Address: 2F., No. 233-2, Zhongzheng Road, Danshui
Telephone: (02) 2626-1622
So over the holiday I wanted to get out of the city a little bit. I went to Danshui (not too far out there on the red line) and ate at one of my favorite cafes. Danshui is known for its delicious street food and there's a lot of fantastic cuisine around every bend. When you've had your share of chòu dòufu and want to sit somewhere to take it all in, I recommend Big Tom's cafe.
What Big Tom lacks in number, it makes up for in location. There aren't many of these cafes around the island, but what little there are are in high traffic locations i.e. Taipei 101 observatory, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. The one in Danshui is a cozy little affair that occupies the second and third story of a building right on the waterfront. The view is absolutely breath-taking at sunset and it's a good opportunity to snag some scenery photos.
The day I went to Danshui happened to be a little chilly and overcast, so I decided to order a hot brown sugar caramel latte ($85 NT) and a fresh waffle with maple syrup ($90 NT). The latte came first and was topped off with the customary foam. On top of the foam was a thin layer of brown sugar. Absolutely divine! I liked that the brown sugar wasn't just dumped into the latte. You had the option of stirring it in or waiting for it to dissolve, thereby controlling the sweetness of the latte (a little).
I tend to forget that there are some places in the world that take the word "latte" seriously. In Italian the word "latte" means "milk", so if you order a latte in Italy you will not be getting a cup of coffee with milk. At Big Tom, a brown sugar caramel latte is essentially a shot of espresso with a lot of steamed milk and foam. Regardless of its coffee to milk ratio, the drink is delicious and I definitely wasn't disappointed!
The waffle, piping hot and dusted with chocolate powder, arrived shortly after my latte. Let it be known that this cafe has the best service of almost any cafe I've been to in Taipei. The servers are friendly, quick, and have a good attention to detail. I've never been kept waiting more than a couple minutes for anything at any time of day.
The waffle didn't come with butter, but there was a small dollop of whipped cream on the side (and an edible, chocolate "Big Tom Ice Cream" wafer). The waffle is typical of Taiwanese waffles. It has a cake-like consistency and isn't as fluffy or light as an American style waffle. This being said, I enjoyed my afternoon tea meal. It was the perfect thing to combat a cold, grey day. I wish it had been a little warmer and then I would've been in the mood to sample some of their ice cream flavors!
Big Tom offers a variety of flavors like cookies and cream, marionberry cheesecake, Oregon wild strawberry, banana walnut, and green tea. Two scoops (in a waffle bowl, I believe?) are $198 NT, and pints are $320 NT. They also sell floats, sundaes, bagels, and ice cream making classes (subject to location).
The staff is fabulous and the menu is in English and Chinese. I've never had to use the restroom in this location and, that being said, I'm not sure where they would have room to put one. This is going to be my last post for the next week as I have quite the work week in front of me! If you want to know more about Big Tom, check out their website.