Cellar Heaven Le ble d'or Xinyi Eslite Branch
By Joan Chang Translated by Ann Lee Photos by Andy Lin
11, SongGao Rd, B1
Hours: Sun-Thu 11 am-12 am; Fri & Sat 11 am-1 am
MRT：Taipei City Hall Station Exit 2
Credit cards accepted. 10% service charge.
If brisk winters are for getting together with friends over a steamy hot pot, then summer is for clam bakes involving good people, warm days, and tall pitchers of frosty beer. If you're seeking such cold ale, check out the Le ble d'or Xinyi Eslite branch. With retro-style decor, red brick walls and wooden floors, this beer house feels like a comfortable cellar, where patrons can relax, enjoy a beverage and, every Wednesday through Sunday night, enjoy live entertainment.
Behind the bar, Sandra, the assistant manager, explains that Le ble d'or provides pure barley beers made with Australian barley and Czech Saaz hops. Throughout the brewing process, the beer retains brewer's yeast and amino acids, giving it a refreshing and sweet flavor. The three types of freshly brewed beers at Le ble d'or—barley, wheat, and rye—are supposed to go well with different parts of your evening; the manager recommends ordering a glass of wheat beer for an 'appetizer', barley beer to accompany your meal and, after dinner, the rye beer. If you are not keen on drinking freshly brewed beer, then try their unique Mango Sorbet, which is made with wheat beer to increase its flavor.
As for food, the most popular summer choices are Spicy Fried Chicken Nuggets (NT$280) and Spicy Cuttlefish (NT$250). These dishes are marinated for four hours in Le ble d'or's own special spice sauce and served with a dipping sauce of multi-colored peppers and chilis. Spicy Cuttlefish comes with onions, bean sprouts and red chili, making it a good choice for the summer. There are quite a few other creative dishes made by the chefs here as well. Try the Chef's Special (rice dish, NT$280); the rice for this dish is washed with barley beer, then topped with more beer, green onions and eggs with sesame paste. The special comes with Fried Matzusaka Pork and Dried Grill Shrimp. Braised Beer Shrimp (NT$280) and the Seafood Fondue with Beer Soup Base (NT$480) are also worth trying out.
Since opening, Le ble d'or has been offering a series of great specials, like their half-priced Happy Hour special. On weekdays from 3 to 5 p.m., all beer is half price. On your 18th birthday, receive a five-liter beer keg—no matter how much you spend that day. In addition, you can order a business lunch with a beer for only NT$250—these are certainly the kinds of specials that have kept customers coming back.