There is more to dining and nightlife in Chai-yi city.
Perhaps you are in Chai-yi to see A-li-shan or visit friends and families, English4TW brings you an 1-day trip that you can choose to either walk or bike around to immerse yourself in the slow-paced rhythm of this small city.
Indulge yourself in delightful food and desserts in vintage restaurants, snack in the lively night market and perhaps have some drinks at an English-style bar.
We aim to bring you a memorable experience that will allow you to taste the inner beauty of Chai-yi city.
We first bring you to First Curry located on No. 194 Zhang-rong Street, which sits between Chai-yi Train Station and Cypress Forest Life Village. Surrounded by alleys of 1-story houses, this restaurant is over 80 years old.
The wooden fence and entrance all exude Japanese style while the interior has been partially renovated to look more modern. The white dining sets and pastel walls brighten the room quite a bit. The original Japanese-style room is left intact.
You will need to take off your shoes before proceeding to the dining sets inside the Japanese-style room. If you opt to wear your shoes, there are a few dining sets in the walkway from the entrance to the Japanese-style room.
There are many curry flavors to choose from, and the curry comes with either rice or noodles. The curry dish goes well with Japanese Tempura.
For main dishes, we got ourselves Beef Curry Rice and Hiroshima Oyster; for side dishes, we ordered Fried Eggplant and Croquette. The hearty beef is deliciously tender and makes for a perfect curry combo.
The Hiroshima Oyster imported from Japan is breaded and fried. There are 3 jumbo-sized oysters.
A sticker is attached to the dish to remind customers the origin of the oysters. We thought it was neat. The fried eggplant and croquette are especially tasty when dipped in their specially made vinegar dressing.
This restaurant has a very small sign in a small alley. It looks like a residential house, making it easy to miss. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen came to try this place a while back. Its fame speaks for itself.
The owner recently opened another restaurant in Chai-yi. Though the menu is identical, the exterior and interior renovations are completely modern in comparison to this original store.
Fortune French Dessert
From First Curry, make a left to go east until you arrive at Wu-feng North Road. Make a right onto Wu-feng Road and keep going until you arrive at Zhong-shan Road.
Freen Burger is on your right side. Make a right onto Zhong-shan Road, and Fortune French Dessert is on your right side.
Located on No. 168 Zhong-shan Road, Fortune is a vintage house. The unique atmosphere makes it an ideal place for coffee, afternoon tea and desserts.
The place may get packed during daytime, and we recommend that you come during nighttime. The interior lighting of the restaurant really glows through the glass walls at night!
Upon walking inside, you will notice a variety of desserts on display. French Macaroons, Japanese Matcha Red Bean Mousse Cake, Mont Blanc and more are made in the morning and usually sold out early during the night.
Desserts like English Muffins, Mango Mille Crepe Cake and Quiche are freshly made and can take longer to prepare。
We especially like the setup on the second floor where you get to watch the traffic on Zhong-shan Road. The ambient lighting is warm and romantic. We tried their meticulously made Matcha Red Bean Mousse Cake.
The cake really melts in your mouth and tastes rich and moderately sweet. Having a cup of Cappuccino or British tea to go with it proves ideal!
Wen-hua Road Night Market
From Fortune, make a right onto Zhong-shan Road toward the Central Pond. Once you reach Central Pond, take the right path to go to Wen-hua Road Night Market.
We liken Wen-hua Road Night Market to outdoor department stores. There are many shoe and clothes stores as well as shops and food stands along the way.
Some of these shops, such as House of Guo Turkey Rice and Great Tasting Small Steamed Bun, have been around for more than half a century,
We tried freshly made Small Steamed Bun at Great Tasting. Small Steamed Bun comes with two small soy sauce plates; one has ginger; the other has white vinegar.
If you are inclined to eat spice, there is spicy sauce available.
The Small Steamed Bun is relatively thick compared to other places such as Ding Tai Fung; however, the meaty stuffing is mouth-watering. Small steamed buns dipped in soy sauce are absolutely delectable!
Continuing walking forward, you will see Ms. Wei Packed Small Pearl Desserts.
There are many food stands by the postal office, including Japanese food, Barbecue with Cumin Sauce and braised snacks. Across from the postal office, there are baked squids and scallops, French fries and sweet potato balls.
If you are inclined to play video games, there is a video arcade as well. There are various tofu pudding stands, and a fruit stand that sells freshly made Strawberry Tomatoes on Stick.
Once you walk past Minzu Road, there are more varieties of food and snacks on your right side, including Turkey Rice, Crispy Chicken, Teppanyaki, Oyster Omelet, Duck Chowder and Handmade Mochi.
To your left is the Wen-hua Park. The street lamps are quite bright, and you can see people gathering and dancing in the park. This is the perfect place to sit on the grass and relax for a bit.
Our last stop is the English bar across from the Chai-yi Park near the end of Zhong-shan Road.
Golden Eagle English Pub
Across from Chai-yi Park, Golden Eagle is a small English pub located on No. 243 Qi-ming Road. What makes this place interesting is the fact that Chai-yi is not known for pubs due to the limited number of bar-goers.
The owner founded the pub dating back more than 10 years during the construction of Chai-yi High Speed Rail Station. There were hundreds of foreign engineers residing in Chai-yi city at that time.
A British English teacher partnered up with a retired local couple to open this pub in order to provide the foreigners with a place to relax and learn Chinese.
The renovation was done in English style. The bar was built with red bricks. There is a display of old British pictures on the wall.
In addition to the atmosphere brimming with British heritage, the items on the menu are British thus earning appreciation from all the foreigners residing in Chai-yi. This small pub used to be full of foreigners.
Upon completion of Chai-yi High Speed Rail Station, the owner put a world map on the wall to let the foreign engineers who were leaving for their homes draw red lines connecting their names to their home countries.
This is possibly the most distinctive and interesting map that you will find in Chai-yi city!
Golden Eagle continues to provide authentic English food, including Fish and Chips, Shepherd's Pie and Bangers and Mash, perpetuating an air of British heritage. The pub also provides American-style food, such as Hamburger, Steak and more.