Sunday, December 14, 2014

[Taipei] Good Cho (好.丘)

Good Cho is known for it's bagels.  As a lover of bagels, I was excited to come and try.  The area where the cafe is located is also worth a visit.  It is located inside a redeveloped military dependents' village commonly known as 眷村.   This particular one is called the 四四南村 (Four Four South Village) and is the first one to be built by Republic of China in Taipei in 1948.  If you want to find out more, you can click this link.

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I always think that Taiwan does a really good job (compared to China, Hong Kong, and Macau) preserving cultural artifacts of their history.  They are also very good at reviving the old by injecting the new.  It may sound odd but seeing these things make me feel proud of being Chinese and it's also one of the many reasons why I love Taiwan.  (I think Hong Kong's PMQ is heading in the right direction.)

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Look how chic they have turn the traditional Chinese New Year to.
(yes this was from my trip back in February 2014)
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If you look at Macau, they try to do a good job preserving the cultural buildings from the colonial period and it's made possible only because we have a surplus from the gaming industry and the SAR government see it as a means to generate additional income from the tourists.  Seriously, look at the types of shops opened around the Ruins of St. Paul while local budding artists are suffering and having a hard time finding places to realize their dreams!  Now look here.  A space for the young people to come and gather in the weekend and sell their goods.

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So finally, the bagel shop.  What a selection!  You have the option to dine in or take it to go.  I am told they sell out fast so I got here early.  There is no preservatives in these babes so chow down!

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Here's another thing I like about Taiwanese restaurants in general - they have a time limit to keep the tables turning.  I am sure you all experienced queuing / skipping a popular restaurant because the line was too long.  I think 2 hours is more than fair (we arrived early so we didn't even have this issue) and I wish more places in Hong Kong would do it.

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Food here is good, if consumed individually.  As multi-cultural I think I am, having a bowl of yummy Chinese meatball soup with daikon before my latte/burger/scone is anything but weird.  (It is all part of the set meal!  Trust me, I wouldn't do this to myself otherwise.)  The Asian fusion is the burger is welcomed (it has kumquat and pickled cabbage in it) but the soup pushed the envelop too far.  Portion size is good for me as I have no trouble finishing everything.

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After our breakfast, we shopped around a little and got some local hand-crafted goodies.  The black bean sauce was so good it's on my restock list the next time I go to Taipei.

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In addition to Good Cho, there are a few other shops in the same block.  One of them is this ice cream shop selling handcrafted popsicles.

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We also walked around for a bit before heading out.  Most military dependents' village are built alike.  This one follows the fishbone shape and can fit over 100K people.  You can tell how small the alley ways were how little privacy everyone had.  One of the things my Western friends can never get used to is the amount of space we have to live.  I don't get it either.  Even if they have plenty of land to expand when they first settled in Taiwan, I doubt there were going to spread-out.  I think it is a cultural thing...

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No. 54, Songqin St, Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan
台北市信義區松勤街54號 
(If you are taking the cab, tell the driver you are going to 四四南村 / 眷村)
Tel: +886 02 2758 2609
Hours: Weekdays (lunch) 10:00 am - 2:30 pm; (tea) 2:00 pm - 5:30 pm; (dinner) 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm (shop) 10:00 am - 9:30 pm / Weekends 9:00 am - 6:30 pm (L.O. 5:30 pm)
Closes every Monday.

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