> TAIPEI > DINING
FUN MAGAZINE, November, 2005.
3, Alley 5, Lane 74, WenZhou St
Hours: 11:30 am-10 pm
Cash only. Smoking area outside.
YOUR RATING & REVIEW | VIEW VISITORS RATINGS &
By Julia Koprak Translated by Chou NaiXien
Nestled cozily away in the back lanes
of GongGuan is the culinary gem known as Bongos. Don't
be misled by the other "Western" cafes in
the area; Bongos is the real deal.
Andrew Lunman, co-owner of Bongos and Canadian chef
with fine restaurant experience, notes, "I got
frustrated because every time I went out to eat Western
food, it was either terrible or god-awful expensive!"
A man of his word, Andrew has provided what most Taipei
restaurants do not: tables with ample room to eat, burgers
with a healthy supply of fries, reasonably priced international
beers and quality Western meals for under NT$250 (ahem,
no service charge).
The menu at Bongos includes everything
from Fish and Chips (NT$180) to German sausages (NT$180)
and Quesadillas (NT$200-240). I opted for the good ol'
Bongo Gouda Cheese Burger (NT$180). Sandwiched inside
a fresh whole-grain bun is a handmade burger topped
with melted gouda and slathered with Bongos' delicious
secret sauce, an herb-based aioli. With every entree
comes a choice of side dishes: hand-cut fries, potato
salad, and garden salad (which contains real lettuce,
roasted peppers and homemade dressing). And, for all
you vegetarians, Bongos offers several yummy treats
such as falafels, daily homemade soups, veggie burgers,
Other highlights include a back room
that can accomodate groups of 10 to 20, a buy/sell/trade
book collection, displays by local artists and, of course,
the breezy outdoor area which is perfect for Sunday
evening lounging with a bottle of San Miguel and a spoonful
Bongos' constant stream of customers is a testament
to the establishment, given the fact that they are located
off the beaten path. It may be wise to make reservations,
especially on weekends. Be prepared to wait more than
the typical two to five minutes since everything is
made fresh to order. Although you may wander a bit to
find the place, the warmly lit outdoor garden will draw
you in and the tummy-satisfying dishes will keep you
coming back for more.