Bravo Bar: Banqiao's Hotspot
By Courtney Donovan Smith
Translated by Diva Photos by Andy Lin
114, GuiXing (GuiSing) Rd, Banqiao City, Taipei County
Hours: Mon-Thu 6 pm-1:30 am,
Fri 6 pm-3:30 am, Sat 11 am-3:30 am,
Sun 11 am-Midnight
MRT: Far Eastern Hospital
Credit cards not accepted. 10% service charge.
Menu in Chinese & English. Smoking section available.
Hanging out in the 'burbs just got a lot more interesting, thanks to Banqiao's Bravo Bar.
Located about three blocks from the Far Eastern Hospital MRT stop, Bravo is an attractive bar with large windows and a friendly, airy feeling. The decor is wood on white, with artwork scattered tastefully about and the overall feeling of a friendly neighbourhood spot with a hint of class--the kind of spot one could just as easily as discuss philosophy as debate who the best Premier League team is. Used English-language books line the walls so the sizeable minority of foreign customers have a spot to exchange reading material, and the selection highlights the cosmopolitan and eclectic mix of visitors. Reflecting their clientelee, the co-owners are South African and Taiwanese.
Sports fans will be delighted with the large satellite projection screen (only spot in Banqiao with satellite), darts machines and foosball table--and, of course, during major sporting events, Bravo is packed. Most of the time, however, Bravo is the kind of place to make and meet friends. The staff makes an effort to get to know their customers and, as co-owner Monique notes, the feeling is like that on the old television show "Cheers" (with the theme song "where everyone knows your name"). The menu has many options geared toward groups of friends, like the large Mixed Platter (of appetizers, NT$360). Both cocktails (NT$650 or NT$750) and draft beer (NT$390) can also be ordered by the pitcher. Individually, cocktails are NT$170 or NT$210, draft beer NT$160 and bottled beers are NT$100 to NT$200.
The menu is Western and features quite an extensive selection of 15 different kinds of burgers (NT$190-270). Popular with everyone is the Mushroom Gravy Burger (NT$220), and especially popular with foreigners is the Blue Cheese Bacon Burger (NT$270). Also be sure to try the Four Cheese Baked Lasagna (choice of beef, seafood or vegetarian, NT$250).