Summer is in full swing, and there are few better ways to cool down than with a plate of mango shaved ice, and I’m not just talking about the immensely popular Yong Kang 15 (永康15), which occupies the spot that the legendary Ice Monster (冰館) once did. For those who have grown weary of waiting in the long queue outside that shaved ice shop on Yongkang Street (永康街), Mango ChaCha (芒果恰恰) is an equally good, if not better, alternative.
Walk into the brightly decorated shop and the scent of mangos wafts through the air, with the luscious fruit invitingly displayed in paper cartons and containers.
Proprietor Chang Chih-min (張智閩) knows the fruit well. His mangos reportedly come from orchards that produce top-grade varieties for export to Japan and South Korea.
Photo: Ho Yi, Taipei Times
But premium ingredients mean higher prices. The cheapest shaved ice item on the menu is the NT$140 mango chacha brown sugar shaved ice (芒果恰恰黑糖剉冰), which blends diced mango with a homemade brown sugar syrup.
A mango maniac’s dream come true, the mango chacha snowflake ice (芒果恰恰雪花冰, NT$200) is made from a thick layer of “snowflake ice” — a frozen concoction made from milk and the fruit that is topped with diced mango, condensed milk and a scoop of handmade mango ice cream.
This mango extravagance is delicately fragrant but isn’t cloying. And like the rest of the shop’s frozen desserts, it includes a plenteous serving of fruit.
Photo: Ho Yi, Taipei Times
Rose lover (風花雪月, NT$280), the shop’s most expensive menu option, spreads rose petals on a bed of snowflake ice and diced mango. The innovative dish is gorgeous to look at, but the petals’ aroma and flowery taste do not go well with the fruit.
Icy desserts aside, the ambitious shop has developed a whole range of mango products including mango milkshake (NT$80), mango slush (NT$100), mango jam (NT$230 and NT$380), dried mango slices (NT$60 and NT$40) and mango cake (芒果酥, NT$42 each). For tipplers, there’s mango liqueur (14 percent alcohol by volume, NT$580), which has a pleasantly sweet and smooth taste, and a mango spirit (41 percent abv) will hit the store shelf soon.
Mango ChaCha is a five-minute walk from the intersection of Guangfu South Road (光復南路) and Xinyi Road (信義路).
Address: 562 Guangfu S Rd, Taipei City (台北市光復南路562號)
Telephone: (02) 2702-9506
Open: Daily from 11am to 11pm
Average meal: NT$200
Details: Menu in Chinese, English and Japanese, credit cards accepted if the bill exceeds NT$1,000
Warren Hsu (許華仁) sees chocolate making as creating art and performing magic. Zeng Zhi-yuan (曾志元) “talks” to his cacao beans and compares the fermenting process to devotedly caring for a child. Despite their different products and business models, the two helped put Taiwanese chocolate on the map in 2018 at the prestigious International Chocolate Awards’ (ICA) World Finals when Hsu’s Fu Wan Chocolate (福灣) claimed two golds, five silvers and two bronzes, while Zeng took home four golds. That year, Taiwanese chocolatiers burst through the gates with a total of 26 medals, an impressive feat given that many locals don’t
Chen Zhiwu (陳志武) says that the COVID-19 crisis puts into sharp focus that we are in a new cold war, with China and the US being the two protagonists. “It’s almost literally in front of us,” says Chen, Director of Asia Global Institute and Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Hong Kong. Political observers were hesitant, Chen says, even up to the beginning of this year, to confirm a new cold war was underway. “But ... the coronavirus has made clear the clash in values and way of life between what China would like to pursue, and what
SEPT. 14 to SEPT. 20 When then-county commissioner Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) announced that movie theaters in Yilan County no longer needed to play the national anthem before each showing, the authorities were displeased. It was Sept. 13, 1988, over a year after the lifting of martial law, but the decades-old tradition where moviegoers had to stand and sing the anthem still endured. Of course, Chen sugarcoated his decision: “Considering the environment of the theater, the contents of the movies and the reactions of the audience, we believe that it’s actually disrespectful to play the anthem before each showing. We
In Japan — where they take their cats very seriously — they call Yuki Hattori the Cat Savior. He is so popular that he saw 16,000 patients last year, and crowds regularly queue up to hear him talk about neko no kimochi (a cat’s feelings), while people from all over Japan make the pilgrimage to his practice. Sometimes clients turn up from further afield. “One flew in from Iraq for a personal consultation,” Hattori says, “without his cat, due to border quarantines.” In Japan’s rarefied world of cat doctors, the vet Hattori is very much a superstar — but now there