The Lounge: Evening relaxation and a lot more
By Douglas Habecker
Translated by S. Ying
57, GuanQian Rd, 1F, West Dist (Hotel National)
(04) 2321-4066, ext. 3393
Hours: 11:30 am-12 midnight (open to 1 am Fri/Sat); last orders 30 min. before closing
NT$120/person minimum charge.
10% service charge.
Credit cards accepted.
Parking lot available.
Not everyone's definition of a good nighttime hangout extends to loud, lively settings with high-decibel music and/or dancing. Sometimes, particularly after a long day, the desired destination is someplace classy, quiet, comfortable and mellow--in other words, a lounge.
Some of Taichung's nicest lounges are located inside hotels and Hotel National's first-floor The Lounge is a prime example. During the evenings, the ambiance is perfect with tall glass windows looking out onto the adjacent Calligraphy Greenway, a striking wall that uses the hotel logo as a motif, back-lit by changing colors, cushy velvet chairs and sofas, and a long serving and seating bar.
Medium: Chef's Beef Noodles
(NT$380, set meal NT$480)
Right: Blueberry Cake (NT$150) and Apple Tart (NT$130) desserts
The extensive drinks list includes NT$200 bottled and draft beers but focuses on cocktails (NT$250-400). Popular with ladies for its taste and appearance, Rose's Whisper is made with Bombay Sapphire Gin, rose syrup, cranberry juice and cream. For something more tropical, there's The Lounge's version of the Mojito, a fragrant mix of Zacapa 23 and Bacardi rums, mint leaves, lemon juice, black sugar and soda water. After these, work your way down the list of the other cocktails with interesting names like Mischievous, Palpitation, and Bianca.
A big plus at The Lounge is its excellent, very diverse food selection, available from lunch until 30 minutes before closing. An absolute must-try is Hotel National's famed Chef's Beef Noodles (NT$380), well-known for decades. This filling, flavorful dish features a broth flavored with Chinese herbs and tender chunks of beef. A range of lunch entrees, like the intriguing Aboriginal Style Spaghetti (NT$350, set meal NT$480), made with millet wine and salty pork, is available to 5:30 p.m.
Left: Mojito (left, NT$350) and Rose's Whisper
Right: Afternoon teatime set with Green Tea Chocolate
The afternoon teatime set (2-5:30 p.m.) pairs a light meal (NT$299) or dessert (NT$219) with a drink. Thanks to an excellent dessert chef, the French-style delights in the display case are not only beautiful but creative and mouth-watering. There are also six varieties of fresh-made baked bread. In the evenings, a wide variety of Western and Eastern snacks and dishes, from a sirloin steak to Stir-Fried Shrimp with Chili (NT$300), means that all your drinking and dining bases are covered as you chill out at The Lounge.