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HOME > CENTRAL TAIWAN > DINING

COMPASS MAGAZINE > April 2011
 

Western-style dining options in Taichung's Fengyuan District--Twilight Cafe, Lan Yu Restaurant, Sen Hu Xi Cafe, Oodles of Noodles Pizza Pasta Coffee

By Natasha Lee and Uvia Chang
Translated by Angel Pu

Twilight Cafe

Twilight Cafe

 

 

Twilight Cafe

405, FengBei St, Fengyuan District
(04) 2512-0252
Hours: 8 am-7 pm
Credit cards accepted.
No service charge.
Parking lot available.
Wireless Internet.

The owner here, who lived in America for 14 years, has been obsessed with coffee since his school days. After returning to Taiwan, he still missed the great fun of savoring coffees with friends back in America, which led to the birth of Twilight Cafe. For the owner, making coffee is not just a habit, it's also a hobby. His coffee-bean choices reflect his careful approach and include Italy's Costadoro brand, considered one of the highest-quality beans in the world. The American-style dining menu covers brunch, afternoon tea, dinner and a variety of light meals that are very satisfying.

A: The American-style breakfast sets are available from 8 a.m. daily. If you don't think you can eat everything in a set meal, you can just order a sandwich or salad a la carte. A cup of coffee also comes with every meal. The owner recommends the Smoked Chicken Sandwich (NT$115). The variety of flavors and textures--crispy vegetables, lovely-smelling smoked chicken and dripping, medium-rare egg yolks--make this item a real treat and one of the restaurant's more popular meals.

B: From 2 to 4:30 p.m. the restaurant offers afternoon tea sets (NT$85-115). The Original Flavor Cheese Cake and Selected Handmade Coffee are good companions for many customers as they pass an afternoon here. The owner recommends that his customers enjoy their coffees black, which he says goes best with the cakes.

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Lan Yu Restaurant

Lan Yu Restaurant

36, NanYang Rd, YuLe New Residential Quarter, Fengyuan District; (04) 2522-7675
Hours: 11 am-10 pm (closed Mondays)
No service charge. Parking lot available. Wireless Internet.
NT$60/person minimum bill.

With a Greek-style appearance and outside yard design, Lan Yu Restaurant tends to attract the attention of female customers. Its spacious indoor area is particularly good for group dining and includes the display of many Greek-style decorations in the corners, helping provide more of a Mediterranean ambiance for customers. For parents who want to enjoy an afternoon tea here, there's also a kids' playground area, allowing both generations to have a good time at this establishment.

A: Lan Yu's menu has a childlike creativity to it and most of the meals here can be upgraded to a variety of sets. The owner recommends Spaghetti Bolognese (NT$139 with a black tea), which uses their homemade sauce instead of the canned variety, together with fresh ground pork purchased by the owner every morning. This topping goes very well with Italian spices and you can taste the freshness of tomatoes. Served "al dente", this pasta is a must-try.

B: The popular Milan Smoked Chicken Steak with Rice is not like common varieties that use shredded smoked chicken but, instead, is more like roast chicken. The flavor of myrtle wood-smoked chicken has less of a charred taste and is cooked to lock the juices inside. For only NT$280, you can enjoy this entree with various side dishes, a soup, black tea and dessert.

C: The restaurant provides various women's magazines and wireless Internet to help patrons pass time. Most of the drinks are sweet-and-sour mixtures that girls tend to love. A series of drinks known as "Rainbow Bubbles" (NT$120-130) has seven different flavors to satisfy almost any taste buds.

Lan Yu Restaurant Lan Yu Restaurant

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Sen Hu Xi Cafe

 

Sen Hu Xi Cafe

11-1, Alley 150, LuShan Lane, NanYang Rd, Fengyuan District; (04) 2513-0908
Hours: 11 am-10 pm (closed Mondays)
Credit cards accepted for purchases over NT$1,000. Parking lot available. 10% service charge (except afternoon tea). NT$100/person minimum bill.
No outside food/drink.
www.forest888.com

JLocated only 10 minutes from downtown Fengyuan, this cafe is surrounded by trees, allowing forest lovers to get a good lungful of phytoncide as they enter the restaurant. The food, drinks and service at Sen Hu Xi are top-grade and the night views of the downtown area are impressive. This chalet-like building has a Japanese home-style ambiance and is filled with paintings and pottery works for customers to appreciate, helping make it a suitable venue for families, couples and groups.

A: Meals are available from 11 a.m. here. The owner has been a judge in many coffee-related competitions around Taiwan and also hired a former Evergreen Laurel Hotel chef to prepare five-star cuisine. As a result, many patrons bring their families here almost every weekend for the spectacular night views and great cuisine, which includes popular hot pots, appetizers and salads. Main courses can be ordered a la carte or as part of a set meal. Sen Hu Xi periodically revises its business lunch menu, only available on weekdays. For only NT$250 you can enjoy soup, bread, a main course and cup of plum juice. Over afternoon tea hours there are also many sets offering light meals and drinks to customers looking for a moment of relaxation.

B: The Grilled Short Ribs with Red Wine and Roast Rack of Lamb with Herbs set meals are both NT$500. The short ribs are perfectly cooked, and the owner suggests that medium well-done or well-done are the best ways of enjoying them. Sen Hu Xi is also famous for its sauces, which perfectly match the meats and vegetables the owner buys from the market each day. The roast rack of lamb, for example, should definitely be savored with a mint sauce and fresh mint paste.

Sen Hu Xi Cafe Sen Hu Xi Cafe

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Oodles of Noodles Pizza Pasta Coffee

Oodles of Noodles Pizza Pasta Coffee

16, XiAn St, Fengyuan District
(04) 2520-5057
Hours: 11:30 am-8 pm
(closed Sundays)
Credit cards not accepted.
No service charge.

If you love food made from wheat, don't pass up Oodles of Noodles, which has been in business in Fengyuan for 13 years. Owner Julian went to America to study baking and brought back a special-formula dough to Taiwan. He's good at making traditional European-style breads like bagels, wheat breads and toasts, most created with whole grain wheat. These baked goods exude wonderful aromas and are filled with wheaty nutrition because the baking processes are simplified. Another pleasant surprise here is that take-home bread is equally delicious baked or steamed. Besides bread, Oodles of Noodles serves a variety of spaghetti dishes (NT$130-230) with soup, salad and black/green tea (add NT$20 for coffee and NT$30 for a cappuccino). Hand-made pizzas and gratin-style entrees are also available.

A: Calzone-these pizza-based creations are stuffed with a variety of things like bacon, smoked chicken and seafood. The homemade Meat Ball Calzone (NT$260) is full of mozzarella cheese and beef, and offers a rich flavor that makes you want to order more than one.

B: Sandwich with Salads-there are so many sandwiches for customers to choose from here. Most recommended is the B.L.T. Sandwich (NT$140), filled with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese and so large that women with smaller appetites will feel completely stuffed, particularly if they have this with an additional salad. For afternoon tea, this place offers Cafe Latte, Cappuccino and Americano coffees. The coffee, made with a COMTI Italian Coffee Machine, is smooth and flavorful.

C: The restaurant is simple but fresh and clean, making you feel right at home.

Oodles of Noodles Pizza Pasta Coffee Oodles of Noodles Pizza Pasta Coffee

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