COMPASS MAGAZINE, September 2002

Finga's Base Camp

61, ChungMing Road
Tel: (04) 2327-7750
Hours: 7 am -10 pm daily


Getting replenished at Finga's Base Camp

By Douglas Habecker Translated by Sharon Yang

       About a decade ago, a couple of friends told me about this tiny eatery that a New Zealander named Dereke had just opened. Taichung's first foreign-owned establishment, it quickly became known for its delicious homemade sorbet and ice cream.

       Dereke Bruce and Finga's have come a very long way since those early days, growing to the larger, very successful Finga's Italian restaurant and Finga's Fine Foods deli. Not one to rest on his laurels, however, the friendly Kiwi recently unveiled his most impressive achievement to date, Finga's Base Camp. Located along the bustling thoroughfare of Chung Ming South Road, about half-way between Taichung Kang and Kung Yi roads, this attractive establishment is much bigger than old Finga's Fine Foods that it replaces and mixes a host of new and old offerings.

       Finga's Base Camp is indeed a place for replenishment, whatever your need may be. The spacious main dining area is bright, attractive and includes a small bar area, bread counter and a deli area that Dereke is calling Finga's@Home. Here, one can choose from various hot and cold selections--from roast beef to a salad bar--to create a take-away feast.

       Behind the front area is an unexpected treat, an open-air wooden deck area with tables for those who want some sunshine. This connects to a large back area containing the Finga's bakery, butchery and imported-goods grocery store.

       Finga's Base Camp now also opens around 7:30 a.m. to provide several breakfast options, including "dogs at dawn" with baked beans, muesli waffles, a simple croissant and coffee, and various American, English and German style combinations. The rest of the menu is similar to Finga's Fine Foods, with great sandwiches like my personal favorite, turkey and avocado. Some Mexican dishes are still available and Dereke is eventually planning to add more Mediterranean items, including Greek, Turkish and Lebanese cuisine.

       Watching Dereke generate great new ideas has become a Taichung pastime that shows no signs of ending. Despite all the positive stir that Finga's Base Camp is creating, I have a feeling that Taichung's favorite Kiwi is just getting warmed up.

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