El Meson Plaza de Espana KM.O
3, DaYing St
Hours: 11 am-10 pm
(lunch 11 am-2 pm,
dinner 5:30-8:30 pm)
closed on Sundays
No service charge.
Credit cards not accepted.
Once located near Taichung's Dakeng Scenic Area under the name Plaza de Espana, this cozy, popular Spanish restaurant has moved downtown to a quiet lane between Dadun 4th and 5th streets and WenXin and DaDun roads. Chef/owner William Cheng, who learned his skills in Sevilla, Spain, still offers his popular mix of Spanish-style paella and tapas favorites, plus spaghetti and baked cheese entrees (NT$120-140), NT$80 beers, house wines (NT$100/glass, NT$500/bottle), Sangria, and coffees. He now also organizes monthly wine-and-food events. Public parking lots are located within easy walking distance on both DaDun 4th and 5th streets. --By Douglas Habecker, translated by Naomi Lai
A. The owner is best-known for his four outstanding paellas--the traditional seafood Paella de Mariscos (NT$260); veggie-rich Paella Vegetariana; Paella Calabaza, made with pumpkin, ground pork, mushrooms and vegetables; and the larger, mixed seafood/chicken/vegetable Paella Valenciana (NT$980, serves at least three). In April, he'll also add Paella de Chorizo, made with homemade sausages. Because these all take about 30 minutes to prepare, it's best to call ahead and order early.
B. A selection of about 12 Spanish tapas appetizers (with more being added) means that some diners make a meal out of these alone, together with some wine. Choices include Galician Style Grilled Fish with Sea Salt and Spices (NT$180), Spanish Meat Balls (NT$85) and Shrimp with Garlic (NT$100).
C. The relocated restaurant's layout is near-identical to the popular previous place, with warm Spanish decor and ambiance and about 22 inside seats, with outdoor tables now also available.