Here is some good news for people who like to hang out in Starbucks. The Starbucks “Cafe & Dining” store near MRT Neihu Station in Taipei officially opened last Monday. It is the first ever Starbucks store in the nation to put main courses on its menu. Starbucks has begun to serve homemade breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with some experimental culinary concepts to fill up the hungry stomachs of customers.
The store manager Sasha Yang told the Taipei Times last Saturday that the new menu is designed to preserve the natural, original flavors of the ingredients. Since opening, the store has attracted a steady stream of customers, most of whom have given positive feedback to the new meals. Unfortunately, everything on the menu at the moment contains meat, so some customers have suggested that the store should follow the recent popularity in healthy vegetarian food and provide a vegetarian-friendly menu. The store will continue to gather customers’ opinions and create recipes that cater to a Taiwanese palate, said Yang.
Following the introduction of “Cafe & Dining” stores in Hong Kong and Singapore, Taiwan has become the third Asian nation with one. The store serves a menu of five new dishes during lunch hours (from 11am to 2pm) and dinner hours (from 5pm to 8pm). These include “chicken salad with pesto sauce,” “Tuscan tomato and vegetable soup,” and “French potato and bacon quiche,” with two entrees of “penne rigate with Sicilian meat sauce” and “bacon lasagna with basil pesto sauce.” In addition, the store offers freshly baked “rye and mixed grain bread” during breakfast hours before 11am and a dessert, “creme brulee,” all day long. Everything can be ordered a la carte or as an entree, and the prices range from NT$50 to NT$370.
As part of the store’s sales promotion, people can get a free tall-size coffee with a set meal during the lunch and dinner hours prior to the 15th of this month, so that gives you four more days. There will be other promotions starting from next week. Although the new menu only serves a few selections and is based on Italian cuisine, people have been generally satisfied. As the store manager was speaking, the line of customers waiting to place their orders at the counter was stretching nearly to the door. The store’s popularity is a testament to the fact that customers are embracing Starbucks’ new food concept.
Set in a contemporary art style decor, the laid-back two-story “Cafe & Dining” store is separated into as many as 10 different unique seating areas with tables that can fit anywhere from one person to 12 people. Its wooden interior design creates a warm and cozy dining atmosphere. Now, eating steaming-hot main course meals at Starbucks is no longer a dream.
(Lin Ya-ti, Taipei Times)