Sachsen: For the love of beer (and great food)
By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Anna Yang
282-9, XiTun Rd, Sec 2, Xitun Dist; (04) 2708-7389
Longer-term "Taichung-ers" will certainly know what I mean when I note that it's delightful to walk into a local place that looks like a bar, feels like a bar and stays open late like a bar. Such is the case with Sachsen which, however, isn't just another bar. Rather, it's a complete beer lover's paradise opened by two connoisseurs who claim to offer about 150 beers (I didn't stop and count them all), good food and little else.
Located on the edge of the busy Fengjia Night Market area, Sachsen is a comfortable place decorated with the owners' collection of superhero toys, plus a heavily-used electronic darts machine in the corner. Individuals and couples can sit at the short bar or small 50-gallon oil drum tables, while long tables are perfect for larger groups.
Right: Risotto Nero (NT$280)
Don't expect any cocktail or wine list in the thick menu. Almost none of the mainstream local and foreign beers are found here, either, with the exception of a 3,000ml glass tower of Heineken (NT$1,000). Rather, there is page after page of high-end bottled beers (NT$160-250). Over half of the choices are Belgian--golden ales,dark ales, white/wheat beers, blond/amber/dark/white trappist ales, blond/dark abbey ales, fruit beers and Belgian white beers from a variety of breweries.
If you're not a fan of Belgian tipple, fear not, as there are also plenty of excellent beers from Germany, the UK, Japan and America, plus about eight creative Taiwan craft beers from Taoyuan-based Taiwan Head Brewers Brewing Co. Currently, there's just one beer on tap--a German Schneider Meine Blonde Weisse (NT$250 500ml).
Left: Sichuan Pepper Spicy Wings
(NT$180) with draft Schneider
Meine Blonde Weisse (NT$250)
Right: Mexican Smoked Chicken Pizza (NT$240 with La Trappe Witte
(NT$160) Trappist white ale
Notable exceptions to the beer-only rule here are Spanish and French sparkling wines and a sizable selection of alcoholic ciders (apple, pear, raspberry), plus some sodas, smoothies and fruit-vinegar drinks.
Despite all the beer, Sachsen is also an excellent dining spot, including six main western entrees (steak, duck breast, beef ribs, pork chops), plus 10 10-inch thin-crust pizzas (NT$200-300) with favorites including the Classic Margarita and Mexican Smoked Chicken. Also popular is the Seafood Risotto (NT$490 2-person, NT$650 3-person), made with imported Italian rice, and the Sichuan Pepper Spicy Wings (NT$180).