Archive | April, 2013

Optician’s with cat (Paul Smith Spectacles)

19 Apr

CIMG0442When I was walking back from the disappointing ab-ab cafe, I noticed a cat in the window of an optician’s! It’s on Roosevelt Rd (羅斯福路) just a little before Guting MRT exit 3. Since I couldn’t get a good picture through the window without a glare, I went in and asked if I could take a picture and they said I could. The cat woke up when I came in. He’s very friendly.

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ab-ab cafe

19 Apr

CIMG0436 ab-ab cafe (路上撿到一隻貓)

Address: 臺北市大安區溫州街49巷2號

Hours: supposedly every day 13:30-1:30, but apparently not

According to the book, this place opens at 13:30, but I went there at 14:00 and it was closed, and looked like it might not have been open in a long time. There was one sad looking but very friendly cat on the porch, looking at his empty dish. The front door had a sign on it saying it was broken and to use the door on the left. But that door was also boarded up. It still looked like a cafe inside, so I thought maybe it recently closed. The front porch area wasn’t too clean, with torn up couches, one of them with a full ash tray on it.

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I went to the pharmacy across the street and asked if the cafe had closed down and they said no. They said it usually opens by 2 and would probably be open later today, but they weren’t sure when, maybe 3? They said I could just sit outside and wait, but I decided not to do that. They don’t have a good view of the street from the pharmacy so I’m not sure they really know when the cafe opens. It did look like there was some construction around the doorways so it could be closed for repairs. I’ll try calling later and see if anyone answers. Hope they at least come back and feed the cat.

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Videos from Genki Cats

18 Apr

The cats at Genki Cats were so adorable I took videos of them.

Genki Cats (元氣貓主題餐廳)

17 Apr

Genki Cats Genki Cats

Address: 臺北市士林區德行西路93巷2弄13號

Hours: Tuesday-Friday 14:00-21:00, Saturday 12:00-21:00, Closed Mondays

Minimum per person purchase: NT$200 for entry and drink, NT$250 for shaved ice, NT$300 for ice with the most toppings

Since it’s just a few minutes walk from Cafe Dog and Cats (the original cat cafe and one of the nicest I’ve been to) and according to the book was just opened in 2010, I wasn’t optimistic that this place would still be open. The picture above is a very tiny corner of a sign for what looks like a typical tea and shaved ice shop. I looked in and didn’t see any cats.

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But when I asked, they told me I had to buy a ticket. People who don’t want to see cats can order drinks and shaved ice to go or to have in the shop for regular prices. To see cats, ticket prices are as listed above. I got an NT$200 ticket with a green tea latte. They gave me the drink in a disposable cup, along with a ticket and told me to go across the street to #8 and ring the bell. I rang the bell and went up to the second floor of an old apartment building. In the entry way, the attendant asked me to take off my shoes and clean my hands with disinfectant, and then let me into the room with about 15 beautiful cats!

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Everything was very clean and there is a separate room for litter boxes. The room is filled with benches and cat tree houses, and there are lockers for customers to use. The attendant said I might want to put my drink in there too so the cats wouldn’t play with it, but I didn’t mind.

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The cat below was my favorite. Doesn’t he look regal?

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He liked my cup.

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It’s not exactly a cafe and definitely not a restaurant (called “cat themed restaurant” in Chinese), but it’s a great place to play with beautiful cats.

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Mr. Cat (貓咪先生的朋友)

15 Apr

Mr Cat sign Mr Cat (貓咪先生的朋友)

Address: 臺北市大安區大安路一段83巷7號 (Go out Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT exit 3)

Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:00-23:00, Friday 11:00-2:00, Saturday 10:00-2:00, Sunday 10:00-23:00

 

 

 

This 東區 cafe is so popular that even on a Monday afternoon, the only free seat was at the bar. While I was there, I heard they kept getting calls for reservations. It’s easy to see why they’re doing so well. This is the entrance:

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According to the book, they just have one cat, the original Mr. Cat, known as 小羊 to his friends. But now Mr. Cat’s family has grown and there are four of them. Still, Mr. Cat seemed to know that this is his cafe and spent most of his time on the bar, eating and taking breaks to look over manager’s shoulder as he wrote down reservations.

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This black cat is the smallest of them, maybe the baby of the ‘family’:

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And Mr. Cat also has a beautiful silky, marbled tabby 小三 (really her name!)

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The staff were friendly once I told them I could read the Chinese menu and I had a mocha frappuccino (NT$180+10% service charge, kind of expensive but worth it for the atmosphere). They also have sandwiches, waffles and specialty teas with fruit.

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The fourth cat, 伴伴, wasn’t around at first, but eventually she appeared from behind the counter and then she came out to play.

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Cat cafes actually started in Taipei!

15 Apr

I had read that cat cafes were  popular in Japan and assumed the idea originated there. But according to this BBC article, “the the first cat café, named Cat Flower Garden, opened in Taipei, Taiwan in 1998”. This must refer to Cafe Dog and Cats 貓花園 (literal translation ‘cat flower garden’).

Cat Cafe 009

Classic

14 Apr

CIMG0314  Classic

Address: 臺北市大安區雲和街48-1號

Hours: Monday-Friday 17:00-2:00, Saturday-Sunday 12:00-2:00

Minimum per person purchase:  Americano NT$120

 

 

 

 

This is a busy cafe just off Shida Night Market that seems to be ideal for gathering with friends. As it’s crowded and a bit noisy, at least on weekends, it’s not a great place to come alone and read a book. The three cats kept their distance from the busy atmosphere, relaxing on and behind the bar.

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This sleepy black cat was very friendly, much more than the staff who completely ignored me.

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I feel sort of like if I pet the cats and take pictures, I should buy something even though I didn’t want to stay there long, but since no one even tried to take my order, I didn’t feel bad about leaving. There was a menu posted outside the door, and they have typical cafe selections, and also “frappuccinos” with the option of adding ice cream.

Menu

Zabu: More Outdated Information

13 Apr

Moved Zabu

Supposed Address:臺北市 大安區浦城街9-4號

REAL Address: 台北市士林區中山北路七段175號

Considering the book is only two years old, I’m disappointed with how quickly the information has become outdated. Although I did notice this Cafe listed as being at the Pucheng address in a magazine I was reading in Samovar yesterday and that was only from last November.

After checking online (though some search results have it as still being at the old address), I found that it is now located in Tienmu, according to their blog. Since the new address is an hour away, not near an MRT station, and the weather is depressing, I’m not going there today.

Samovar

12 Apr

cat at the bar Samovar

Address: 臺北市大安區新生南路三段76巷5-1號 (Near Gongguan MRT)

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 13:00-22:00, Friday-Saturday 13:00-23:00

Minimum per person purchase: cheapest menu item about NT$150

Although it is featured in the book, Samovar is less of a “cat cafe” than some of the others and more of a specialty tea room, with about 100 different kinds of tea. They have two gorgeous long-haired cats, though one of them was at home sick today.

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This cafe doesn’t have the slightest whiff of cat; it smells like a combination of fragrant teas. The decorations here are not cat-related. They are various paintings, samovars and specially designed tea canisters. They have comfortable seating for individuals or larger groups. In one corner, there is a shelf full of books and magazines, both English and Chinese, mostly on art, architecture and design. Soft jazz music is playing in the background.

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The list of teas covers four pages of the menu. They have white, black and green teas, teas from different countries, teas from around Taiwan, and teas with fruit and flower flavors added. I had an afternoon tea set (NT$199, including a pot of any kind of tea and any kind of cake), with chocolate fudge cake and a green tea with almond and some kind of flower.  They let me smell the tea leaves first when I ordered it to see how I liked it. It smelled delicious and it was.

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I would definitely like to come back here to try more tea and to see the other cat when he gets better.

G-Straight (直走) 

12 Apr

Supposed Address G-Straight

Supposed Address: 臺北市,汀洲路三段27巷18號

Actual Address: Apparently non-existent

 

 

 

Although the Chinese name of this place means “go straight” (not sure why they don’t just call it Go Straight, not G-Straight), to get to the supposed address, one does not go straight but turns through several small alleys. The book describes it as being a bit off the main road and says that at first they thought they might be in the wrong place.

As it was pouring down rain today, I was already having second thoughts about wandering around trying to find this place. I brought the book with me to be sure I was at the right address. This was definitely it, but there was no cafe there. There were red double doors that looked like they went into an apartment. Even though there was no sign at all, I rang the bell just in case. Of course, no one answered. Either this place doesn’t exist anymore, like Lavender, or the book has the address wrong.

red doors