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HOME > TAIPEI > TEA & COFFEE >

TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE, September 2007.

 

More than just yummy.......

Artco De Cafe

Artco De Cafe

Artco De Cafe

8-1, ChangAn E Rd, Sec 1; (02) 2542-9871
MRT: ZhongShan
Hours: 7:30 am-11 pm
Credit cards accepted.
No service charge. Smoking area.
Wireless internet access available.
MRT: ZhongShan
www.artouch.com/food

"It's not just coffee; it's art too," a sign by the entrance reveals the idea behind the interweaving of art and lifestyle at the multi-purpose ARTCO De Cafe. Established last year, ARTCO is a sophisticated five-story space that deviates from traditional galleries by providing new ways of enjoying art. ARTCO displays a permanent collection of Asian art, focusing on Chinese modern art, with works changed every three to four months. Customers can also peruse art books (NT$200 to NT$500) and magazines, published by the Art and Collection Group, at the ARTCO bookstore. The fifth floor Sky Garden hosts live music from 8 pm to 9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, while the fourth floor Art & Collection Inspiration Zone is the site for art-appreciation classes, forums and exhibitions. While marinating their mind in ARTCO's cultural milieu, customers can savor sandwiches (NT$150), cakes (NT$65), and popular beverages such as Black Soybeans & Green Tea (NT$80 medium) and butter-topped Klimt Coffee (NT$90 medium). ARTCO's lunchtime set menu offers Hungarian Beef Stewed with Red Wine (NT$220 or NT$250) and Indian Style Curry with Pork (NT$150 or NT$180), among other dishes. For more, see ARTCO's website or monthly brochure, available in bookstores. --By Dipal Khatri, translated by Ann Lee

 

Islanders Studio

Islanders Studio

 

Islanders Studio

95, ChaoZhou St; (02) 2396-9208
Hours: Tue-Sun 10 am-7:30 pm
Credit cards not accepted.
Smoking section outside.
www.islanders-studio.com

A great spot to appreciate new art and a chilled out vibe is DaAn studio and cafe. Established in 2006, the studio embraces issues like marginal peoples or groups and tends to feature fresh, young artists. Art and design centers on the "Islanders" theme; it is a fluid theme, as a recent photo exhibition on the Kashmir earthquake illustrated how disaster can turn remote areas into often forgotten "isolated islands." Exhibitions range from photos and paintings to sculpture and design work—for current show check the website. To the creators of Islanders, design is a crucial element in art, because it acts as a bridge between "high art" and daily life. To bring art to people, the studio develops and sells their own products, mainly small household items, and welcomes patrons to the open studio/coffee-shop interior. They have created a welcome, comfortable environment to enjoy a relaxing drink. Teas, coffees and cakes are available, or grab a panini sandwich while you muse. --By Claire Tyrrell, translated by Ann Lee

 

Kou Kou

Kou Kou

 

Kou Kou

55, Lane 81, DunHua S Rd, Sec 2; (02) 2708-9758
MRT: ZhongXiao/DunHua
Hours: 11 am-9:30 pm
Credit cards accepted.
10% service charge.
Smoking section.

Kou Kou is a tranquil Japanese-style oasis for seekers of fusion Japanese food and nature-inspired pottery. A well-established chain in Japan, Kou Kou opened only recently in Taiwan. Kou Kou imports works from renowned Japanese designer Tsuneko Tanaka, who puts a modern twist on traditional pieces. The innovative collection features leaf-shaped plates glazed in earthen hues, elegant flower dishes, ceramic vases and other pottery of various sizes, which are ideal for serving food or displaying in one's home. The most popular gift items are rose and lotus set-of-three sashimi bowls (NT$2,450). The restaurant itself serves meals in the pottery. For lunch, Kou Kou offers a set menu with a choice of four main dishes, including rice, pasta, fish and meat, which are changed on a weekly basis. Set meals (NT$300 to NT$390) consist of a drink, soup, salad, the main dish and dessert. For dinner, diners can choose from an ala carte menu of Western-style sushi, sashimi and steak (NT$280 to NT$890). The restaurant's specialty is Carpaccio (NT$390), which was a sashimi base topped with onions, Japanese herb seasoning and dressing. --By Dipal Khatri, translated by Ann Lee

 

Ole Cafe

Ole Cafe

Ole Cafe

113, XinYi Rd, Sec 4; (02) 2703-4050
Hours: weekdays 12 pm-2 am; weekends 1 pm-2 am
MRT: DaAn
Credit cards not accepted.
Parking nearby.
Smoking allowed after 6 pm, downstairs non-smoking all day.

Ole Cafe has a cozy, Italian-style ambiance ideal for leisurely sipping a coffee or enjoying refreshing fruit yogurt (NT$160), milkshakes (NT$180), or ice cream (NT$100). The cafe has a homey downstairs reading space that stocks English-language art books specializing in graphic and interior design. Most books are priced over NT$1,000, with a 10% to 20% discount offered on some titles. A relaxing read is incomplete without one of the cafe's specialty teas from Mighty Leaf, a small San Francisco company. Available in handmade teabags in a wide range of flavors like Ginger Twist and African Nectar, the menu divides the teas into "most caffeine", "less caffeine", and "caffeine free" sections. Along with a robust selection of hot and cold beverages, Ole Cafe offers light meals such as salads and sandwiches (NT$120 to NT$180) with offbeat fillings, ranging from asparagus and chicken with green sauce to apple and yogurt. Waffles in similarly unusual flavors, tuna (NT$180) and kiwi (NT$140), are also popular. At night, the cafe emerges from its cocoon, transforming into a bar in which customers can chill at the counter with a Cheese and Salami with Marinated Mushrooms (NT$180) appetizer and a range of wines (around NT$1,000 to NT$3,000) and alcoholic drinks. --By Dipal Khatri, translated by Ann Lee

 

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