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nightlife options at Champs Elysees
129, AnHe Rd., 1F(Howard Prince Hotel Taichung)
Hours: 10 am-1 am
(food orders 11 am-12:30 am)
Credit cards accepted. Parking available.
10% service charge. NT$150 minimum bill per person.
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-- By Douglas Habecker Translated by Ann
In the universe of watering holes, there are
a number of standard stereotypes: the friendly neighborhood
pub, the chic-looking lounge bar, the bar and grill, the hotel
lobby bar, and so on. Surprisingly, in one way or another,
the Howard Prince Hotel Taichung's Champs Elysees has very
successfully managed to become all of the above for a growing
number of resident and visiting patrons.
Located next to the hotel's lobby, Champs
Elysees immediately defies the hotel lobby bar image in size,
decor, intimacy and offerings. With a long, gleaming black-stone
bar, high ceilings, comfortable sofas and other seating, subdued
lighting, a grand piano and other classy touches, plus seating
for over 50, it very intentionally models itself as a lounge-style
bar. Early evenings on any given day of the week, the place
fills up with a comfortable mix of foreign and Taiwanese hotel
guests and area residents, with personnel from the nearby
Science Park strongly represented among both groups. Thanks
to the hospitality of bar staff, like Assistant Manager Linda
Wang, who goes all-out to befriend her customers, Champs Elysees
has become a lively social crossroads.
Being in a hotel guarantees more than just
attentive service and a nice setting, however. Champs Elysees
provides a full dining menu of reasonably-priced food, including
salads, soups, appetizers, desserts, sandwiches and Chinese
and Western entrees, ranging from the Grilled Salmon Fillet
with Creamy Dill Sauce (NT$480) to the Howard Beef Noodle
Soup (NT$210). Other options include a selection of 15 different
barbecue sticks (NT$40 each), made on a grill in the bar from
6 p.m. to midnight, or NT$180 flambe desserts, prepared tableside,
from 6 to 9 p.m. Fridays/Saturdays. On Christmas Eve, a NT$1,200
semi-buffet Christmas dinner will also be available (see "What's
Cooking" listing for details).
The drinks menu is comprehensive, offering
just about every spirit, liqueur, cocktail and beer that one
wants, not to mention non-alcoholic juices, teas and coffees.
Beers are mostly NT$140 and cocktails are NT$180 to NT$200.
However, in December, each Thursday night from 8 p.m. to 12:30
a.m., an all-you-can-drink selection of cocktails is offered
for NT$450. This month there are also Friday/Saturday Japanese
Whisky Nights (see Nightlife "What's On" listings).
Another recent hit among patrons is the refreshing--albeit
unusual--Heineken Green Tea (NT$60, NT$40 6 p.m.-12 a.m.).
Keep looking for more monthly specials, particularly when
it gets warmer and Champs Elysees re-opens the attached poolside
seating area to 200 more customers.