Mega City Mall (Taipei Boozehunting)
March 31, 2012
Often when I’m scootering around Taipei, and don’t feel like heading home right away, I ride along looking for decent liquor stores, following a lead on an address, or checking out an import supermarket or new mall I haven’t been to.
This time I went to the new Far Eastern Mall, called ‘Mega City’ in Banqiao (almost opposite the train station).
The supermarket in the basement is (like all Far Eastern supermarkets) called City Super. I wasn’t expecting much, because the one on Dunhua S Rd doesn’t offer anything I can’t find with a better selection at Breeze.
I was pleasantly surprised.
Booze-wise, there was a great-looking gin called Darnley’s View and Chilean Pisco called Pisco Elqui Tres Erres. I have seen neither of these elsewhere in Taipei, and have marked both down for future purchase.
Another big surprise was an Italian soda called Chinotto that I’d been looking out for for quite some time (an ingredient in one cocktail I want to make). This one was part of a range of Italian sodas in very attractive bottles by a company called Abbondio. After checking them out online when I got home, I kicked myself. They have a brand of gourmet tonic water! I might have missed that. Now I have to go back and check. Unless anyone reading this knows?
Chinotto is delicious if you like bitter sodas, and as this article (by Eric Felten, a cocktail writer I really like) points out, has great potential for mixing in cocktails. I tried the ‘Della Mela’ cocktail and loved it.
While on the subject of Italian soda, I also highly recommend the Sam Pellegrino Lemonade which you can buy here too (but also at Breeze).
Finally they had a very good selection of kitchen tools. I’d say, in the area of things vaguely related to cocktails, I haven’t seen better, even at Hands Talung, Hola or Ikea. Still no Boston Shaker, but some good big tin shakers, a good citrus zester (which I’ve only seen at Hola), a cool citurs tool, bar spoons and other stuff. Oh yeah, a hawthrone strainer! Once I get the Boston Shaker, I’m buying that too.
All these things were very expensive though. In the end, being broke, the Chinotto (108NT) was the only purchase I made.
Breeze remains easily the best supermarket for booze, but Mega City is now number one for peripherals.