Wednesday, November 16, 2011

western/coffee: i recommend COFFEE ALLEY

at ATT 4 FUN, 3 FL
No. 12, Song Shou Rd.
(02) 7737-0700

MRT: Taipei City Hall




Kid friendliness: no high chairs spotted though some room for strollers. 

Visit reviewed: 10/5/2011

Coffee Alley is a popular chain of coffee shop/cafes that serves Western fare, including sandwiches, waffles and of course, lots of coffee and tea. Be warned there's a one drink per person minimum here, so you'll get to try one of their drinks whether you like it or not.

Surrounding the sofas, the walls are decorated with some interesting art. At the ATT4Fun location, one wall is lined with live potted plants, so you see a wall of greenery. Another wall has framed rows of stones.

 I thought the menu was fun, designed like a newsletter which had lots of helpful pictures and English. Sandwiches, salads, waffles and desserts.

The sandwiches were solid, kind of like ones you could make yourself at home, with tiny scoops of egg salads on the side of some.

Grilled Chicken Ciabatta Sandwich (NT$160)
Barbeque Pork Sandwich (NT$160)
Tuna sandwich with egg salad (NT$130)

But the real must order dish at Coffee Alley were the waffles- there was a plate at almost table in sight. Cushiony and thick, these were the cake-like type of waffles that had become so popular in Taipei ala Melange Cafe, which garnered lines outside its doors and wait times of an hour or more.

I typically don't like cake-like waffles, so I've either been living in Taiwan too long or the salted caramel sauce was the perfect accompaniment because I liked these. I guess if you put salted caramel and whip cream on anything it'll taste pretty good. 

Besides the Salty caramel and vanilla ice cream waffle  (NT$150), you can also get waffles with fresh strawberries with strawberry ice cream, chocolate ice cream banana, azuki red bean and green tea ice cream, or the more unusual, peanut butter and condensed milk waffle or the tuna waffle, possibly only popular in Taiwan.

If waffles aren't your thing, there are plenty of other desserts to order. Ice cream, brownies, or mille-feuille, or ice cream with cotton candy and espresso.

Some things on the menu get lost in translation- when I thought I was ordering a vanilla latte, was actually a latte with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

My friend ordered the pizza toast which seemed to take a disproportionate time to come to our table, after all of us were done eating, despite us asking our waiter repeatedly about it.

Advance reservations strongly recommended, especially during lunch and afternoon tea hours.


No. 45, Lane 101, Zhong Xiao E. Rd, Sec. 4
(02) 2711-1912

No. 42, Lane 187,  Dun Hua S. Rd, Sec. 1
(02) 2711-1910

No. 253, Zhong Zheng Rd, 2 FL
Shih Lin District
(02) 2888-3322

No. 18 Guan Chian Rd, 2 FL
MRT: Taipei Main Station
(02) 2388-3000