Kir Royal NT$350. Cognac,
ginger, and frozen
tropical fruit puree shaken
than topped with
Late-night live music,
dining keep crowds
coming to Simba
Words and translation by Renee Chiu
22, XiangShang Rd, Sec 1, West Dist.; (04) 2305-8886
Hours: 9 pm-4 am
English menu available.
Minimum charge NT$300 weekdays, NT$500 weekends/national holidays.
Credit cards accepted.
10% service charge.
Simba is one of Taichung's classic, long-standing live-music restaurants that continues to offer a laid-back, Taiwan-style way of letting your hair down with good food and live bands. This older building, featuring plenty of wood on the inside and out, grabs the eye from the street while the interior is wild-animal/jungle murals seem designed to emphasize that you've truly escaped the city for the evening.
The live-music schedule is pretty much the same every day, but house bands One Band and Wangpai Band are great at keeping things fun, novel and interesting every second of the evening, not only covering classic pop and rock anthems (requests are welcomed) but also offering audiences renditions of the latest pop songs. True entertainers, they're not above amusing their listeners with playful imitations of celebrities. The crowded tables and seats around the stage until the early hours of the morning are testament to their good vocal and entertainment skills.
Music isn't the only thing that brings people to Simba, which has a reputation for offering delicious, flavor-filled Chinese main-course entrees and appetizers such as Spicy Chicken Wings, Fried Pork Intestine with String Beans, or Salty Pork with Vinegar and Chopped-Garlic Sauce, all prepared by the creative chef with a variety of seasonings.
On the drink side, a look down the long cocktail list shows the creative variety of libations on offer. Cocktails here are both well-made and attractively presented by the bartenders. Helpfully, the drinks menu lists both the cocktail ingredients and also describes their flavors, helping unfamiliar drinkers navigate their way to a suitable selection. If mixed drinks aren't your thing, there is also Heineken on tap.
Although it's not the newest or fanciest nightspot on the block, Simba covers all its bases very well as a friendly, enjoyable evening hang-out. This means that it's always crowded on weekends. To avoid a wait outside the entrance, the manager recommends making a reservation before arriving.
Left: Spicy chicken wings NT$250