Cash Box KTV!

January 3, 2010 in Food, Taiwan, Travel by pacejmiller

No visit to Taipei is complete without a visit to the karaoke.

Karaoke is one of the most popular past times in Taiwan.  It’s as common as, say, going to the movies.  There are literally hundreds of karaoke ‘bars’ in Taipei, but broadly speaking, karaoke is dominated by two franchises: Cash Box and Holiday KTV (both websites are in Chinese only, so find a friend who can read Chinese).

These karaoke venues are massive and operate for 24 hours, 365 days a year – entire buildings are required, complete with lifts, hotel-like reception and dozens of staff linked by radio.  Each venue has hundreds of individual luxurious en-suite rooms with your own LCD flat screen and state-of-the-art computer systems to help you find the song you’re looking for.

The one we went to was Cash Box, in the Xin Yi district.  Cash Box is known to have awesome food, which you can order in the karaoke rooms as you sing.  Cash Box has really ‘cashed in’ on the popularity of their cuisine, and have opened up a Cash Box restaurant (see here – unfortunately Chinese only).

Anyway, the singing was what it was, but the food was sensational! Check out photos below.

(Click on ‘More…’ to see the pics!)

The mixed platter had a bunch of yummy stuff (not sure what some of them are) - however my favourite was the garlic sausages

The pork chop bento was the highlight for me - the absolute best pork chops - succulent, juicy and flavoursome; a real delight!

The crispy chicken bento was almost as good as the pork chop bento!

The pork dumplings were amazing - the skin just the right thickness and the meat and vegetables inside just the right consistency. The soy vinegarette and chilli oil dipping sauce took it to another level.

I didn't have this but took a photo - noodle soup with dumplings and...pigs blood?

The photos pretty much speak for themselves.  Foreigners are sure to find the tastiness of the food shocking.  What we ordered was just a small sample of what was on offer in their menu.  There were plenty of ‘specials’ too (which I never trust – if the ‘specials’ were so good they’d be in the regular menu!).  The prices are considered relatively high for Taiwan, but it’s actually quite cheap.  From memory, most of the dishes were between TWD$150-250  (which is about AUD$ 5.25-8.70 or US$4.70-7.80 or GBP 2.90-4.80).  However, I believe there is a minimum spend for each head.  The prices for the karaoke room also vary depending on the size of the room, the day of the week and the time of day.  During off-peak times usually heavy discounts are given (up to 50%).  For the smallest room (up to 6 people) at the cheapest time, the price is about NT 350 per hour (excluding food/drinks/minimum spend).  At the most expensive time expect to pay about double.

I have decided to give ratings for my tasting experiences in order to gauge the deliciousness of food I sample in Taiwan.  Not the atmosphere or cleanliness or service or anything else.  Just the food.

Accordingly, I am going to give the food at Cash Box KTV a score of 8 out 10!

Anyway, after about four hours, we left Cash Box with hoarse voices and bulging stomachs.  It was truly a ‘Taiwanese’ experience.