June 17, 2012

Consulate Cafe

Address: No. 257, Zhōngzhèng Rd, Danshuei District
Telephone: Not listed
Hours: Not listed
Price: $$

Type "Consulate Cafe Taipei" into any major search engine, and you'll get a lot of results. The majority won't even reference a cafe. Sometimes referred to as "The Embassy Cafe", Consulate Cafe is hard to miss on Zhōngzhèng Road and is across the street from the Fort San Domingo entrance.

This conveniently located cafe welcomes a lot of tourists who come to visit the Fort and former British Consulate, students from Aletheia University, and day-trippers visiting from Taipei. The fare is light and moderately priced. You can find cheaper food and drinks at the street stalls; this air-conditioned cafe is not the place to seek a bargain.
Though the menu boasted many drinks (hot/iced green tea, hot/iced black tea, beer, juice, soda, chocolate milk and hot chocolate, "ice cream soda", coffee, lattes, etc.), I decided water would be best, what with the humidity and my state of dehydration. I wanted to eat something light that wouldn't weigh me down, but thought a salad too boring. Dessert sounded good, but cheesecakes and brownies aren't really all that light. A sandwich it was.
The sandwich selection was tuna, ham, smoked salmon, or German sausage with sauerkraut ($140 - $190 NT). Quite the eclectic smorgasbord. I chose the smoked salmon sandwich with herb bread (possible alternatives: croissant, "milk" bread) for $160 NT.
The sandwich was a lot bigger than I had anticipated. The "herb bread" was actually two large pieces of olive and rosemary focaccia bread. The olive and rosemary were married well, though the focaccia seemed a little oily, bizarrely so. There was a good amount of lettuce, some nice ripe slices of tomato, several cucumbers, and (disappointingly) a sliver of salmon. All of this was smothered with some sort of salad dressing (even more disappointing). 
While I suppose it is my fault for not asking them to make the sandwich without dressing, it never stated on the menu that dressing was even a potential component. I think I hear the smallest violin in the world playing just for me.... Anyway, I was a little miffed that I had purchased a smoked salmon sandwich with almost no smoked salmon, but such is life. There was a dollop of the salad dressing and relish on the side, but the sandwich was drowning as is. Unnecessary.
The real appeal to this cafe is the location. Located right on the riverside, there are beautiful sunset views and lovely nighttime views of Bali. Consulate Cafe is located close to Big Tom, in fact, just walk down Zhōngzhèng Road and you'll bump into both of them (about a three minute walk from one another). There's no website for Consulate Cafe, but you can search "Consulate Cafe Taipei" or "The Embassy Cafe Taipei" and sift through the results.
The menu is in English and Chinese, there's a 10% service charge, and the staff speak a limited amount of English. My opinion on Consulate? Just head over to Big Tom. The view is quite similar, there's no service charge, the riverside view is indoors with floor to ceiling windows, the food and drinks are cheaper, the ambiance better, and all the Wi-fi for which you can ask!

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