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COMPASS MAGAZINE > February 2014

iHot warms up evenings with fine food, cocktails and live music

By Renee Chiu
Translated by Huang Sho

1, ShiZheng N 1st Rd, 2F-2A, Xitun Dist.
(04) 2255-6979
Hours: 5:30 pm-2 am (food served to 1 am)
Wi-Fi available.
Credit cards accepted.
10% service charge.
Parking lot available.

This nightspot is located on the second floor of the fashionable, Mediterranean-style Le Free dining/shopping complex, not too far from Taichung City Hall, and provides a great late-night option for anyone looking for a cool place to eat, enjoy some drinks and listen to some live music.

iHot's Blues-style music and modern Western decor might lead you to think that the food here is also Western, but the menu offers a little surprise. The cuisine here is mainly Japanese, prepared with quality ingredients that are completely fresh--ensured by the fact that the chef heads straight over to the fish market after business closes for the night at 2 a.m. Although some of these dishes and ingredients--from salmon eggs and sea scallop sushi to sea urchin with lettuce--might have put off some diners in other establishments, iHot's chef guarantees that their freshness will change your mind.

iHot iHot
Right: Grilled Cuttlefish (NT$300)

Another big attraction at iHot is its fascinating cocktails, masterfully concocted with numerous familiar liquors like gin, rum and whiskey. Bartender Mr. Hsieh, also the store manager, puts his great sense of taste to use, unfailingly creating enchanting drinks out of unusual combinations, such as wasabi with gin. Instead of using standard ice cubes, this place utilizes a Japanese ice-maker to produce high-density ice that allows guests to savor their tasty drinks for longer periods of time.

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Left: Raw Oyster (NT$260)
Right: Wasabi Cocktail (NT$250)

An Open Jam, held every Tuesday, is especially designed to allow bands from all over Taiwan to get together and jam without any rehearsals. All music is original and not heard elsewhere. The fundamental charm of this activity is musicians' different musical interpretations, and all invited to perform at Open Jam are fantastic artists with unique personal styles.

If this wasn't good enough already, iHot is planning another style of regular performances--Unplugged--on Fridays or Sundays. The absence of amplifiers here not only allows for original sounds to be better appreciated, but also indirectly advocates a "greener" approach, even to nightlife.

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

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