Tag Archives: eat

Easy House Vegetarian Cuisine

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Name of Restaurant: Easy House Vegetarian Cuisine (寬心園)
Address: No. 3 Hesi Road, Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
高雄市鹽埕區河西路3號
Phone Number: +886-7-561-2631
Hours: Daily 11:30AM-9:30PM
Website: www.easyhouse.tw
MRT: O2 Yanchengpu
Days off: None
Vegetarian Options: Yes
English Menu: Yes
English Service: Yes
Average Cost Per Person: TWD 300 to TWD 500
GPS Coordinates: 22.621934,120.288939

On any given day and in any given restaurant, being a vegetarian in Kaohsiung can be extremely frustrating.  Most restaurants lack vegetarian options or simply won’t alter a recipe to make something vegetarian for you.  However, what Taiwan does have that America does not are restaurants serving only vegetarian meals.  These meccas for vegetarians include all sorts of places – from the quick lunch spot to a swanky date-night bistro.  Easy House Vegetarian Cuisine belongs to the latter group and has quickly become my favorite special occasion restaurant.

Atmosphere
Set on the banks of Kaohsiung’s Love River, Easy House Vegetarian Cuisine offers a romantic setting often foreign to the city.  The second floor provides views of boats bobbing down the calm water.  The softly lit interior is decorated with images of Buddha and classic Chinese calligraphy set on a dark stone color scheme.  The service is discreet yet attentive and helpful.  Together, these factors add up to one of the most enjoyable dining environments in Kaohsiung.

What to Eat/Drink
Unlike many vegetarian restaurants in Taiwan, the food at Easy House Vegetarian Cuisine is neither greasy nor bland.  The owner and chef have created a menu of internationally inspired vegetarian meals using natural spices and healthy cooking methods. While tasty meals and soothing refreshments are plentiful, a few are, in my opinion, particularly noteworthy.

1. Portuguese Noodle Soup
This dish smells so great that your mouth will be watering before the waiter can set it down on your table.  The creamy, curry broth contains tomatoes, Japanese seaweed, baby cabbage, mushrooms, and noodles.

2. Mushroom and Truffle Fried Rice
This twist on the classic Taiwanese dish adds a dimension of flavor that is not found elsewhere.  The dish is prepared with special ingredients such as day lilies, wild mushrooms, asparagus, and a truffle sauce.

3. Passion Fruit and Pomelo Tea
This flavorful tea is full of authentically Taiwanese flavors.  Pomelo, a local fruit that tastes somewhat like grapefruit, and passion fruit are freshly squeezed into a pot of soothing, hot tea.

All entrees can be purchased a la carte or with a set meal.  Sets include fruit and vegetable energy juice, a Japanese salad, vegetable soup, seasonal fruit, and a red bean dessert.

Directions
By Scooter: From Bo Ai Road, turn west onto Wufu Road.  After you pass over Love River, take the first right onto the small street named Hesi Road.  Easy House Vegetarian Cuisine will be on your left at number 3.  If you see the Kaohsiung Film Archive, you have gone too far.

By MRT: Take the orange line to O2 Yanchengpu.  Exit the station using exit 1 and walk northeast along Jhong Jheng Road.  Turn right onto Wufu Road after one block.  Turn left onto Hesi Road after seven blocks (just before the river). Easy House Vegetarian Cuisine will be on your left at number 3.  If you see the Kaohsiung Film Archive, you have gone too far.

 

After I began writing this post, I saw a sign advertising a new additional location for this restaurant.  The second location will be at the corner of Mingcheng Road and Fuguo Road.  While I cannot foresee the view being nearly as great at the Zuoying address, it will be much more convenient for those of us living up north. 

 

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Le Bistro D’Ours

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Name of Restaurant: Le Bistro D’Ours
Address: No.13 Dujing Road, Gushan District, Kaohsiung City 804, Taiwan
高雄市鼓山區篤敬路13號
Phone: 07-5502692
Hours: Daily 6PM-Late
Vegetarian Options: Yes
English Menu: Yes
English Service: Yes
Average Cost Per Person: $200NT to $300NT
GPS Coordinates: 22.663603, 120.302243

A fantastic new cocktail bar has opened its doors in the Kaohsiung Arena neighborhood. This place has abundant potential to add a much needed and creative option to Kaohsiung’s nightlife.

Atmosphere
Le Bistro D’Ours lives up to its name with a cozy bistro feel. The retro décor adds an eclectic impression unique to Kaohsiung. The dark color scheme is reminiscent of a European style eatery. The small outdoor seating area includes a couch and giant spools repurposed as tables. The only drawback to the location is the large bar that creates cramped quarters in the long and narrow space.

What to Drink
This restaurant offers one of the largest and most creative cocktail menus I have seen in Kaohsiung. There is a whole page of delicious sounding essential oil infused drinks based on flavors such as ginger, pepper, or rosemary. The menu separates other special cocktails into mild, slightly tipsy, and smashed. In addition, two pages feature champagne-based cocktails and movie themed cocktails.

So far, I have tried the Swollen Lips and the Kiss on the Lips. The Swollen Lips is made of vodka, elderflower liquor, ginger ale, and chili. It definitely lived up to its name with a spicy kick that left me wanting more. The Kiss on the Lips was a bit milder, but equally delicious. It is a frozen cocktail with rum, peach schnapps, mango, and grenadine. I haven’t yet found a drink at Ours that I haven’t liked.

If cocktails aren’t your thing, Le Bistro D’Ours offers Stella and Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc on tap in addition to a wide array of bottles and an extensive wine list.

What to Eat
While I have not yet tried any of the food, Le Bistro D’Ours serves up a full menu. Both the Caribbean Pork and the Fried Pepper Ribs have received positive online reviews. Smaller dishes such as French fries and other fried foods are also offered for the late night munchies.

Directions
By Scooter: If you are driving north on Bo Ai Road, turn left onto Minghua Road. Take the first right. Le Bistro D’Ours will be on the left hand side after half a block.

By MRT: Take the MRT to R14 Kaohsiung Arena. Use Exit 2 and walk south through the adjoining park to McDonalds. At the McDonalds, turn right and then take a left at the first stop light after about 200 meters. Le Bistro D’Ours will be on your right after a block and a half.

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Krispy Kreme Taiwan

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In fantastic news for American expats in Taiwan (and everyone else), I recently learned that Krispy Kreme has opened its doors in Taipei! The city now boasts two locations that sell these fantastically sweet creations. Each donut costs between $30NT and $40NT. A dozen will set you back about $300-$350NT.

1. Location: Taipei 101 Store
Address: No. 18 Songshou Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan
台北市信義區松壽路18號(信義威秀1樓)
Hours: Mon-Sun: 10:30AM-11PM
Telephone: 0800-588-896
MRT: Taipei City Hall (Exit 3)

2. Location: Taipei Main Station Store
Address: B1, No. 49 Zhongxiao West Road, Section 1, Taipei Station, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan
台北市忠孝西路一段49號B1
Hours: Mon-Sun: 8AM-10PM
MRT: Taipei Main Station (Exit M3)

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Online Pizza 網購比薩

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Restaurant:  Online Pizza (網購比薩)
Location: Aozidi Park, Kaohsiung
Website: www.opizza.us
MRT: O13 Aozidi Park
Hours: Wed-Thu: 5PM-8:30PM; Fri: 11:30AM-1:30PM, 5PM-8:30PM; Sat-Sun: 11:30AM-   2PM, 5PM-8:30PM
English Menu: Yes
English Service: Yes
Average Cost Per Person: $150NT to $280NT

A couple weekends ago, I had the pleasure of trying one of Kaohsiung’s newest foreigner run businesses, an online pizza company.  Online Pizza operates on online, carry-out orders only.  It is definitely a unique business plan that might just work if enough of the foreigner community catches onto to this great idea.

Online Pizza not only offers the convenience of online ordering but also serves up a delicious pie.  Their menu is well-rounded and includes a number of interesting combinations like the sweet white veggie with caramelized onions, sweet peppers, green peppers, and olives.  For our first Online Pizza experience, we kept it traditional with the margherita pizza.  The hand tossed crust was topped with a nice blend of cheese, many tomatoes, and lots of garlic.  Overall, it left my pizza craving satisfied.

Currently, Online Pizza offers pick-up services only.  The pick-up location is near the intersection of Dashun Rd. and Nanping Rd.  The website indicates that this service will only be offered until June 24th.  The business will reopen in September at which time it will offer delivery services in northern Kaohsiung.

If you are looking for a convenient, American-style meal in Kaohsiung, I encourage you to hop online and order a pizza through opizza.us.  A delicious, cheesy pie will be ready and waiting for you in 30 minutes.

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Taco Rico Taquería

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Name of Restaurant: Taco Rico Taqueria
Address: No. 85 Minsheng Road, Cianjin District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan (R.O.C.) 886
高雄市前金區民生二路85號, Kaohsiung 886
Phone: 0981-356-676
Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Taco-Rico-Mexican-Food/269397119750333?sk=timeline
MRT: R9 Central Park
Hours: Tue-Sun: 11:30AM-2PM, 5PM-9PM
Vegetarian Options: Yes
English Menu: Yes
English Service: Yes
Average Cost Per Person: $50NT to $200NT
GPS Coordinates: 22.625151,120.295647

Great Mexican food has once again returned to Kaohsiung.  The gods were smiling upon us when the great people over at Taco Rico decided to reopen their doors at a different location.  The menu is much smaller, but there is no need to despair.  This Mexican spots only serves tacos and boy do they make tacos well!  As an added bonus, Taco Rico is possibly the cheapest foreign food restaurant in Kaohsiung.  Each taco is only $30-$40NT!

Atmosphere
Taco Rico is mainly a carry-out only restaurant.  The owner cooks everything on the menu at a stand on the sidewalk.  There is one table with six chairs next to the kitchen where customers can sit and enjoy their meal.  However, I think it would be much more pleasant to take the tacos to Central Park to eat.

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What to Eat
Honestly, everything here is amazing!  The corn tortillas are hand pressed and the ingredients are perfectly fresh and deliciously seasoned.  In our group, we tried the shrimp tacos, fish tacos, pork tacos, beef tacos, salad tacos, and fried vegetable tacos.  We couldn’t complain about any of them.  Overall, I think the fish, shrimp, and salad tacos got the most votes, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, you can’t go wrong with any of the tacos from Taco Rico.

Directions
By Scooter: Head south on Jhongshan Road.  Turn right onto Minsheng Road.  Two blocks past the end of the park, Taco Rico will be on your left.

By MRT: Take the red line to R9 Central Park.  Go up the escalators at Exit 1 and turn right.  At Minsheng Road (the road at the top of the park) turn left.  Walk about 1 kilometer and Taco Rico will be on your left.

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Edward Sandwiches

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Now that I am getting ready to leave Taiwan, it’s strange to reflect on my feelings upon my arrival here.  One of the worst parts for me was finding somewhere I could eat.  I am a vegetarian and on top of that, a picky eater.  To make matters worse, I couldn’t speak any Chinese.  Every trip out to eat seemed to end in frustration.

Night markets were always especially confusing.  I never knew what I could or couldn’t eat.  When we moved to a building next to Ruifeng Night Market (瑞豐夜市), I was determined to find something there I enjoyed eating.  Edward and his wonderful green onion pancake sandwiches saved the day.

Edward, who speaks perfect English, saw me looking lost and offered for me to try a (vegetarian) basil omelet green onion pancake.  This may sound a little strange, but it is wonderfully delicious.  Edward starts by making an omelet with your choice of ingredients.  I always stick with basil, but others include ham, chicken, corn, and cheese.  He then attaches a “fluffed” green onion pancake and brushes the egg with sweet soy sauce and a spicy chili sauce.  Finally, the layered concoction is folded in half and served.  This should be on everyone’s “must eat” list while in Taiwan.

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As if the food wasn’t great enough, Edward is one of the most amazing night market vendors I have ever met.  He always remembers my name and regularly asks me about my family who visited ages ago.  He offers local advice and genuinely seems proud to serve his product.

While Edward’s stand used to be difficult to locate, his new spot is an improvement.  You can find him on the west side of the market on the sidewalk at the front of the market.  His stall faces and is actually on Yucheng Road.  Sandwiches range from $40NT to $70NT.  If you have the chance, Edward’s green onion pancake stand is definitely worth a visit on your next trip to Ruifeng.

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Gyros Kitchen

Gyros Kitchen

Name of Restaurant: Gyros Kitchen (奇樂廚坊)
Address: 98 Da Yong Street, Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City
高雄市鹽埕區大勇路98號1樓
Phone: 07-5210996
Website: http://www.gyrosk.tw
MRT: O2 Yanchengpu Exit 2
Hours: Mon-Fri: 11AM-10PM, Sat-Sun: 10:30AM-10:30PM
Vegetarian Options: Yes
English Menu: Yes
English Service: Yes
Average Cost Per Person: $100NT to $300NT
GPS Coordinates: 22.624790, 120.284421

While Gyros Kitchen is neither especially delicious nor particularly authentic, it does fill a niche for those in Kaohsiung looking for hummus and falafel. Certainly no one else in town is serving Greek fare. In order to satisfy a craving, Gyros Kitchen is worth a stop for an afternoon meal.

Atmosphere
Gyros Kitchen looks like an American chain restaurant. The walls are starkly white and there is a counter at which you can order and pay. The booths and tables are made from plywood. However, the place has quite a few redeeming qualities. It appears to be extremely clean. The open concept kitchen allows you to see that this continues into the food preparation as well. It also includes a quaint outdoor seating area with tables under umbrellas. This is especially nice for soaking up the historic atmosphere of Yancheng District. Finally, the back half of the restaurant appears to be an art gallery complete with a TV explaining the artists’ stories. All in all, Gyros Kitchen provides a pleasant dining experience.

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What to Eat
Admittedly, I have only eaten at this restaurant once, but others have told the same story. The food is okay at best. The flavors are there, but the combinations of them seem to be a little off somehow. It’s just not great. However, I am hoping this relatively new restaurant will improve with time.

1. Falafel Gyro
The falafel gyro is a bargain. For $100NT, you get fries, hummus, and a large sandwich. The sandwich is served on pita bread and includes lettuce, tomato, two pieces of falafel, and another round of hummus. The soft and garlic-y bread is definitely the highlight of the wrap. The falafel itself tasted nice but was very soft. The sandwich, however, needed a different sauce or more hummus.

2. Chicken Gyro Platter
The chicken gyro platter is more of a compilation of small dishes. It includes gyro meat, pita, tahini sauce, French fries, and a salad. The individual sections of this dish complement each other well. The gyro meat, however, was a hint too spongy and the tahini sauce was very runny.

3. Pizza
While I have not personally sampled the pizza, I have heard that it is well made. Some of the combinations on the menu look quite interesting. One of which includes figs, red beans, and marshmallows.

Gyros Kitchen also serves a wide range of teas, juices, and beer. Set meals are available for an additional $100NT or $125NT and include a drink, soup (which is scrumptious!), and, in the more expensive set, dessert.

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Directions
By Scooter: From Jhongshan Road, turn west on Jhong Jheng Road. Follow Jhong Jheng over the Love River and past the History Museum. Turn left on Da Yong Street. After two blocks, Gyros Kitchen will be on the left.

By MRT: Take the orange line to O2 Yanchengpu. Exit the station at Exit 2. Gyros Kitchen is next to the station exit on the right.

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March 29, 2014 · 11:06 am