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COMPASS MAGAZINE > December 2012

Sinful indulgence with high-end afternoon tea times--Mucha Salon du Chocolat, Dazzling Cafe, Madam Rose, Cafe at Alessi Store

By Niang Chen, Ann Li, Ruby Wu and Clock Wang
Translated by Angel Pu
Photos by Lin li han, Ann Li, Clock Wang and Niang Chen

Mucha Salon du Chocolat

Mucha Salon du Chocolat

386, HuaMei St, West District
(04) 2310-9102
Hours: 12-10 pm
Credit cards accepted.

Owner Mr. Guo's passion and enthusiasm are obvious when he talks about chocolate. This chocolatier, who previously worked in the design field, mostly uses high-end French and Belgian chocolate (such as Valrhona) in his products, whose quality and uniqueness have attracted loyal patrons. The owner says that the temperature inside the mouth--about 37 degrees Celsius--is optimum for melting chocolate, and consumers can take their time savoring the variations and aromas of each stage.

A: There are four chocolate categories--Cocktail, Flower Aroma, Shaped, and Places of Origin--providing plenty of options. Pictured here are the Baileys, Litchi Rose and Uganda (NT$60/piece).

B: Over 20 kinds of chocolates are elaborately made here, in addition to 10-plus different chocolate drinks (starting from NT$150).

C: This special machine adjusts the melted chocolate's temperature via continuous stirring, providing a perfect balance of oils and aromas. All fillings are also handmade.

Mucha Salon du ChocolatB. Mucha Salon du ChocolatC.


Dazzling Cafe

Dazzling Cafe

(04) 2251-8036
111, TaiZhongGang (Taichung Port) Rd, Sec 2, 4F, West District (Mitsukoshi Dept. Store)
Hours: weekdays 11 am-10 pm; holidays 10:30 am-10 pm
English menu
Wireless Internet available. One drink minimum charge per person.
Credit cards accepted.
10% service charge.
Parking available.

The Taichung branch of this well-known cafe shares an easy-going, but elegant, atmosphere with its sister branches. Every Dazzling Cafe has a decor theme and for this one it's "sky". The food selection includes not only offers Honey Toast but also light meals, pasta dishes and tea/coffee all day long, allowing you to enjoy something whenever you feel like it.

A: When eating the popular Strawberry Lover Honey Toast (NT$270), patrons usually dip the crispy toast strips into strawberry ice cream, custard sauce and fresh sliced strawberries--an addictive hot-and-cold combination. Dazzling Sky (NT$140), a drink only available at this branch, is a refreshing, exotic mix of pineapple and coconut juices and blue curacao syrup.

B: The appetizing Mentaiko Spaghetti with Cream Sauce (NT$280) contains cream sauce, onions, mentaiko (marinated pollock roe) and shredded dried seaweed.

C: Croque Madame (NT$200) includes ham, cheese and a delicious fried egg, drizzled with some cream sauce.

Dazzling CafeB. Dazzling CafeC.


Madam Rose

Madam Rose

105, ZhongGang (Taichung Port) Rd, Sec 2, 5F, Xitun Dist. (Top City department store); (04) 3703-2478
Hours: 11 am-10 pm; afternoon tea 2-5 pm
English menu
Credit cards accepted.
No service charge.
Parking available.

Unlike most other afternoon-tea establishments, the decor of this new Madam Rose branch is classic and elegant, somewhat like in a French chateau. This creates an ideal ambiance for a relaxing tea time with close friends and savoring exquisitely-made desserts with French teas (Mariage Freres and Dammann Freres) served on a delicate tea service (brands such as Rosenthal, Gien and Bernardaud). Dinner is also available here.

A: The Afternoon Tea Set (NT$780 for two) includes two drinks and delicious desserts, presented on a Versace three-tier stand.

B: Grilled USDA 5-ounce Filet Steak with Red Wine Sauce (NT$580) is only seasoned with a bit of high-grade French salt to emphasize original flavors. The restaurant now also provides Beaujolais Nouveau as a pairing for its steaks, available until Dec. 10, 2012.

C: A reasonably-priced afternoon tea in a elegant setting is a big attraction for many customers.

Madam RoseB. Madam RoseC.


Cafe at Alessi Store

Cafe at Alessi Store

105, ZhongGang (Taichung Port) Rd, Sec 2, 8F, Xitun Dist. (Top City department store)
(04) 2252-3785
Hours: 10:30 am-10 pm
Credit cards accepted.
10% service charge.
Parking available.

World-famous Italian furniture and furnishings brand Alessi chose Taichung's Top City department store as the site for its first coffee shop. Everything here, including tables, chairs and tableware, exudes the brand's simple, unique urban style and every menu item here, from light meals and desserts to coffee, is served its own special tableware.

A: Panini Trio (NT$280) features panini bread with vegetable sticks and ham, together with lemon pesto, garlic-flavored yogurt and spicy salsa sauce. The three sauces represent the three colors of the Italian national flag. Also pictured is the Iced Caramel Latte (NT$170).

B: The Chocolate Cupcake (NT$120) is one of the top desserts for a relaxing afternoon treat, in addition to the fruity-tasting, soft and refreshing Mango Panna Cotta (NT$80).

C: The flavorful Cheese Panini with Yogurt Fruit Salad (NT$280) mixes panini with sweet walnut cheese in a delicious combo that is served with a fruit salad.

Cafe at Alessi StoreB. Cafe at Alessi StoreC.


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