Monday, 30 October 2017

Fong Da Coffee in Ximending. Coffee Pioneer in Taipei 蜂大咖啡

Fong-Da -Coffee-Ximending-Taipei-蜂大咖啡

Fong Da is one of buddy John's favourite coffee places, so the first thing we did on our first morning in Taipei was to check in at Fong Da 蜂大咖啡 in Ximending 西門町.

Fong-Da -Coffee-Ximending-Taipei-蜂大咖啡

I like the feel of Fong Da's shop front. It looked like a cross between a traditional provision shop and biscuit shop. On the right are traditional Chinese biscuits in large glass jars and on the left roasted coffee beans in large tins.

Fong-Da -Coffee-Ximending-Taipei-蜂大咖啡Fong-Da -Coffee-Ximending-Taipei-蜂大咖啡

Inside Fong Da, lights were a little dim and spaces were narrow. It reminded me of old school "coffee houses" in 1970s Singapore, or mom and pop American diners in USA and Canada. It's the type of "atas" place where Singapore boys try to impress their girlfriends in the 1970s.

We had to stand and wait awhile for a table as the little cafe was full house.

Fong-Da -Coffee-Ximending-Taipei-蜂大咖啡

A notice in Chinese on the yellowing paper says breakfast is served 8am to 11am, and eating time is limited to 60 minutes i.e. no table hogging please, thank you for your co-operation 😄

Fong-Da -Coffee-Ximending-Taipei-蜂大咖啡

While standing in line, we were treated to the aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans as the boss was roasting coffee right there inside the little shop.

Fong-Da -Coffee-Ximending-Taipei-蜂大咖啡

Fong Da Coffee was founded in 1956 by Mr. 曹世華's dad who is now in his 90s. Now, 曹世華 roasts coffee beans from around the world, mainly premium Arabica. Blue Mountain is still loved here, something I remember from the 1970s. Something I could only smell but cannot afford to taste then.

Fong-Da -Coffee-Ximending-Taipei-蜂大咖啡

Fong Da Coffee felt charming to me because it felt like my initiation to "American breakfast" in the 1970s. Aromatic, light body and mild flavour black coffee with milk that comes in small sealed capsules.

The coffee is made using the syphon method (they don't use the coffee sock like we do in Singapore and Malaysia 😄 ). I remember those exquisite glass contraptions from Japan were the rage in the 1970s. 

Fong Da also serves espresso coffee and ice drip coffee but we didn't try these, this round.

Fong-Da -Coffee-Ximending-Taipei-蜂大咖啡

Sugary fruit jam and butter on toast. It's yesterday once more.

Fong-Da -Coffee-Ximending-Taipei-蜂大咖啡

Greasy ham and egg omelette.

Fong-Da -Coffee-Ximending-Taipei-蜂大咖啡

Good ol' old style club sandwich.

Fong-Da -Coffee-Ximending-Taipei-蜂大咖啡

👉 What is it about Fong Da Coffee 蜂大咖啡 that makes it special? To me, it is because I found a coffee shop that had been on the same journey as me. My initiation to Western food was at about the time Fong Da pioneered coffee in a world of Chinese tea drinkers. The nostalgic combination of simple coffee, good ol' basic Western staples and vintage decor are hard to find in cafes these days. Outdated or authentic, it's a matter of perspective - mine is that from a sentimental old fella.

Fong-Da -Coffee-Ximending-Taipei-蜂大咖啡

Restaurant name: Fong Da Coffee 蜂大咖啡

Fong-Da -Coffee-Ximending-Taipei-蜂大咖啡

Address: #42, Chengdu Road, Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan 台北市萬華區成都路42號
GPS 25°02'33.4"N 121°30'23.0"E | 25.042621, 121.506383
Tel: 02 2371 9577
Hours: 8:00am to 10:00am

Non Halal

Date visited: 21 Oct 2017






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