Local Spotlight

I first tried Yaletown Bistro’s (耶魯小鎮 ) fries at the Kaohsiung International Food Festival several years ago. The fries are fresh cut and can be ordered with several different seasonings or sauces (called loaded fries). One thing that sets them apart from most of the expat owned restaurants is that their food is a little healthier. In addition to the fresh cut fries they also have paninis, sandwiches, salads and two new savory rice dishes. I usually order the lemonade (made from squeezed lemons instead of concentrate) but they also have smoothies.

The loaded fries (butter chicken pictured above) are a good option for those that want something more than a snack and less than a big meal.

Kevin and his wife opened Yaletown 4 years ago and it is located between MEGA/FE21 and the 85 Building. They chose the name Yaletown as part of Kevin’s Canadian roots. Yaletown is a trendy Vancouver neighborhood that is known for its nice restaurants. It might be a good idea to use their online reservation system (on their FB page) if you are coming during the peak meal times. There is a parking lot next to MEGA and several private garages in the alley that offer parking (30 TWD/scooter).

The Porchetta Rice is a new addition to their menu. The pesto dribbled on the pork porchetta was a perfect touch.

Location – No. 26-3, Xīnguāng Rd (next to the Family Mart and one block west of FE21)

Prices – 150 to 250 TWD although fries (more of an appetizer) are cheaper

Hours – 11:30 to 8:30 (or 9 Sat/Sun) – closed on Tuesdays

Contact info – 073341257 or 0973013900 – yaletownbistro@gmail.com – Yaletown FB

 

Previous Local Spotlights

ZZyZx Restaurant and Bar

Beast Bar and Grill

303 Kitchen and Bar

Legend’s Lunchcart

Truman’s Motorcycle Repair

Teresa’s Restaurant

Lighthouse Bar and Grill

After working in the guitar industry for a couple of decades in Los Angeles, Steve Tsai moved back to Taiwan and has entered the restaurant business with a trendy spot near Old Hanshin Mall.  Steve merged his passion of guitars and has an entire wall built out of over 300 guitar bodies.  In addition to that Steve’s musical background is obvious with the rest of memorabilia and the music. He is also set up for live music and check his Facebook page for any upcoming gigs at ZZyZx.

The name ZZyZx is actually an interesting story and is tied back to Steve’s California roots.  Here is a great version of the story.

Part of the ZZyZx team (Steve, Albis and Chris)

Steve opened ZZyZx in late November and recently brought Chris (formerly of The Eatery) in to set up the kitchen.  Since closing The Eatery, Chris has been working for a high end kitchen supply company (www.jendeindustries.com).  Chris gave me a tour of the kitchen and their setup is really impressive (although I know nothing about the restaurant business).  The menu consists of burgers, pasta and a few main dishes starting at 250 TWD and a large selection of drinks.

This bunless burger was excellent.

Location – No. 234 Chenggong 1st Rd., Kaohsiung, Taiwan 80249 (next to Bottom’s Up)

Prices – 250 to 400 TWD for most meals

Hours – 6pm-2:30am (or later)

Contact – Facebook Page and phone (07 269 3438)

Previous Local Spotlights

Beast Bar and Grill

303 Kitchen and Bar

Legend’s Lunchcart

Truman’s Motorcycle Repair

Teresa’s Restaurant

Lighthouse Bar and Grill

BEAST Bar and Grill is another western style restaurant that has opened this year in Kaohsiung.  This stylish restaurant was opened in July 2015 by a German and Taiwanese partnership and is the second restaurant operated by them.  They also run Belfort Bistro (pasta) in the Love River/Wufu Road area.

Almost immediately I heard a couple of comments from friends about a new burger place.  It seems to have started out as a burger and sandwich focused bar and grill but they have added a few excellent Mexican dishes (quesadillas, burritos and tacos) and several main courses.  A friend has commented several times that each of the fixings on the burger are in perfect proportion and complement each other very well.

The Veghammer is a falafel patty that has gotten good reviews from vegetarians.  Large groups can reserve a room upstairs and the complete menu is posted in the photos on their facebook page.

The quesadillas

This is the bacon cheeseburger but I would recommend the Farmer Pete Burger.  Why wouldn’t a fried egg on top of a burger taste excellent?

Contact – Facebook – 07-2865137 or 0905193723

Prices – burgers, sandwiches and Mexican food 200-300 TWD – main courses 400-600 TWD

Hours – 11:30-2:30 and 5:30-midnight (1am on Friday and Saturday) – closed on Tuesdays

Location – 118-1 Liuhe 2nd Street – 前金區六合二路118-1號 – It is about 5 minute walk from Liuhe Night Market.

Previous Local Spotlights

303 Kitchen and Bar

Legend’s Lunchcart

Truman’s Motorcycle Repair

Teresa’s Restaurant

Lighthouse Bar and Grill

A pair of Coloradans met in Kaohsiung five years ago and struck up a friendship.  Five years later (August 2015) they opened a new restaurant based on their Colorado roots (the 303 area code).  It is a sharp looking establishment located around the corner from The Lighthouse Bar and Grill.  Leewei (on the left) recently moved back to Kaohsiung permanently.  Brandon (not pictured) formerly ran The Bayou and has re-entered the restaurant business.  They are using a few items from the Bayou’s menu (like the pizza) but overall it is a new menu.  There is a nice variety of popular western dishes and a large range of appetizers.

The 303 features a nice patio which would be an excellent place for drinks after work.  Leeway was especially proud of carrying a pair Brooklyn Brewery selections (Lager and East IPA).  Peter (on the right) agreed that they were excellent.  During October they are serving Samuel Adams Octoberfest along with several other beers.  They also have a dozen or so mixed drinks to pick from.

Yes, I eat my burger like a steak.

Follow them on Facebook – The-303 Kitchen and Bar

Prices – meals are mostly in the 200-350NT range

Hours – 6pm to 11pm

Location – Anji St # 422 安吉街 #422, Kaohsiung, Taiwan – near Fuguo Rd and Yucheng Rd – a 5-10 minute walk from Kaohsiung Arena MRT (R14)

Previous Local Spotlights

Legend’s Lunchcart

Truman Motorcycle Repair

Teresa’s Restaurant

Lighthouse Bar and Grill

The Lighthouse Bar and Grill is one of Kaohsiung’s most popular western restaurants.  This is THE PLACE in Kaohsiung to watch soccer (I’m American and I call it soccer).  Brett grew up playing soccer but he has become a passionate fan after moving overseas.  If there is an important game there is a good chance that it will be on at the Lighthouse.  When soccer isn’t on they have several different sports playing on TV’s all over the bar.

The drink selection is impressive but the menu has almost everything that you might be craving from home.  I frequently stop at a few restaurants after hiking trips and the ribs at Lighthouse really hit the spot after a long weekend in the mountains.  Several times I have taken out of town or out of country guests to the Lighthouse and they cannot believe how many different options there are on the menu.  The menu includes (forgetting a few things): most bar appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, pizza, Mexican food (tacos and quesadillas), pasta, steaks, ribs and a full Chinese food menu.  All of the food is excellent.

I had ribs while my friend had a pulled pork sandwich.  Large mojitos were one of their summer drink specials and they were awesome.

You can follow their FB page for the latest specials and game schedule (Lighthouse FB).  You should expect it to be busy on the weekends but they have a lot of seating and can usually find you a place.  They have a great staff and the food comes surprisingly quick considering how complex the menu is and how busy they are.

Location: 239 Fuguo Road – It is a 5-10 minute walk from the Kaohsiung Arena MRT station (R14)

Hours – 5:30pm until really late

Previous Local Spotlights

Legend’s Lunchcart

Truman Motorcycle Repair

Teresa’s Restaurant

Teresa’s Restaurant is a popular Kaohsiung restaurant for people from all over the Spanish speaking world.  Teresa moved to Kaohsiung 33 years ago and has been running the restaurant for 15 years.  She is from Bolivia but the restaurant has an extensive selection of food from many Spanish speaking countries.  They are noted on the menu by their flags so you can entertain yourself by Googling the different flags while you wait for your food (very quick service).

Teresa has worked hard to decorate the restaurant with all kinds of interesting South American and Spanish art and the autograph walls are very interesting to read.  It isn’t obvious but there is a large upstairs room (with the bathrooms) that is used when the restaurant is busiest on weekends.  There are many great food options in the 150-250NT range and there are also several 300-500NT options.

Previous Local Spotlights

Hours – 11am-10pm

Location – It is on Wufu 4th Rd about 5 minutes walk past (to the west) the Caves Book Store

Address – No. 146-2, Wufu 4th Rd, Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City, 803

In April this year I rode my motorcycle down Shihcyuan Road for an oil change and tune-up at Truman’s shop.  There are a million signs all over the place and it is a busy road so I missed it.  I rode by a second time and still didn’t see it.  I rode by a few more times and stopped at where I thought the shop was.  Everything was gone.  The only person that had touched my motorcycle since I bought it 5 years ago was gone.  All of a sudden I was in unfamiliar territory.  I was going on a weekend waterfall trip and I needed to find a new mechanic and somehow bridge the language gap to communicate what I needed done and any questions that I had.  It is almost scripted but my motorcycle started leaking oil after one visit to this mystery mechanic.  I took it back and he tightened the drain plug but this was not good.  I had enjoyed chatting with Truman during oil changes and any repairs that I have had done but most all I had confidence in the quality of work.

Luckily other foreigners were asking about Truman and word spread that he moved to a new shop one block away on Haerbin Street.  Shortly after that I stopped by for a quick chat to see the new shop.  I didn’t need any work done but I had to know that my motorcycle mechanic problems were over.

A couple of weeks ago I spotted a nail in my tire.  The tire didn’t go flat but that is something that needed to be fixed before any waterfall adventures.  I showed it Truman and he repaired it and I was good to go for the weekend.  One of my favorite things about Truman is that he didn’t even charge for it.  Of course it is a cheap fix but he rationalized it as he sold me the tire (3 years ago) and he would take care of it.

Truman is fluent in English and works on both motorcycles (not heavy >550cc) motorcycles) and scooters.  He buys and sells a few scooters so he might have something for sale if you are new to Kaohsiung.  He also works on the new electric scooters.

His shop is located at 176 Haerbin St, Sanmin District, Kaohsiung

Go 3-4 blocks west on Shihcyuan Rd from BoAi Rd.  His shop is a couple of stores north on Haerbin St.

He works M-Sat 9am-9pm and can be reached at (07)323-1923 / 0921238599

I am starting a new segment of the blog. Every week I will spotlight a local Kaohsiung business (if I have time…). The main focus will be on popular expat businesses or lesser known businesses that more expats should know about. The first spotlight will be on Legend’s Lunchcart. I haven’t chosen Legends because it is a cool place or because the burger I had was awesome. I am choosing Legends because one of the first people that I met in Taiwan 5 1/2 years ago was Sky. She was leaving Taiwan and I was replacing her at Kojen as a fresh off the plane newbie. Now she has returned and we are both settling into Kaohsiung running businesses. I run a buxiban while Sky, Henry and Sharieff have setup a really well done restaurant.

The restaurant is located near the 85 Building and the new library.  They have indoor and outdoor seating and have tastefully decorated the restaurant with some vintage music and movie art. Their menu mostly consists of sandwiches and burgers but don’t think that it is just another boring menu.   Every last detail has been considered with their food.  The burger was juicy, the vegetables were fresh and delicious and the bacon was better than any that I have tasted in Taiwan.  They even added a little fresh basil for some unexpected kick.  This might be the best burger in Kaohsiung.

Of course it’s missing the bread since I’m celiac but it was amazing. Somewhere under there is a juicy burger.

Legends originally opened at the end of 2013 as a delivery only restaurant.  They enjoyed enough success and were able to move into their current location in May 2014 and remodeled at Chinese New Year this year.  It is currently a part time restaurant offering lunch (T-F 11:30-2pm) during the week, late Friday night meals (9-12pm) and a place to hang out on Saturdays (2-6pm).  Yes, it is setup around your English teaching schedule.