very friendly and able to translate the menu satisfactorily.

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