Rich dining without
breaking the bank at Rare Bar & Steakhouse
By Scott Sessions
Translated by Sho Huang
610, Taiwan Blvd, Sec. 4, 8F, Xitun Dist. (Windsor Hotel)
(also 78-3, TaiZhongGang [Taichung Port] Rd, Sec 3)
Hours: 6 pm-1 pm (open to 2 am Fri/Sat); lunch Fri-Sun 11:30 am-2 pm
English menu available.
Credit cards accepted.
10% service charge.
It is always worth remembering that some of this city's most exquisite cuisine, elegant ambiance and attentive service can be found inside a hotel. A shining example of this resides on Windsor Hotel's eighth floor, home to Win Western Restaurant.
Win Western Restaurant
Sous Chef David Lin
For such a beautiful, upscale-feeling place, with high ceilings, classy table settings, uniformed wait staff and all the trappings of fine dining, Win offers a surprisingly broad price range, starting as low as pasta and risotto entrees (NT$580-680). However, it would be a shame to skip the main focus here--beautifully savory, juicy steaks made with top-grade dry-aged American beef as well as live Boston lobster, Berkshire port ribs and similar fare.
Top a la carte choices include the USDA Prime Dry-Aged Rib Eye Cap (NT$1,800, 6 oz.; NT$2,350, 8 oz.), best enjoyed medium-rare, and the Homemade Tagliolini Sauteed with Whole Live Boston Lobster (NT$1,880). Six set meals (NT$1,380-2,200) also revolve around similar main entrees.
Recently, Windsor Hotel has made such delights even more accessible with a Chef Special Set Menu, once NT$1,680 but now only NT$990 (plus 10%). Diners get two main-course choices: Pan Fried Berkshire Pork Rib served with Apple Cream Sauce and Pan Fried Sea Prawn with Lemon Butter, or Grilled USDA Spare Ribs served with Red Wine Sauce and Pan Fried Sea Prawn with Lemon Butter. This writer found both to be equally amazing, although the flavorful, tender, juicy corn-fed Berkshire Pork was an especially delightful discovery. All this comes with bread, Classic Caesar Salad, soup, dessert and coffee or tea.
Left: Homemade Tagliolini Sauteed with Whole Live Boston Lobster (NT$1,880)
Medium: Chef Special Set Menu with Pan Fried Berkshire
Pork Rib served with Apple Cream Sauce and Pan
Fried Sea Prawn with Lemon Butter (NT$990)
Right: USDA Prime Dry-Aged Rib Eye Cap (NT$1,800 6 oz.,
NT$2,350 8 oz.)
The sizable menu has many other choices, from additional steak choices to salmon, tuna, cod and prawn based entrees, plus a suitably-extensive list of wines and other spirits. Wednesdays to Saturdays there is live music 7:30-10:30 p.m. Win is also becoming a nice later-evening hang-out with its 10 p.m.-12 a.m. "midnight snack" hours, when you can chill out with some light foods, beers (NT$180-240), cocktails (NT$220-240) and other drinks in classy surroundings that include--when it's warmer--a big tree-lined outside deck with great views of the Taichung skyline.