A cozy nook for relaxation
By Daniel White
Translated by Anna Yang
73, DaHe Rd, West Dist
11 am-9 pm, Sat & Sun 9 am-9 pm
Roundabout Cafe may be a little hard to find the first time you go looking for it. Located just south of GongYi Road, down a little alley called DaHe Road, this unassuming little coffee shop is easy to miss. When you do finally catch sight of it, though, prepare yourself for some culinary treats and tasty coffee, all in a relaxing nook to while away the time and forget your troubles.
Inside, the bohemian decor, mellow music and friendly staff create an enjoyable atmosphere. There is a coffee table encircled by comfortable chairs, excellent for chatting with friends over a drink, but I suggest taking up residence at one of the dining tables, as the fair selection of meals might entice you to have a bite to eat.
The homemade Beef Stew with Rice (NT$270) was as good as mom used to make, and that's nigh impossible to do. The beef was incredibly tender and succulent, and the stew with carrots, onions, turnips and potatoes was savory with a slight peppery kick. On the side, the fiddle head salad, rice tofu and egg were delicious, and the wonderfully cooked medley of peas, red peppers and mushrooms was so fresh and crisp that it might have been picked from a garden moments before. The black tea that accompanied the meal was not too sweet (ask for half sugar) and pleasantly refreshing.
If you're not stuffed from the ample main course, or would perhaps prefer lighter fare, Roundabout also offers sandwiches (NT$165-195), salads (NT$160-190), waffles (NT$110-160) with various toppings, yogurt with fruits or berries (NT$135-155), desserts such as English Scones (NT$60) and lovely brownies (NT$70).
Aside from the heavenly cuisine, the service staff was amiable and quick, though they didn't speak much English. Fortunately, the menu is also in English so pointing should suffice if you can't speak Mandarin. WiFi is available free of charge as well, and the cafe is open until 9 p.m., so even late diners can be accommodated here.