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TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE, October, 2005.

Tree Cafe/Dream Community

 

95, MinZu Rd, XiZhi (SiJhih) City, Taipei
(02) 2692-1313
Hours: 11 am-11 pm
Visa/Mastercard. Smoking on outside patio.
www.dreamcommunity.org.tw

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By Claire Tyrrell Translated by Liu Fang Ru

I sat back on the patio and unwound with my beer, potato tortilla and large helping of enthusiasm from Manager Amy Tsai.
This is the "Dream Community", which is far more than just a cafe. The Dream Community, the brain child of local resident Gordon, encompasses an art studio, music venue, an annual parade (this October) and worldwide artistic exchanges. The desire is to build a community and focal point for the area and the word "ideas" escaped Amy's lips as often as my beer reached mine. The fruits of their passions are on display in the studio.

And, speaking of fruits and foods again, any community needs to eat! What's more, the menu reflects an influx of creative foreign minds, with offerings such as Alaskan Smoked Salmon Spaghetti (NT$280), Nigerian Pork Fillet (NT$260), Piri Piri Chicken (NT$260) and Aussi Meat Pie (NT$200). All are served with a drink, soup/salad and a small dessert. This isn't 5-star cuisine, Amy explains. It's food people learned to cook at home and seasoned with herbs from their small garden beside a goose pond!

But the winner, for me, is the large outside patio. A rarity in Taipei, it's perfect for those nice Taipei evenings accompanied with a offering from the long list of cocktails (NT$160-200) or a Corona, Heineken or Coopers beer (NT$100/120). Okay, so the weather is turning, but the shelter is cover enough from Taipei's downpours and I'm assured there's heating in the winter.
Otherwise, there's a small inside eating area, or pop across to the cosy looking Maple Tree Tea House-a newer addition to the Dream Community. Stylishly furnished with traditional Chinese decor, it offers Jiang Nan cuisine from the Shanghai and Canton areas.

XiZhi (SiJhih) is a little out of the way, but buses 817 from KunYang or Red 2 across from YuanShan drop you on the cafe's doorstep. If you are living in Taipei's eastern districts, you are practically neighbours, and it certainly makes a relaxing alternative to heading into the city.

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