Fri, Jun 04, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Restaurant: The Tavern

Address: 415 Xinyi Rd, Sec 4, Taipei (台北市信義路四段415號)
Telephone: (02) 8789 0892
Open: 11:30am to 2/3am
Average meal: NT$350
Details: English Menu

By Gavin Phipps  /  STAFF REPORTER

Bangers and mash as served up at the new Tavern.

PHOTO: GAVIN PHIPPS, TAIPEI TIMES

Since January of 2000 when Swiss national Michel Blanc first opened his tavern, the barstool sports fans' drinking and dining establishment has been at the center of what many are now referring to as "the sports bar wars."

Offering a wide range of libations and a smorgasbord of fine foods as well as oodles of televised sport, the only drawback to a visit was the number of craniums that got in the way just as the action was heating up. Sports fans need no longer fear the numskulls with their erratic and annoying head movements when visiting the Tavern now the new Tavern has opened its doors.

At three times the size and only a stone's throw away from the original location, Blanc's new Tavern kicked off last Friday with what he hopes will be another series of hugely successful seasons catering to Taipei's sports thirsty fans.

As if 42 television screens wasn't enough, the new Tavern boasts a staggering 60 LCD screens of various shapes and sizes as well as three whopping pull-down screens. The entire joint is wired and wireless internet access is free. There is a non-smoking family section and in a couple of weeks the Tavern will be offering eight varieties of draft beer as opposed to the current six.

Not everything has changed at the Tavern, though. The hugely popular buffet lunch, which gives diners a different combination of foods every day still costs NT$199 and Blanc hasn't messed with the joint's tried and tested a la Carte menu.

The menu still covers all bases and offers something for everyone. It includes Italian pastas, fine steaks and chops fresh from the grill as well as pub favorites like fish and chips, bangers and mash, meat pasties. The food is priced from between NT$120 and NT$470 and it all tastes great. The portions are large enough to satisfy the most ravenous of diners.

While the guts of the menu remains the same, the kitchen will, Blanc says, set out to impress in the coming weeks with a selection of specials. Drawing on a "foods from around the globe" theme, these specials will be changed on a monthly basis and -- like the rest of the Tavern's chow -- will be reasonably priced.

For pub patrons who enjoy a modicum of exercise with their drinks, the Tavern still has table football and a pool table. Blanc had to forgo the dart-board, however, after Taipei City Government said the game was illegal in local drinking establishments. In addition to the new spacious interior, the beer is set to flow outside in three or four weeks, when the Tavern's beer garden opens for business.

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