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Eating & drinking Lifestyle

Ole Tapas

OLE TAPAS
Address: 台北市大安區安和路一段109巷4號一樓 Taipei, Taiwan
Tel: +886 909 800 433
Hours: Weekday 6pm – 1am Weekend 6pm – 2am (Monday off)
Website: Ole Tapas FB page

Ole Tapas Bar is a Spanish restaurant and bar in Taipei. Previously located in the Shilin MRT area, a few months ago moved to the downtown, near Xinyi Anhe MRT, very easy to spot in a not-so-hidden alley thanks to its luminous sign and the outside fence painted with the Spanish flag. The interior is simply decorated with a few Spanish motifs, like posters or a Spanish map painted on the wall, creating a warm atmosphere.

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Its friendly chef and owner, Alain, comes from a French and Spanish family, making a singular mix from two very rich cultures, at least talking about gastronomy, and creating his own unique signature in each dish. He goes to the local market every night, after closing the restaurant, selecting the freshest ingredients by himself. Because of that, the menu changes everyday, rotating the selected dishes and making you want to try everything. The available dishes are posted on the wall, both in English and Chinese.

On this occasion, we tried the whisky shrimps (280 TWD), the clams with white wine sauce (280 TWD), the St. Pierre fish with French mustard (2 pieces for 200 TWD), the skewed piquillo with boletus (200 TWD), eggplant with black sugar cane and a few more. To drink, a good Spanish DO Rioja red wine from their wine collection.

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Lifestyle

Boven

Boven is not the typical library. They call themselves “The world’s first magazine library”, and they include a collection between 15.000 and 20.000 copies of magazines from not only Taiwan or Japan, but also United States, Europe, etc. A curated selection of magazines covering topics like design, art, photography, fashion and much more!

Placed in a quiet alley around the Zhongxiao Dunhua area, the inside is even more quiet as it is located in a B1. Just look for this sign on the street level and then go down the stairs.

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At the door, you will see the enrollment instructions. If you want to be a member, there is an anual fee of 1.000 TWD that offers an unlimited access to Boven. If you are not sure about getting a membership, don’t worry. There is a single entrance fee for non members of 300 TWD/day, so you can try it and see how it goes.

Once inside, you will be asked to remove your shoes and use the courtesy sleepers. Remember, be silent and respectful. Everybody tries to maintain a relaxing atmosphere without disturbing each others reading. As they say, “Reading is power” and here is a great place to do that!

The magazines are organized in the shelves by topic, so just take a look around and pick up your favorites. You can seat in one of the comfortable sofas and armchairs, as you were in your living room. Or in one of the collective tables, where you can plug your laptop if you need. At the reception, they offer a brief selection of beverages in case you want a drink to accompany your reading. Everything you need to relax in a nice environment and enjoy a lovely time reading a magazine!

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For more information, visit their Facebook’s page.

Eating & drinking Lifestyle

The Apollo

THE APOLLO
Address: 44 Macleay Street, Potts Point, New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Tel: +61 2 8354 0888
Hours: Mon – Thu 6pm – 09:30pm Fri – Sat 12pm – 11pm Sun 12pm – 09:30pm
Website: The Apollo’s FB page

During our holidays in Australia, on Christmas Eve we were in Sydney and all our Sydney friends were already out of the city. So my hubby and I decided to have a romantic dinner at The Apollo. It is located in the same neighborhood where we were staying and some friends recommended it to us, so it was perfect!

The Apollo is in a corner, where two of the walls have huge windows that let the natural light come inside during the day. At night, it is still cozy but the low lighting and the traffic lights outside make the atmosphere change, in a very intimate way. The elegantly minimalist refurbishment includes furniture all made of wood, bare walls of rough concrete, and warm and simple lamps.

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For dinner, we shared several dishes: fried king prawns (6 AUD EA), warm pita bread (4 AUD) served in an original cardboard box like the pizza ones, baked eggplant with pomegranate and almond salad (18 AUD), and grilled BBQ octopus with green olives and potato salad (26 AUD). To drink, two glasses of Nick O’Leary white wine (13.5 AUD each). And for dessert, we shared a walnuts file pastry with coffee cream (12 AUD).

The file pastry dessert was good, though a bit too sweet for my taste. Maybe it is because we were already quite full from the dinner. Everything was delicious, and you can feel that the ingredients are really fresh. I love this Greek cuisine style, traditional cooking with a modern twist, using new elements in the dishes. It is definitely an excellent choice for that or any other evening!

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Eating & drinking Lifestyle

Coogee Pavilion

COOGEE PAVILION
Address: 169 Dolphin St, Coogee NSW 2034, Australia
Tel: +61 2 9240 3000
Hours: Mon – Sun 07:30am – 12am
Website: Coogee Pavilion’s FB page

During our holidays in Australia, we did the Bondi to Coogee walk, near Sydney. It was summer, the sun was shining, the surfers were riding the waves, and we were walking the whole morning. When we arrived at Coogee beach, we saw the beautiful Coogee Pavilion building and we decided that it was time for a light lunch.

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Over 3 floors, it offers pizza, burgers and Mediterranean dishes. The ground floor as an outside terrace, where seagulls pick the food scraps, and an indoor space full of light and tables where people gather and share their food.

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Also on the ground floor, there is a nostalgic games arena with games like noughts and crosses, petanque, ping pong, a giant magnetic scrabble, etc., were kids and not-so-kids can play and have fun.

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On our way to the rooftop, we can appreciate that the whole place is inspired by the sea and decorated with maritime motifs, from the colors used to objects like buoys, paintings, etc., keeping the original spirit of the pavilion but in a modern way.

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The rooftop features four indoor and outdoor bars, all with a Coogee ocean view. The light and the ocean breeze entering through the windows fill the space. One remark: the rooftop area is an adults only space.

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As the weather was really warm, everybody was enjoying a cold drink outside. For a light lunch, we choose two light dishes asa summer tomato and watermelon salad with burrata, vincotto and basil (23 AUD), and raw tuna, white soy and roasted garlic oil, daikon, shiso, toasted nori (23 AUD), both super fresh and delicious! To think about these dishes, it still makes my mouth water!

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Fashion Lifestyle

Palo Alto Market

Palo Alto Market is a street market in Barcelona, happening the first weekend of every month (except in August). It started two years ago, combining shopping with culture and leisure. It is located in an old industrial complex, now reconverted in an urban island.

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Its inner “streets” are full of stalls selling different things: clothes and shoes (new, vintage, second hand,…), decorative objects, food, etc. And visitors stroll around, taking a look at each one of them.

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Besides the food stalls, there is an area with food trucks that offer plenty of choices to eat and drink, from options as Spanish as “paella” to Japanese food. You can eat while you continue walking, or you can rest in one of the relaxing areas with seats and tables.

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Besides the outdoor areas, the warehouses host very interesting contents as well: at the Design Gallery you can find the pieces of different artists with a wide variety of styles; at the Club Aperol there are music and DJ performances; and at the Boheme Gallery you can see more stalls offering their clothes, accessories, etc., like the one belonging to SugoiHunter. I had a great time talking with Sara, the responsible of SugoiHunter, about our common passion for Asia; their pieces are handpicked in Japan, Korea, etc. I hope they visit Taiwan soon! 🙂

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You can find more info at Palo Alto Market’s website.