Located near the intersection of Dunhua South (敦化南) and Zhongxiao East (忠孝東) roads, O’Sweet resembles the trendy bars in the area — but with a twist. Instead of cocktails, it serves “caketails,” martini glasses filled with a combination of chiffon cake, custard, syrup, whipped cream, fruit and/or ice cream. The cafe opened last month, and there are some service teething troubles. But O’Sweet’s cute concept and sleekly appointed (but also cute) interior make it a good place for gatherings with friends who would rather gorge on sugar than guzzle alcohol.
On my first visit last weekend, my companion and I first ordered from O’Sweet’s menu of “light food,” or cafe basics. Like meals in many dessert bars, O’Sweet’s sandwiches and salads are not particularly memorable. My comate was disappointed with his Italian salad (NT$180), slices of salami and prosciutto on butter lettuce leaves with a cream dressing. Even though it came attractively plated with two pieces of toasted French baguette arranged to form a heart, the prosciutto was too dry and the sauce too light to flavor the interminable mound of lettuce.
My chicken chabattinni (that’s how they spell it) (NT$150) was better, but still nothing worth raving about. It was two slices of toasted French bread stuffed with cheese sauce, lettuce, chicken slices and a sauce that was a too heavy on minced onions. It came with a little cup of salsa and toasted corn chips, which were probably the best part of the meal. On a separate visit, I had the chicken focaccia (NT$140), which was more successful. Despite having the same basic ingredients as the chabattinni, it tasted better, probably because it was lighter on the onions.
Address: 45, Ln 51, Da-an Rd Sec 1, Taipei City
Telephone: (02) 8771-7812
While O’Sweet’s savory food is lackluster, its caketails are worth the extra calories. They can be customized from a selection of various flavors of chiffon cake base, fruit and sauce to drizzle the confection in, or chosen from the menu.
One of the cafe’s most popular desserts is the First Kiss of Fresh Strawberry (NT$140). I ordered this after our lunch on a busy Sunday. My companion and I watched the staff make other customers’ caketails for nearly half an hour until we realized they had lost our order. They quickly turned out my dessert once I informed them of the mistake, despite the painstaking attention they pay to placing each dollop of cream and each morsel of fruit just so in the glasses.
It was delicious. The tangy strawberry sauce drizzled over the fresh-whipped cream, the combination of kiwi and strawberry slices, vanilla chiffon cake and the light berry-flavored jelly at the bottom of the glass nearly made up for the long wait.
On my next visit, I had another popular item, the Hawaii Fall in Love (NT$130), a combination of pineapple and strawberry chunks, custard, vanilla chiffon cake, whipped cream and berry sauce. It was also yummy and beautifully presented.
Despite the wait for my first caketail (and the difficulty we also had getting the waitstaff’s attention), O’Sweet is capable of handling large, impromptu parties at a moment’s notice. On our weekend visit, we observed two parties of about 10 people each walk in without reservations, and both were seated within minutes, even though that involved rearranging some tables (and guests). The freshness of the ingredients in the caketails also recommends itself, though you are better off having your meal somewhere else first.