Unfortunately, I arrived at Caldos Cafe sweaty and grumpy because I got lost in the maze that is the East District of Taipei. I never understand Taipei’s street signs. There is usually one at the top of the street, and the end, but none in the middle. Plus, the system of “sections” (段 “duan”) and ”lane” (巷 “xiang”) and “alley” (弄 ”nong”) is an utter nightmare. To make matters worse, not every building has a number, or an address plate. So sometimes you can walk around in circles before finding the right alley or lane. Anyway, I’m digressing. Luckily for me, it was still early on a Saturday afternoon, so there were tables available. The waitress took one look at me, and quickly ushered me to a table and poured me a nice cool glass of water.
我是一位路痴。 我連用google maps 都會走錯路。 所以常常都是在迷路的狀態。 那一天， 找 Caldo Cafe 也在東區的街頭迷路了好久才終於找到的。 還好有堅持找到， 因為我又發覺了一間氣氛好， 餐具美，飲料好喝，甜點好吃的好咖啡廳可以跟朋友們分享。
I sat there for a few minutes, watching icy cold water drip slowly through the coffee dripper, and immediately felt a sense of calmness wash over me.
I actually had no idea what I wanted to order for drinks, so I asked the waitress for a recommendation. She mentioned that the Earl Grey Latte was her favorite drink. Out of curiosity, I asked her why, and she said “oh, the foam is absolutely lovely.” I have to admit, I was intrigued by her enthusiasm.
The foam did not disappoint. It was an ethereal layer of micro foam. Light as a feather, and slightly tinged with the flavor of honey and lime. The Earl Grey tea was also nice and strong. I never thought Earl Grey, honey and lime were three flavors that could work together, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The cup, saucer and teaspoon were also beautiful. (How absolutely darling is that shell shaped teaspoon?) This time, I ordered the vanilla bean soufflé, with handmade grapefruit sorbet. There was a selection of sauces to choose from, and I chose salted caramel.
As in tune with the Earl Grey Latte, the soufflé and its accompaniments arrived beautifully presented.
It’s recommend that you take a spoonful of the soufflé first, before adding any sauce, to taste the original flavor.
The salted caramel sauce was quite mild~ it may have added some sweetness to the soufflé, but I thought the soufflé was moist and sweet enough on its own without the sauce.
I love it when desserts have different textures, similar to the cake I had a C’est la B in Hong Kong, this soufflé also had a delightfully crunchy sugar crust on the very bottom.
The grapefruit sorbet was perfect, and tasted exactly like a grapefruit should; tart, bitter with just a tiny twinge of sweetness. There were also tiny bits of grapefruit zest sprinkled within the sorbet.
Part of my enjoyment also came from the absolutely lovely tableware. I wished they sold the little sauce containers (unfortunately they are not for sale) because it’s one of the cutest containers I’ve seen in a long time.
The nice waitress who recommended the Earl Grey Latte to me came by towards the end of my visit to ask me if I enjoyed her recommendation. I thought that was considerate of her. Although, lately, I’ve found that getting a personal recommendation from waitstaff is actually quite rare. (I don’t know if it’s because they don’t try, or enjoy the food, or they are tired of answering that particular question; but I always think it’s a bit off-putting when they say “I don’t know,” or “it depends on your personal taste,” or worse, “I’ve never tried that one” I really believe that waitstaff are the heart and soul of a cafe, and I appreciate their personal recommendations. I never think less of the food if they don’t like a particular item, but I’m always interested in an opinion.
It sounds small, but just an hour or so in the this cafe, reset my equilibrium, and I was ready to brave the alleyways of the East District again. Also, the soufflé at Caldo Cafe is inspiring me to try my hand at making my own soufflés. I’m in the process of doing some research~ so stay tuned!
Information: Caldo Cafe Two | Dunhua South Road, Section 1, Alley 190, No. 16| PH: 02 2721 8895| 咖朵咖啡｜敦化南路一段190巷16號| PH: 02 2721 8895