Elephant: An unforgettably
satisfying dining spot
By Daniel White
Translated by Carrie Chang Chien
208, Taiwan Blvd, Sec 3, Xitun Dist; 0923-691-953
Hours: Mon-Fri 5-9 pm; Sat 11:30 am-2 pm, 5-9 pm; closed Sun
Whether you're just a little peckish or hungry enough to eat a horse, Elephant will leave you full and satisfied. Situated on Taiwan Boulevard opposite Top City/Mitsukoshi department stores, this little eatery always seems to be full.
Inside the vibe is friendly and jovial, while the decor is rather bohemian, with stark contrasts between the white walls and darker browns of the furniture and sections of raw brick walls. Contemporary paintings create the feeling of an art gallery or posh New York City coffee shop.
The food, however, is what really keeps people coming back. I recommend you start with the Chips with Cheese and Gravy (NT$140) or--as Canadians like to call it--poutine. Listed as perfect for sharing, it makes a delightful start to your meal. We also had a bowl of Vegetable Soup with a glass of Assam Black Tea as part of a set-meal order (NT$140). The soup was well-balanced with a pleasing flavor and firm perfectly ripe vegetables.
While most of the menu was sorely tempting, we opted for the Fish and Chips (NT$190) and Vegetable and Chicken Pasta with Tomato Sauce (NT$190). The fish was coated in a crispy, lightly seasoned batter with tartar sauce, plus just enough fries to fill me up. The pasta had succulent pieces of chicken with crisp, fresh vegetables in a flavorful tomato sauce with a hint of garlic. For a drink, I opted for the Comfort Tea (NT$100, with free refills) which had a very fragrant floral aroma and a minty aftertaste.
For dessert, we got an Ice Cream Sundae (NT$120) that we probably didn't need, given our already-full stomachs. It was decadent and sweet, and possibly the best sundae I've had in years. So, if you find yourself at Elephant, save some room for a sundae--you can thank me later.
The staff at Elephant completed the experience for us. They were attentive, helpful, very fast, and the food all came out exactly when we were ready for it. If you make it over to this place once, I'm willing to bet that you'll be back again soon.