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COMPASS MAGAZINE > November 2013

So Lo Mo: Wholesome Japanese cuisine in a tranquil setting

By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Angel Pu

2, ShangDe St, North Dist.
(04) 2208-0798
Hours: 11 am-9 pm (ast order 8:30 pm)
NT$90 minimum bill per person.
Credit cards accepted.
10% service charge.

In a city packed with Japanese eateries, So Lo Mo certainly stands apart from the crowd, resembling a quaint teahouse or cafe. Located in a restored, whitewashed house over 50 years old, the restaurant has a small lawn and several tall shade trees, facing a greenbelt behind China Medical University Hospital (see Downtown Taichung Map). The quiet inside ambiance, illuminated by plenty of natural sunlight, makes it ideal for lingering.

Owner Molly Chen opened her establishment over four years ago, but this past July gave it a new, untraditional name--a shortened version of "Social, Local, Mobile". Her main goal has been to offer healthy cuisine, made with fresh ingredients, top-grade cooking oil, sea salt and other wholesome items. The focus of the dining menu is 14 reasonably-priced set meals which--with a few exceptions--are available all day. These include a main entree, soup, side dish, rice, drink and dessert.

So Lo Mo Restaurant So Lo Mo Restaurant So Lo Mo Restaurant
Left: Salmon Rice with Cranberries and Pine Nuts (NT$300元)
Medium: Roasted Honey Pig's Trotters (NT$500)
Right: Spanish Mixed Seafood with rice set (NT$390)

Stand-out entrees include the Sashimi Rice Bowl (NT$380 set); Miso Udon Noodles (NT$300); NT$250 cold buckwheat/matcha Soba Noodles, imported from a famous centuries-old Japanese maker; and Miso Salmon Head Hot Pot (NT$420). There are also Japanese-style curry noodle and rice dishes, a popular Children's Set Meal (NT$180) and some a la carte items like Japanese-style grilled Mackerel (NT$200), Mixed Vegetable Salad (NT$180) and Tempura (NT$200).

Besides meals, there is a good selection of tasty, unique dessert items like three parfait-style creations (NT$150-180) made with So Lo Mo's own wonderfully-creamy matcha green tea ice cream, drizzled with dark chocolate and layered with soy milk pudding, molasses or red beans. There are also Sugar-Free Baked Caramel Pudding, waffles with ice cream, fruit and other toppings, handmade chocolates, and other Japanese-style sweets.

So Lo Mo Restaurant So Lo Mo Restaurant So Lo Mo Restaurant
Left: Salmon Rice with Cranberries and Pine Nuts (NT$300元)
Medium: Roasted Honey Pig's Trotters (NT$500)

All of the above are a perfect complement to So Lo Mo's exquisite tea and coffee choices, including Matcha Tea (NT$180), Sri Lankan High Mountain Black Tea, and Fruit Tea. Molly is very serious about her coffees and especially recommends savoring a cup of black "Jing Ping" Coffee (NT$150) made with hand-ground gourmet beans from Kenya, Ethiopia and other varieties that change each week.

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