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Paloma Cafe offers tranquility in the heart of the city

By Douglas Habecker
Translated by S. Ying

41, ZhongCheng St, West Dist
(04) 2326-5951
Hours: 9 am-9 pm
English menu and Wi-Fi available.
Cash only.
No service charge.

The rejuvenation, reuse and transformation of old houses and other buildings into restaurants, cafes, art galleries and other creative venues has been one of Taichung's most positive trends in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down. One such establishment that shows great appeal and potential is Paloma Cafe, which has been evolving since its opening about 18 months ago. Located on a quiet lane connecting MeiCun Road to ZhongXing Street and the Calligraphy Greenway, this white, 28-30 year-old, two-floor villa offers a very relaxing ambiance both inside and outside.

Paloma Cafe Paloma Cafe Paloma Cafe
Left: Owner Ching Jen relaxes at an outdoor table.
Medium: Caramel Banana and Earl Grey pound cakes (NT$90).
Right: English Muffin (NT$180).

On nice-weather days, the outside courtyard's tables, surrounded by plants and other nice touches, beckons visitors to take a seat and relax in the sunshine or shade. The tastefully-decorated interior is just as pleasing with 26 seats, from wooden tables to cushier chairs making it a contemplative place to linger over a book or conversation, interspersed with gazing out the windows to the courtyard outside.

The menu also provides some good reasons to hang out here, with highlights including moist homemade Caramel Banana and Earl Grey pound cakes (NT$90), brownies and other desserts. If you're a bit hungrier, there are English Muffin, Omelette and other brunch items (NT$180-190) and some tasty Western-style rice dishes, like a savory Fried Chicken Leg (NT$250), all made on the spot and not frozen or shipped in. Besides waffles and some other finger foods, the drinks menu features Italian-style coffees (NT$100-150), various teas and a handful of alcoholic drinks, from bottled beers (NT$110) to whiskies.

v Paloma Cafe Paloma Cafe
Left: Fried Chicken Leg Rice (NT$250)

Youthful owner Ching Jen says that he plans to continue expanding Paloma Cafe's scope and offerings, with an American chef and friend scheduled to arrive this summer, which will see an expanded food and drinks menu and, probably, later hours--all the more reason to stop by for an extended visit any time of the day.

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