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TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE, August, 2005.

Bliss (200705)

148, XinYi Rd., Sec. 4
Tel: (02) 2702-4371 (after 6 pm)
Hours: 6:30 pm-12 am

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--By Joe Duffer, translated by Jean Huang

The Chocolate and Love Experience plays every Wednesday night at-you guessed it-Chocolate and Love from 10 p.m. till 12 midnight, and often a lot longer than that. "You should have been here on Saturday night," said Ben Noun "We played until 3 a.m. People would not let us go." The cover charge is NT$100 for a seat upstairs in front of the band. It's for a real Rock ( and Roll) show with audience participation, a bit of improvisation, and rock classics from the '60s, '70s, '80s to the present, featuring many nationalities on stage.

Ray Anthony (Indian) is a guitar master and superb vocalist who should be raking in a Mick Jagger sized income for his talents. When he breaks into Traffic and Steve Winwood's "Find My Way Home", it's pure inspiration. Close your eyes and one would think that Traffic and Winwood were right there in front of you jamming at C&L; simply awesome. Barry Smit (C&L owner) joins in with some great sounding Stones tunes, and on the Police's "Message In A Bottle", which he affectionately refers to as the Grolsch (NT$180) song. Marco Orthmann (German) on drums, Ben Noun (Israeli) on second lead guitar, and Guang Yao (Taiwanese) on bass guitar keep it all tight and in line.

But it's not all about the band, or bands, as five nights a week your will find superb live entertainment at C&L. The place is two floors of music, art, love and great food. Nathan's Kitchen now offers a menu of five starters and five main courses, all prepared with only the freshest ingredients and cooked to perfection. The kitchen is open from 6:30 p.m. till midnight.
C&L also has organic chocolate endorsed by Jane Goodall, with all proceeds going to the Jane Goodall Institute, and Chocolate Letters (yes, as in the "Alphabet") specially imported from Holland. And, finally, Chocolate and Love are the exclusive importers of absinthe and the only Absinthe House in Taiwan. For a true trip back to the "Lost Generation" of Hemmingway and Oscar Wilde, or the ear whacking madness of Van Gogh, only absinthe will take you there. And, while not nearly as hallucinogenic or dangerous as it once was, the absinthe at C&L will still knock your socks off. Be careful, because with too much of it, as Winwood sings, you may become lost and not find your way back home.

 

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