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OTR: On/Off the Radar – Avi

The Japanese Joint

Located at the intersection of Beitun and JianXing Roads – in the middle of the divide – is one of the best little spots in Taichung for great food, cheap beer and bottles of hot sake. For years, without knowing the proper name of the establishment, it has been called by those few foreigners in the know “The Japanese Joint.”
A regular gang of teachers traditionally meet here after work on Fridays, and have been doing so for years, arriving before the place fills up to the rafters (which is almost every night).
The menu is extensive – pork, beef, lamb, sushi, vegetables…must be 100 items on the menu and everything I’ve ever ordered (or stolen from the plates of friends sitting within arm’s reach) speaks to the delicious skills of the kitchen staff. Of course, the huge menu doesn’t necessarily help – I can’t read Mandarin…but it’s BIG menu! Go once, you’ll go again.


店內提供好吃的餐點、低價啤酒及熱清酒。多年來,由於不清楚這家店的正確名稱,我們少數的外國人都稱它為“Japanese Joint”。


Paddy’s at it again. But don’t let that scare you away – he mostly stays in the kitchen, and when he does come out he’s wearing crisp chef’s whites. The always charming and wonderful Anita works the front and mixes really fine drinks.
An intimate little restaurant, tucked a few paces from the end of the alley (past Fattie’s and Smooth), and featuring really very good food.
GuanXi personally recommends the burgers, and can state without fear of contradiction that the deep-fried dumplings are deeply habit forming. Anita makes them by hand, and Paddy deep fries them by hand.
If it’s worth doing, GuanXi will say so. Bystro. It’s worth doing.




The Refuge

Tucked away in a hidden corner of Dakeng – we can’t even tell you where – is the heart of a community: The Refuge. Hippies, libertarians, vegans, conspiracy theorists, rock climbers, writers, dancers, poets, para-sailors, musicians, artists, designers, hobos, dog lovers, artisans and many more interesting, oddball and utterly mad sorts are often found enjoying conversation, an open jam, a bonfire, a barbeque and a beer within the walls of this very unique and special compound.
As the host has often said, the worst thing about The Refuge is that, unless you know where it is, it’s very difficult to find…and the best thing about The Refuge is that unless you know where it is, it’s very difficult to find.
It’s not open to the public – you have to know someone. But if you ever find yourself there, you’re guaranteed two things: You’ll make some very good friends, and you’ll want to go back…if you can remember where it is.

我們無法告訴你正確的路徑,但The Refuge就藏身在大坑的某個角落,是這個大坑社區的集會中心。嬉皮、自由主義者、素食主義者、陰謀理論家、攀岩者、作家、舞蹈家、詩人、拖曳傘玩家、音樂家、藝術家、設計師、流浪漢、狗兒愛好者、工匠和許多更有趣、古怪和瘋狂的對話,大家都享樂在其中!店內有開放的舞台,營火、烤肉配上啤酒尤其顯得獨特且特別。
身為老闆的經常說:『最糟糕的事情就是除非你知道The Refuge在哪裡,不然你是很難找到它的。而最棒的事也是除非你知道它在哪裡,不然你是很難找到它的。』
目前The Refuge還沒對大眾開放,你必須認識知道的人,才能找得到。但如果你自己找到了The Refuge,我可以向你保證兩件事情:你會結交一些很好的朋友,而且你還會想再回去…若你還記得路的話~

KC Whiskey Bar

You know where the canal along Hua Mei Jie crosses Gungyi Rd? A short block east, there’s a grocery store. Tucked in immediately behind that grocery store is a fine little bar owned and operated by one of the friendliest Taiwanese hosts you’re ever likely to meet.
I first met Ben when he was a regular at the old fM bar. He would sit quietly, sipping his whiskey and being perfectly cordial to anyone who happened to exchange greetings. One thing always leads to another. You can still have a friendly chat with Ben…but now you can do it in Ben’s bar.
Featuring a wide…and I mean extensive…selection of whiskeys – bourbon, scotch, rye, single malt – as well as all of the other libations one might care to imbibe – the KC Whiskey Bar is a special place where good people get together to share good drinks in good company. We advise you to check it out, but don’t tell anyone. Quite honestly, the last thing we want is for this great little bar to become popular. In fact…don’t go. Forget I said anything.




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