Steak lovers will be pleased to know the Australian grill that started in the US, Outback Steakhouse, has stoked up the coals in Taipei. Customers sidling up to an Outback booth between now and Feb. 5 will be offered a 50 percent discount as long as they order steaks exceeding NT$390 in value. And if you get there between 5pm and 7pm ,on Monday through Friday, you can take advantage of the capital city's latest, greatest happy hour special: Buy-one, get-one free beer. \nThe branch that opened on the second floor of the Hyatt Hotel next door to AsiaWorld shopping center is no toehold in the Taipei market. Outback has moved into a 300-ping space capable of seating 240 people in a dining room outfitted with boomerangs and surfboards. It is the company's 1,156th franchise and the first in Taiwan. \nThough Outback offers an extensive menu of steaks, seafood, pastas and more, those thousand restaurants came about because of six dishes that have done very well. \nFirst is their "already famous" appetizer, the Bloomin' Onion (NT$240), diced and deep fried to look as though it's exploded in the plate, with a bowl of dipping sauce dropped in the middle. Choosing between it and the Aussie Cheese Fries (NT$190/NT$260) will be a tough choice, given the combination of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese that's been drizzled over Outback's "Aussie Chips" -- French fries, that is. \nIn a country that fancies bony broths, a bowl of Outback's creamy onion soup (NT$90/NT$120) will be a guaranteed winner for anyone who misses heartier Western-style soups. \nThen it's time for the meat. If it's any gauge of the quality of Australian beef, Outback started its empire in Orlando, Florida, in 1988, in a time and place where people drove Fords, watched baseball and "spoke American." But the steaks were good enough to win converts from the several other steakhouses that line US highways. Since then, the same has happened in 20 other countries. \nThe reason is the Outback Special (NT$390/NT$490), an 8oz or 11oz center-cut sirloin seasoned and seared to perfection in a proprietary steak pan. It comes with a dipping sauce, but you don't need it. It also comes with veggies and fries that tend to be forgotten given how good the steak is.
PHOTO: TAIPEI TIMES
It has been 26 years since Nicholas Gould hosted his last Issues and Opinions radio show for ICRT a recording studio on Roosevelt Road. He remembers the familiar ‘whoosh’ as the door to the soundproof room closes and recognizes the carpet, but the recording equipment is gone, with half of the space being used for storage. Gould is filled with nostalgia as he greets his guests, two financial writers who are here to discuss Taiwan’s post-COVID-19 economy for his new podcast, Taiwan Matters. Gould had been thinking of revisiting his old career for a while, but being allowed access to
The 22nd Taipei Arts Festival (臺北藝術節) opens tonight with three productions, a slightly scaled-down pandemic version that seeks to keep its tradition of big ideas, challenging programs and international connections alive and moving forward in an increasingly uncertain world. The theme of this year’s festival is “Super@#S%?” — as good a term as any when descriptives and superlatives seem not only inadequate, but somewhat irrelevant in a world where so many people cannot imagine being able to return to theaters, either as performers or audience members — they are too worried about having a job and their health. Technically, however, it is
Shuanglianpi (雙連埤) is both a Hakka outpost and a place of great ecological interest. The conjoined body of water from which it gets its name is the centerpiece of the 17.16-hectare Shuanglianpi Wildlife Refuge (雙連埤野生動物保護區). No waterways of significance fill or drain this scenic lake in Yilan County’s Yuanshan Township (員山鄉). During the 1895 to 1945 period of Japanese rule, the colonial authorities — struggling to secure Taiwan’s foothills — encouraged Han people to settle in areas adjacent to indigenous communities. Around 1910, a 49-year-old Hakka pioneer called Tsou Cheng-sheng (鄒成生) from what’s now Taoyuan decided to begin farming at
Wild Sparrow (野雀之詩) is simple and extremely slow paced, told through the eyes of Han (Kao Yu-hsia, 高於夏), an introspective, shy grade schooler who lives with his great-grandmother in the verdant countryside. Han has a fascination with sparrows, which are either flying high in the sky or trapped in cages and nets, providing a constant metaphor throughout the film. In the most ironic scene, a man catches the birds just to charge people to set them free again, taking advantage of Buddhists who engage in the ritual of “releasing” animals from captivity. Han takes a badly injured sparrow home and