Jiou Ge Guo Zih: A garden oasis for fine dining
Translated by Ann Lee
43, DaDe 1st Rd, Sec 2, Tanzi Township, Taichung County
(04) 2533-0351, 0935-332-605
Hours: 10 am-9 pm (closed Mondays)
Reservations only--call 1 day prior to visit.
Credit cards not accepted.
No service charge.
Using a spacious 2,000-ping facility with floral landscaping, the owners of this exotic-looking place combine zen-like aesthetics with objects of art in a garden-style restaurant to serve their devoted customers. Owner Mr. Zhang Zhi-yu, a professional landscaper, designed the restaurant's beautifully-presented garden with his sister, who brought flowers and plants back from Holland. Together they spent three years creating this paradise garden for all guests to enjoy and appreciate.
Walking along stone-paved paths will lead you into the restaurant's colorfully-decorated dining area. Here you will see various items such as leather goods, lamps, wind pipes, sculptures and Taiwanese-style childhood toys, which are all available for sale. Every corner has a story to tell and each represents a special memory. Thus, enjoying a meal here means not only savoring some of the most flavorful dishes in town, but also taking home a treasure or two to decorate your own abode with. The interiors here are decorated with plenty of green plants and, therefore, don't require any air conditioning, as natural, cool breezes always are flowing through. A line of dining tables is decorated with floral prints and table bases are made from actual sewing machine tables, each taking Mr. Zhang nine months to create. These extraordinary art pieces not only look great, but are also very practical.
The two sibling owners of this finely-decorated establishment have each won individual cooking awards at competitions in central Taiwan's four cities and counties. Both are known for making tasty dishes out of healthy ingredients. Some which you can savor here are the tender O-Long Spring Chicken (NT$570/set). This original chicken dish is created by first marinating chicken with natural herbs, and has a juicy, inviting texture. Another equally tasty dish is the Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Sauce (NT$690/set), charcoal-grilled with a dozen of herbs and spices, then served with a red wine/black pepper sauce. This exudes a refreshing minty fragrance that perfectly complements the fresh lamb. A newly-introduced dish is the Xiang-Cun Pasta (vegetarian/NT$550), prepared with a unique homemade sauce, walnuts, sesame, and slightly sour and spicy Korean-style cucumbers--a refreshing dish for summer days.
Set meals here come with a fruit and vegetable salad, topped with a homemade yogurt dressing. After a sumptuous meal, you'll also get to try a sweet congee (porridge) dish, a yogurt-based ice cream with seasonal fruits, and a coconut egg tart with yogurt, leaving you to head home completely satisfied with your dining experience.