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HOME >SOUTHERN TAIWAN >KAOHSIUNG&PINGTUNG> DINING >

TAINAN DINING FEATURE

FYI SOUTH Magazine, September 2004.

PingTung's Culinary Jewel

Vanilla House
78-1, JhongHua(JungHua) Rd., Pingtung City
Hours: 10 am-11 pm
Credit cards not accepted; smoking section

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       For those of us looking for an occasional indulgence in really good food, without the hassles of astronomically priced, inconveniently situated, and overly formal restaurants, Pingtung City's Vanilla House--formerly Angus' Kitchen--hits the spot.

       Situated directly behind the Sogo Department Store, this relatively small, two-story restaurant sports an array of impeccably prepared Italian and French dishes, as well as a cocktail and a coffee bar, herbal teas, and a selection of imaginatively flavored hot pots.

       The decor is reminiscent of the colorful art deco of Miami and the whimsy of the sunny cafes and restaurants of Venice, California. Large windows, pots of Italian herbs, glass-covered tables with Prussian blue tablecloths and pressed flowers, and a white masonry semi-circular staircase accented with square recesses lit by neon blue light contribute to a casual, intimate atmosphere.

       Among the highlights of the menu are Spanish Seafood Risotto, creamy but light, mildly flavored, topped, with, among others, mussels, squid and sea bream; and the surprising--but very pleasantly so--Lavender And Butter Sauce Spaghetti With Prawns.

       Another exceptional dish is the Steak With Foie Gras, which includes aperitif, soup, salad, drink, dessert and fruit. The staff also recommends the Vanilla House Local Flavor Lemongrass Hot Pot and the Organic Fresh Herbal Hot Pot.

       At NT$220 to NT$240 for risotto and spaghetti dishes, NT$200 to NT$220 for hot pots, and NT$380 for the steak, Vanilla House perhaps does not fall into the "modestly priced" category, but the quality is definitely worth the expense. And after dinner, you can stroll around the nearby market area, which is both vibrant and historic, and sample some of the local drink and snack specialties.

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