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A taste of Spain in Taichung--Tapas-1 Spanish Bar and Restaurant, Spanish Bistro Diezi, El Meson Plaza De Espana KM.O, La Bodega Spanish Restaurant

Translated by Angela Cheng

Tapas-1 Spanish Bar and Restaurant

273-1, GongYi Rd, Sec 2, Nantun Dist.
(04) 2259-9829
Hours: Mon 5-10 pm; Tue-Fri 12-2 pm, 5-10 pm; Sat-Sun 12-10 pm
English menu available.
Credit cards accepted.
10% service charge.

As soon as you walk into Tapas-1's upscale surroundings, you know you're in for a fine dining experience. With its variety of menu options and great service, the only challenge is deciding what to eat. The wide range of satisfying menu options include authentic meat, seafood and paella entrees and pintxos snacks, made and flavored to near perfection. Tapas-1 also offers special meals with a variety of choices that can be split between two (NT$1,598, NT$2,400) or three (NT$2,397, NT$3,600) diners. --By Myles Cooney

A: An Pintxos appetizer plate (NT$240) and tapas dishes includes anything from Conostillas-style tapas on French bread to "molecular cuisine" style guava, pink guava, mango and other fruit gelatin balls.

B: Gambas al Ajillo (NT$250) is a traditional tapas dish made with shrimp, olive oil, sliced garlic and dried chilis, and tastes even better with bread dipped into it.

C: The Tortilla (NT$160) is another Spanish tapas item with a firm texture and delicate flavor.

Tapas-1 Spanish Bar and RestaurantA. Tapas-1 Spanish Bar and RestaurantB.  Tapas-1 Spanish Bar and RestaurantC.


Spanish Bistro Diezi

(04) 2326-2132
81, MingYi St, 1F, West Dist.
Hours:11:30 am-3 pm, 5:30-10 pm (closed Thu.)
English/Korean menu available.
Cash only.

On entering Diezi, you are greeted with the aroma of fresh basil and olive oil, plus a contemporary Western dining area adjacent to a pristine, open kitchen. The array of Spanish cuisine here includes different types of paella, along with plenty of Spanish-influenced appetizers. Some tasty tapas-style choices include Grilled Vegetable with Sundried Tomato Sauce (NT$200) and Grilled Mini Squid with Porcini Mushrooms (NT$240). Another very interesting, savory choice is Squid Ink Paella (NT$390), made with Spanish rice and many types of seafood, mixed and cooked with squid ink and yoke sauce. Diezi is run by its Korean head chef Mr. Kim, who also specializes in Italian and French cuisine, ensuring all of his creations have a unique Mediterranean flavor. --By Myles Cooney

A: The featured Squid Ink Paella with Diezi's special, homemade sangria.

B: Grilled Mini Squid with Porcini Mushrooms.

C: Diezi's front area offers a full view of its open kitchen.

Spanish Bistro Diezi A. Spanish Bistro Diezi B. Spanish Bistro Diezi C.


El Meson Plaza De Espana KM.O

(04) 2473-5315
3, DaYing St, Nantun Dist.
Hours: 12-2:30 pm, 6-10 pm (last order 8:30 pm), closed Mondays
English menu available.
Credit cards accepted.
10% service charge.
Parking lot available.

Chef/owner William Cheng has been pleasing diners with his authentic Spanish fare and cozy ambiance for the past decade. Standing out here are the five paella choices, including the chicken/seafood/vegetable Paella Valenciana (NT$980) to the Paella De Chorizo (NT$800), both able to serve three diners. Diners can also simply allow William to prepare a multi-course Spanish meal at his own discretion, paying about NT$550/person for this experience. --By Douglas Habecker

A: The chef has put his experience into creating the new Luxury Paella De Marisco (NT$480 individual portion; 2-day advance order required), an upgraded version of the popular seafood-and-vegetable paella dish with big prawns, crab meat, sea bass, mussels, chicken and other quality ingredients.

B: The Pan Fried Sea Bass (NT$260) is a newer menu addition and served with sea salt and butter lemon sauce.

C: Pan Fried Calamari with Lemon Butter Sauce (NT$260-280, depending on market price) can either serve as a main entree or shared tapas appetizer.

El Meson Plaza De Espana KM.OA. El Meson Plaza De Espana KM.OB. El Meson Plaza De Espana KM.OC.


La Bodega Spanish Restaurant

(04) 2310-7006
3, JingCheng 2nd St, West Dist.
Hours: kitchen open 6:30-10 pm, late-dinner hours (tapas only) 10 pm-12 am
English menu available.
NT$150/person minimum charge.
No service charge.

Taichung's most enduring Spanish restaurant, La Bodega has long been a favorite hang-out for the city's European community as well as other foreign and Taiwanese customers. Spanish-born French chef/owner Lorenzo "Lolo" Rubio prepares three paella and fideua varieties, 17 types of tapas appetizers, Spanish wines and Sangria (NT$150/glass, NT$600/pitcher), beers and other drinks. --By Douglas Habecker

A: The NT$280 Fideua de Mariscos Spanish seafood noodles is a noodle version of the Paella de Mariscos (available with Sangria for only NT$290 on Mondays). There are also chicken-and-chorizo, and seafood-and-chicken paella/fideau varieties available.

B: The NT$150 Gambas al Ajillo (garlic shrimp) is a long-time tapas favorite for both Taiwanese and foreign customers. Other favorites include the NT$80 Tortilla Espanola (Spanish omelet), NT$390 Jamon Serrano con Queso y Aceitunasa (Serrano ham, cheese, olives, bread), and NT$180 Calamares Fritos (deep-fried calamari rings).

C: La Bodega's cozy interior provides a traditional tapas bar ambiance, conducive to relaxing over food, drinks or a football match.

La Bodega Spanish RestaurantA. La Bodega Spanish RestaurantB.  La Bodega Spanish RestaurantC.


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