The Fu Bar at Fulong beach

It’s quite surprising what you can find on this island and one of the better places to eat here – at least if you’re into grilled meats – is the Fu Bar at Fulong beach. The Fu Bar is owned by a South African couple which happens to be friends of ours and they offer a wide range of “exotic” food, at least to the Taiwanese pallet.

The main options includes a large selection of grilled meats off the barbecue – including home made boerewors – all of which is flavours by special marinades and spice mixes made by the owner. They also serve toasted pitas with various fillings ranging from meat to vegetarian options. All the meals come with a side salad and some also come with mieliepap which is a corn based dish somewhat similar to mashed potatoes in texture. They also offer a selection of drinks and apparently also dessert, something we’ve missed on our half dozen or so visits last year.

The Fu Bar is located right next to a large car park, a play ground and less than two minutes walk form the beach, which is in fact very good by Taiwanese standards. The Fu Bar is at the far end of the beach, so there’s no need to pay to access the beach. Just make sure you bring some suitable foot wear, as the sand gets very hot and the first time I burnt myself so badly I got blisters as I din’t bring any flip flops.

For more information we suggest you hit up the Fu Bar website

Update: The Fu Bar has changed owner and is now known as the Scubar. I have not visited since the new owners took over.

Zoca Pizza

Fancy some real pizza? Then Zoca should be on your list of places to visit as it’s run by an Italian pasty chef. That said Zoca offers slightly different pizzas as the owner is from the northern parts of Italy where apparently pizza comes with an extra helping of sauce. This in itself isn’t a bad thing, but I just wanted to give a heads up if you’re used to slightly less saucy pizza.

The toppings are also a bit unusual, but there’s plenty to choose from and there’s likely to be a fair few things to anyone’s liking. Please note that this is a pizza place and as such 99 percent of the menu is pizza, although a few salads and lasagna is also available. The crust on the pizza is thing and very good, something most pizza places in Taipei can’t compete with.

If you think the pizza is good, then you need to try the deserts, as I mentioned, the owner is a pastry chef by trade and makes some fantastic desserts. A must try is the mille foglie, although it’s only available during weekends due to the time it takes to make. That said, he also offers things like apfelstrudel and several Italian types of pastry and pies. You can find more details on Zoca’s web page.

Ed’s diner

I haven’t posted any reviews of eateries in Taipei for quite some time, but this is one that’s well worth a visit, even though the location isn’t the most conveniently located. A few months ago a place called Ed’s diner opened up across the river from the Taipei City airport, not too far from Miramar (if you’re not familiar with it, it’s the big mall with the Ferris wheel on top), the full address is 1/F 216 LeQun 2nd Rd, Jhongshan District and if you’re in a party of more than two people, do call ahead on 02 8502 6969 as they tend to be quite busy. You may be forgiven for thinking that Ed’s diner is a typical American style diner and if you did then we’re sorry to disappoint.

Instead, Ed’s diner is a BBQ place that servers ribs, brisket, chicken, pulled pork and a wide range of side dishes. This isn’t your average BBQ place though, as the owner has had a custom-built smoker installed which means that the meat you get here is not like anywhere else in Taiwan to my knowledge. The owner favours dry rubs, so don’t expect the kind of saucy, sloppy, baby back ribs you get in the traditional “north American” establishments in Taiwan.

So far we’ve only tried the pork ribs, brisket and pulled pork burger, so we still have plenty of things to try and new things are continually being added. The owner also smokes up turkey for the holidays, although this has to be pre-ordered. Overall this is a place well worth a visit, even though it might not be local to where you live. Currently they only have a facebook page rather than a website, but it has the menu on it and some pictures of their food.

Update: We’ve been back several times since the original post and I’m happy to say that the place is still as good. We’re still sticking to pretty much the same items from the menu, although we’ve tried a few more sides like the baked beans which are really good. Just be aware that Ed’s is very busy during the weekends and you’re best off booking a table and food before you go to avoid disappointment. The only disappointing thing we’ve had so far was the crème brûlée which wasn’t really the real deal, but at least it didn’t taste bad, it was just a bit too solid.

PaPa Gio’

It’s been a while since I’ve written about any new eateries, but last night we went to PaPa Gio’s and if you like good Italian food, this is a place you must go to.

The place used to be called something else, but changed owners and name a few months back and I was lucky enough to have a friend of mine introduce me to PaPa Gio’s.

The chef is a very charismatic Italian and he cooks fabulous food. We had sauteed mushrooms and carpaccio for starters, both were great and for main course we had the quattro  stagioni pizza and the porcini mushroom risotto. Everything was really tasty and there wasn’t a morsel left after we’d stuffed ourselves.

For dessert I had the creme brulee while my friend and Brenda went for the chef’s special, home made cheese cake. Again, everything was really good.

Surprisingly the food is also very affordable, especially considering the location of the restaurant and the quality of the food.

You can find PaPa Gio’s website here and the restaurant is located no more than 5 minutes walk from Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT station, exit 5.

Update: Well, we’ve been back multiple times since I originally wrote this and a few months back one of the owners left. Since then we feel the quality has dropped of the food and our last visit was anything but a good experience.

Update 2: Sadly this place has closed, but Gorgio has started his own placed called Bottega del Vin which I’ll be writing a separate review on at some point.

Yuma SouthWestern Grill

Ok, this was supposed to have gone up some time ago, but I’ve been so busy that we in fact have managed to eat a few at Yuma since our first time there. I guess that in itself is a good sign, as we don’t tend to go back to places we don’t like…

We’ve tried all sorts of things ranging from ribs and pasta to starters and Quesadillas. The Fajitas might not be as authentic as the stuff served up by Eddy’s Cantina, but it’s more to my taste. The tortillas seem to be freshly made by Yuma and are at least grilled before being served. I found the Peri-Peri ribs to be a bit on the sour side, but they were way better than the fatty stuff that TGI’s serve up.

The pasta was good too and the cheese Quesadillas are great. Just be aware that both the Quesadillas and Fajita’s come with a side of rice, so you get a pretty big meal, unlike what you get at TGI’s once again. The starters are also good, although a bit more dip sauce wouldn’t go amiss, as it’s not quite enough sauce to go with all of the starters on their sampler platter. Yuma also have a bunch of different sauces to go with your food which is also a bonus.

One oddity is the fact that the coleslaw comes with lingonberry jam, although I think they’ve mixed it up with cranberry sauce, but the two doesn’t taste anything remotely the same.

I suggest you head over to Yuma and have a try yourself, as the food is great. You can find their website here and the location is marked on on the FindIT map.

Update: Sadly this place has closed and On Tap, a UK style pub has taken over the location, although they’ve kept some of the menu items, or at least something fairly similar.