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MAGAZINE, June 2002
Restaurant & Bar
1, ShiZheng N 1st Rd, 2F (Le Free mall)
By Uvia Chang
Translated by Cheryl
fM Restaurant & Bar was recently opened by two young, dynamic Americans,
Fred Harold and Mike Armstrong, who also happen to be brothers.
This restaurant's name, fM, comes from the first letter of their
first names, the f being lower case to signify that Fred is the
younger of the two.
"Mikey" Mike is a skilled bartender who
has served up drinks all over the world and has become well-known
for the same thing in Taichung over the past several years. In the
course of his travels and bartending, Mike spent much time researching
the characteristics and qualities of different liquors in order
to create his own unique drinks, such as the Mojito (NT$180), a
very delectable drink that combines the tastes of citrus and mint.
The Rumbo Jam (NT$180) is made with pineapple juice,
cranberry juice and light rum, perfect for the summer. Other drinks
that are exclusive to fM include Just Peachy, Chocolate Martini,
Orgasm, and Cosmopolitan. If you are not sure which cocktail to
order, ask Mike for one that fits your style.
Fred is both suave and friendly. In his teens,
he began his career in the food and beverage industry as an
apprentice chef in a five-star hotel. By the age of 25, he
was the Chef de Cuisine of Compass Restaurant for Hyatt Regency
Phoenix, a testament to his cooking skills and innovative
It is very obvious that both Mike and Fred
enjoy their work. Their natural romantic and artistic qualities
spill over into every aspect of fM, including the cocktails,
dishes and interior decoration. The decor is a mixture of
North American and European styles and graces a wonderful
white stucco building that once housed Salt & Pepper Restaurant.
Since taking over the restaurant building, Mike
and Fred have changed many things. The bar area on the first floor
has comfortable leather sofas, soft lighting and background music.
The dining area is on the second floor. On the upstairs balcony
is a spice garden with mint, rosemary, lavender and thyme. Fred
obtains many of the fresh spices that he uses in his cooking from
The menu features a unique combination of Western
cuisines, described by Fred as "Pacific Northwest fusion".
The menu changes every three months, so there is always something
new to try. At the time Compass went to press the menu included
Potato Scaled Snapper (NT$315), served with a colorful assortment
of vegetables; Fruits de Mer (NT$275), with a delicious combination
of seafood over pasta; and thick, juicy USDA Rib Eye Steak (NT$490).
Desserts include Fruits Jubilee (NT$175), which
consists of mango flambeed in spiced rum and served over vanilla
ice cream, and Ginger-Vanilla Creme Brulee (NT$175), a traditional
European pudding served with an Asian-style ginger sauce.
To sum it all up, fM Restaurant & Bar serves
up five-star cuisine and five-star ambiance for very reasonable
prices. This, combined with the owners' hospitality, is sure to
make you want to come back again and again.