Hakka/Taiwanese brunch at
By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Angela Cheng
450, DunHua Rd, Beitun Dist, 2F (City Resort)
Hours: 8:30 am-1:30 pm
Credit cards accepted.
10% service charge.
Parking lot available.
Although brunch-style dining is nothing new in Taichung, most of the recent local focus has been on Western breakfast-type offerings. Diners looking for a fresh variation on this theme can head over to City Resort Hotel, where the second-floor Eating Restaurant (a play on its Chinese name) has recently taken things in a whole new Taiwanese-style direction.
According to the hotel, the new focus on brunch is the result of changing local dining and working hours. For example, customers include employees at the nearby Science Park, who may stop by on their way to work or after getting off a late shift. For a very reasonable NT$300, anyone can enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet of eight hot dishes, plus hot and cold soups, dim sum and appetizer, salad, fruit and drinks bars.
Besides a few Western offerings, the focus is on Taiwanese cuisine made with locally-sourced ingredients, like the pumpkins grown in Dongshi district by the hotel general manager's father-in-law. These are sliced, steamed, then baked and topped with 'five-spice" powder and mayonnaise. Another local option is the Ice Noodles which, unlike the usual Japanese variety, is dipped in a sesame sauce together with carrot, cucumber and onion shreds, and there's the East-meets-West Romaine Shrimp Rolls.
The buffet focus changes every three months and for the July-September period the theme will be Hakka cuisine, with dishes rotating every few days. A sampling includes Dried Persimmons Fried with Seafood; Salty Sticky-Rice Balls, made with shallots instead of garlic, plus small dried shrimp and pork; Pickled Vegetable, Bamboo Shoots and Sliced Meat Soup, with its very traditional Hakka-style sour flavor; Red Yeast Rice Meat, served with a fermented sauce; Hakka Stir-Fry, made with squid, carrots and Taichung-grown sweet potatoes; and the Grass Jelly dessert. Note that more of these items are available after 10 a.m., with more traditional breakfast items served before that.
All this can be enjoyed in a spacious ambiance, naturally lit with big windows that provide a soothing view of Dunhua Park across the street. Reservations are recommended on weekends and kids (120-150 cm tall) will get a free City Resort drinks holder during this three-month period.