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Bistro Corazon

By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Anna Yang

161, BoGuan Rd, West Dist
(04) 2323-3218
Hours: Tue-Sun 6 pm-12 am (last order 11 pm), Fri-Sat 6 pm-2 am (last order 1 am), closed Mon

Although the term "fusion cuisine" is probably overused, there seems to be an unlimited variety of delectable culinary inventions that a skilled, creative chef can create by melding different cuisines. Bistro Corazon is a perfect place to sample the chefs' personal East-meets-West approach in a very accessible, unintimidating setting that also serves as a chilled-out late-night drinking spot.

This cozy bar and restaurant opposite the Science Museum complex was opened almost a year ago by youthful business partners Hiro Chen and Jed Domigpe, respectively in charge of food and mixed drinks. From the beginning, Hiro's skills helped generate a small but excellent menu of creative appetizers and entrees. A couple months ago, the arrival of French chef Axel Baracassa has added yet more experience to this team and resulted in a revamped menu that combines old favorites with fresh offerings.

Bistro Corazon Bistro Corazon Bistro Corazon

Among eight pasta and risotto choices (NT$320-380), a great pasta example of the fusion approach is the savory Mentaiko Pasta (NT$360) whose creamy sauce is made with Japanese mentaiko salted fish roe and squid. New entree Crispy Pork Stew with Baked Potato (NT$400) is a French-Taiwanese combo, using a star anise, soy sauce and wine marinade for the pork, cooked with rosemary, thyme, garlic onions, celery, carrots and potatoes.

Bistro Corazon Bistro Corazon Bistro Corazon

The rest of the menu includes more Asian-leaning dishes like the Yakitori Platter (NT$240) and western favorites, from main entrees (served with a weekly-changing soup) like Ribeye Steak (NT$880), Lamb Chops with Quinoa (NT$550) and the new Pan-Fried Fish with Asparagus Cream Sauce (NT$450), to the new Tartiflette (NT$150), a gratin-style appetizer from the Savoie region of France with potatoes, onions, bacon, cream and cheese.

With a popular six-seat bar facing the kitchen downstairs and an intimate-feeling upstairs dining area, Corazon is a nice place to linger into the late evening with food or drinks, which include 8-10 bottled beers (NT$120-200) and 1664 draft (NT$150, 500cc) plus cocktails (NT$180-200) and about 10 Old/New World wines (NT$700-2200/bottle). Special events--from wine nights to special cuisine themes--are also regular held on Fridays and Saturdays (check Facebook for the latest).

Compass Magazine is required by law to remind you not to drink and drive.

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