BY CK Lam
After exploring the many attractions and dining places in Tainan, we made our way to Taichung 臺中市, Taiwan’s third largest city. There are many art, culture and learning places on the tourist map in Taichung and we made a stop at the Natural Way Six Arts Cultural Center 道禾六藝文化館/台中刑務所演武場. The place is accessible to the public for free.
Natural Way Six Arts Cultural Center
Address: No. 33, Linsen Road, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan
Opening Hours (for the Park): 9am till 10pm
Contact Number: +886 (04) 2375 6113
We spent a morning walking through this family friendly recreational facility which offers plentiful of educational and fun activities – archery, kendo, art and calligraphy.
How often do you get to join in a Kendo session? Well, we did just that, under the guidance of our Sensei- Ms. Hsiao. The 40 minutes Kendo session priced at NT500 per person was an eye-opener hands-on experience for us, practicing the Japanese martial art with the shinai!
With our stomachs growling, we booked ourselves to a lunch meal at You Jian Yi Chui Yan Restaurant (又見一炊煙), said to be a popular dining outlet. A 40 minutes drive away from Taichung city took us to the restaurant. Apart from airy ambience and wide grassy lawn, this classic Japanese-style restaurant with a Zen approach offers breath-taking scenery.
The Chef’s Tasting Menu is a taste journey of nine courses and a choice of after-dinner beverage. Priced at NT1320nett, the multi-course affair is well varied in terms of quality and price. The cuisine with lovely presentation took us through many flavorful dishes.
The delightful Grilled South African Abalone with Japanese Sauce, and the healthy Seasonal Fresh Fruit Wrap made for a good start. A warm pot of Porcini Rice with fresh Shimeiji Mushrooms cooked tableside with butter and cheese wafts up the moment the lid was lifted – all in all it was a great combination.
Other good things include the Braised Glass Noodles with Crab and the Pan Fried Snapper. The latter with sour-sweet tartness of fresh pomelo is a dish that is easy to get hooked on. Red-meat lovers will be pleased with the premium Pan-Fried American Sirloin, cooked tender while staying pink in the center.
For dessert we sampled the creamy Mashed Yam with Dried Longan Sauce, which is memorably yummy.
You Jian Yi Chui Yan Restaurant 又見一炊煙
Address: No. 363-35, Zhong Xing Ling Street , Xinshe District, Taichung City, Taiwan
Business Hours: 11am to 9:30pm
Reservation is needed for dinner
Contact Number: +886 (04) 2582 3568
A perfect way to unwind after the heavy meal is to take a tour on foot around the art and heritage places along Meicun Road. Many old heritage buildings preserved by the Fantasy Story (范特喜-綠光計畫) group are rented out and converted into specialty retail shops.
Immersed in a mix of smells and sights – galleries, handicraft workshops, bookstores and quaint cafes serving Asian fusion and Western-style dishes.
Fantasy Story of Culture and Arts
Address: 117 Lane, Section 1, Meicun Road, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan
Next on our list of places to visit was National Taichung Theater – a theater for arts and new lifestyle. We spent time exploring the building which houses multiple spaces – Tu Tu Gallery, Art Corner, Playhouse, Sky Garden and Grand Theater.
Dinner was all about banquet style dishes at Ah Qiu Big Juicy Goose. The Chinese restaurant offers quality Cantonese-style roasted goodies but on our visit we had a sampling of its 10-course package priced at NT5,000 nett.
The Steamed Glutinous Rice with Dried Sakura Shrimp and Fish Floss, Roasted Cherry Duck and Thai-styled Seafood Salad are some of the mouth-watering delights.
Ah Qiu Big Juicy Goose
Address: No. 13, Section 3, Li Ming Road, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan
Business Hours: 11am to 2pm & 5pm till 10pm
Tel Number: +886 (04) 2251 2966
A stay in Taichung won’t be complete without a visit to its famed night markets. One popular place is the Feng Jia Night Market 逢甲夜市. Located next to Feng Chia University 逢甲大學, it is a great shopping place with countless stalls selling clothing, personal skin care, electronic gadgets and street food cooked before our eyes.
Feng Jia Night Market 逢甲夜市
Address: Fu Xing Road, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan
Business Hours: 5pm 12 midnight
Longitude/Latitude (120.646506, 24.178846)
I will be sharing details on travel attractions and culinary delights of Yilan and Taipei in time to come.