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FYI SOUTH Magazine, May 2005.

La Mode



660, SiMen Rd., Sec. 1, Tainan City
(06) 213-5555
(1F, Tayih Landis Hotel)
Hours:10 am-12 midnight/English & Chinese menus
Credit cards accepted


By Steven Crook Translated by Isabel Tsai

Tainan is renowned for its snacks, and is awash in vendors. This makes life difficult for upmarket restaurants: why dig deep into your pockets, some say, when delicious food can be had from that stall on the corner?

One restaurant rising to the challenge is La Mode, on the first floor (turn right as you enter) of the five-star Tayih Landis Hotel.

"Our food is not only one style," says Executive Sous Chef Gary Hsu. He points out that La Mode's menu--revised every two months--usually includes one or two dishes each from France, Italy, Germany, and the USA. It's fusion cuisine, he says, is adapted to fit the relatively conservative tastes of Tainan residents.

"Guests want ordering to be quick and simple," explains Hsu, who oversees all seven restaurants in the hotel. Accordingly, the menu is not intimidatingly long. Choose a main dish, and then help yourself to the soup and salad bar. Especially popular are the Smoked Beef Shoulder Ribs With Vegetable And Red Wine Sauce, and the Roasted Pork Knuckle Served With Sauerkraut. Expect to pay NT$1,000 to NT$1,200 per person, though some dishes are considerably less expensive.

The salad bar is truly an extravaganza, and one that is both healthy and delicious. The Western- and Japanese-style dressings are "low fat, low oil," Hsu says.
Set meals don't include drinks. Soft drinks start at NT$100, and there's a very wide range of beers, red and white wines, cocktails, and liquors.

As with lunch and dinner, the Afternoon Tea (NT$320 + 10%) menu is revised often, and includes both Western and Asian elements. There are usually four kinds of hot dishes, soups, several different sandwiches and mini-bagels, canapes and crepes. A choice of teas and coffees (such as latte, espresso, and cappuccino) is included in the Afternoon Tea.

Every evening, there is live piano music from 7-30 p.m. to 9-15 p.m.

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