Taichung
Google
 
Web Taiwanfun
COMPASS: +886 (4) 2358-5466

 

-ARTICLES
-DINING
-NIGHT LIFE
-TEA/COFFEE
-SHOPPING
-ARTS/LEISURE
-REAL ESTATE
-MOVIES
-TRAVEL
-INFORMATION
-MUSIC SCENE
-HUMOUR
-CLASSIFIEDS
-PERSONALS
-LANGUAGE EXCHANGE
-ABOUT US
-MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION

HOME > CENTRAL TAIWAN > DINING

COMPASS MAGAZINE > May 2010
 

A Taste of Spain--La Bodega, Viva Cafe, Tapa Tapa Spanish Restaurant, El Meson Plaza De Espana KM.O

By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Naomi Lai

 

La Bodega

La Bodega

La Bodega

 

 

 

La Bodega

(04) 2310-7006
3, JingCheng 2nd St
Hours: 6:30 pm-12 am
(last order before 10 pm)
closed Sundays
http://www.labodegatw.com

A long-time favorite with Taichung's European crowd, La Bodega is a truly feels like a traditional Spanish tapas bar, as patrons stand or sit around the warmly-colored cozy interior (or just outside), sipping drinks, enjoying food, chatting and enjoying the ever-present sports broadcasts (usually football/soccer). A good range of authentic Spanish items, from cuisine to Spanish drinks like El Porron (mixed beer, white wine and soda) and Tinto de Verano (red wine, lemonade and lemons) make this a memorable cultural experience.

Boasting the city's largest selection of tapas appetizers, La Bodega offers about seven vegetable, five seafood and nine meat tapas choices. Popular items include the pictured NT$350 Jamon Serrano & Chorizo (Parma Ham & Chorizo Sausage) platter, and the NT$100 Tortilla Espanola Spanish Potato Omelette, which go great with a glass of Sangria (NT$150 glass/NT$700/one-liter pitcher). Other items range from a bowl of Aceitunas Marinadas (marinated olives) and Gambas al Ajillo (garlic shrimp) to the Merguez lamb sausages (NT$190) and Albondigas meatballs in tomato sauce (NT$160).

Many diners don't consider a meal at La Bodega complete without an order of the tasty traditional Paella Marinera (NT$280).

top

Viva Cafe

Viva Cafe

 

Viva Cafe

(04) 2285-3708
39, XueFu Rd
Hours: 10 am-11 pm
Credit cards accepted.
No service charge. English menu.
www.vivacafe.com.tw

Each year for the past nine years. this gourmet restaurant has held its annual Spanish Food Festival from April through June. This centers around Spanish Set Menu lunch/dinner options (NT$780-980), which come with a free glass of Sangria. Throughout the year, however, Viva Cafe also offers a few Spanish items including several tapas dishes like Deep Fried Squid (NT$120) and two main courses--the Turbot Fillet Papillote with Saffron Butter (NT$580) and exceptional Prime Rib-eye Steak Roasted with Garlic Sauce (NT$980). The latter entree is only served at one other restaurant in Taiwan and is heated/served on a bed of sea salt, tenderizing the meat and allowing it to absort the salt without becoming too salty. Viva Cafe also offers a selection of 10 Spanish red and white wines.

The Baked Sea Bass Fillet with Seafood Sauce and Seawater Foam (NT$780) is among the six main courses available with this year's Spanish Set Menu options, and certainly one of the most unique. Utilizing "molecular gastronomy" techniques invented and made world-famous by Spanish culinary pioneers, this dish complements the traditional Spanish baked sea bass with a savory foam created from clams and seawater. Another main is Boiled Natural Pork Chop with Plum Sauce, a southern Spanish dish made with hormone-free pork, a natural plum sauce perfect for summer, and zuccini and other veggies on the side.

Spanish set meals start with a cutely-presented three-part appetizer. Start with the Truffle Caviar, before moving on to the Stewed Sausage with Red Wine and, finally, the Punted ago with Sweet Peppers--soft durum wheat grains served with Spanish olive oil and olive oil vinegar.

top

Tapa Tapa Spanish Restaurant

Tapa Tapa Spanish Restaurant

Tapa Tapa Spanish Restaurant

Tapa Tapa Spanish Restaurant

(04) 2323-6254, 2327-0225
12, DaLong Rd
Hours: 11 am-10 pm
10% service charge (except take-out).
Credit cards not accepted.

Owner Jane Liu was inspired by her time in the southern Spanish city of Seville (Sevilla) to open this restaurant eight years ago. Today, it continues to offer a cozy, pleasant ambiance that includes pleasant, plant-shaded outdoor seating, a cozy first-floor and spacious basement area, plus Latin/Spanish style live music by a foreign musician every Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. Among many tapas, paella and other Spanish country-style entrees, stand-outs include Cheese Roll with Tomato, Stuffed Aubergines with Cheese (NT$160) and Smoked Cheese with Spanish Olives tapas items; the unique "Arroz Negro Con Sepia" black squid-ink, seafood paella dish (NT$248); Spanish Style Veal Shank with Red Pepper Sauce (NT$350); "Sopa De Ajo" Castellana soup (NT$80); and Crema Catalana (NT$50) pudding-like dessert, made with two types of cream cheese and milk. Several of these can be enjoyed together via a NT$388 Spanish Set Menu meal.

The Spanish Seafood Salad (NT$160 single, NT$240 double) is a popular Tapa Tapa order filled with mussels, shrimp, cuttlefish, octopus, two kinds of clams and other seafood, plus olives and veggies, all marinated overnight in a mix of white wine, white wine vinegar and olive oil. It makes a great meal on its own with some cheese and wine.

A unique dish is the Spanish-Style Fillet and Stomach of Beef with Red Pepper Sauce (NT$350, includes soup), made by cooking cow's stomach, ground beef and other ingredients together before serving it with yellow and red peppers and a filet steak.

top

El Meson Plaza De Espana KM.O

El Meson Plaza De Espana KM.O

El Meson Plaza De Espana KM.O

(04) 2473-5315
3, DaYing St
Hours: 11 am-10 pm (lunch 11 am-2 pm,
dinner 5:30-8:30 pm), closed Sundays
No service charge. Credit cards not accepted. Chinese/English menu.

Another long-standing, popular Spanish restaurant, this cozy little place continues to offer Taichung's largest variety of paella dishes, in addition to a good selection of tapas appetizers. A top choice from the beginning is the very popular seafood-filled Paella de Mariscos (NT$260) and the owner continues to add a growing number of equally delicious options, like the vegetable-filled Paella Vegetariana, and the Paella Calabaza, made with pumpkin, ground pork, mushrooms and veggies. Large groups of three or more can also opt for the big NT$980 Paella Valenciana, a mix of seafood, chicken and vegetables.

Owner William Cheng learned his cooking skills the hard way--searching Sevilla, Spain for a paella eatery he really liked, and then begging the owner to teach him her skills. The results are evident in his four excellent paella dishes, including his newest addition, Paella de Chorizo, made with homemade chorizo sausages. William reminds diners that its best to call ahead and place advance paella orders because the dish takes a while to make.

Spanish Meat Balls (NT$85); Mushrooms with Butter (NT$100); Clams in White Wine Sauce; Peppers Stuffed with Crab and Shimp; Shrimp with Garlic; Potato with Smoked Salmon; and Galician Style Grilled Fish with Sea Salt and Spices (NT$180) are all among the tapas selections available. These and the paella dishes go well with the reasonably-priced red and white wines and beers, or a glass of Sangria (NT$120).

top

View This Page In Chinese

  Contributor's Boards other resources  
© COMPASS GROUP 2000-2014 site by GCT Taiwan - Search Engine Optimization