76, ChaoMa Rd, Xitun Dist
Hours: 9 am-9 pm
No service charge.
Owner Shu-Min Tsai calls this 550-square-meter, naturally-lit venue (next to the ChaoMa-LiMing roads intersection) an "experiment", thus its b.LAB, or "Basic Lab", name. The ground-floor cafe serves coffees, teas and light meals, while an attached bakery sells 15-20 reasonably-priced breads and pastries made from high-grade Japanese flour, French butter and other natural ingredients. --By Douglas Habecker, translated by Anna Yang
A. The spacious first-floor cafe area is also available for use by outside groups for speeches, performances and other gatherings, and is equipped with two projectors and screens.
B. Overlooking the first floor from a balcony, the second-floor b.SPACE art gallery hosts a monthly rotation of exhibitions.
C. A modern variation on the classic "gua bao" sandwich, the Taiwan Big Sandwich (NT$70) instead uses squarish "mantou" bread made with fermented flour, wrapped around a savory chunk of fatty pork, egg, lettuce, and peanut butter instead of the usual peanut powder. Other items include Pumpkin Soup (NT$60), made with organic soy milk instead of cream, and various illy brand coffees.