By Daniel White
Translated by Anna Yang
193, DaDun 18th St, Xitun Dist
Hours: 8:30 pm-4 am (closed Sun)
World Kitchen is truly a hidden treasure and I lament not finding it a long time ago, as it is the quintessential jazz bar in Taichung. From the decor to the myriad cocktails, every detail here seems designed to help you relax and the smooth sounds of the evening's musicians help you forget about the outside world for a moment and thoroughly enjoy yourself.
The ambiance greeting you as you walk in is relaxed and welcoming. The staff is friendly and always ready to serve. The lighting is bright enough to see, and subdued enough to create an air of quiet comfort. Booths are large and surrounded by comfortable chairs, perfect for a group of friends after a long day of work.
World Kitchen features live performances every night from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. and, though jazz is the constant, the instruments and styles vary wildly. On Wednesdays a double bass with guitar is the usual act with songs that are both melodic and upbeat.
The bar also offers hundreds of cocktails to enjoy with the music, though availability of some drinks is seasonal or dependent on the fresh fruit in stock. The menu features plenty of classic drinks such as Long Island Iced Tea (NT$350), Manhattan, Mojito and Martini (all NT$300) that are always available. But, if you'd like something different, World Kitchen has a special drink just for you--just tell the bartender what flavor you like, or any preferred type of alcohol, and he'll make you something amazing. The Around the World cocktail (NT$350) is interesting--with whiskey, tequila, vodka, gin and melon liqueur topped with red wine--and surprisingly delicious for such a strong drink.
Specialty cocktails range in price (NT$300, NT$350 or NT$400) depending on how strong you like it but, whatever you choose, it will be one of the better drinks you've ever had. There are also some great offerings from the kitchen with lots of snacks and platters for sharing. The Pig Knuckle (NT$460) was tender and succulent with crispy skin and a delightful mild sauerkraut.