It¡¦s around 9pm in this very tranquil, very
secretive and very tasteful lounge bar on a Tuesday
night, and it¡¦s just a string of middle-aged Japanese
businessmen and me.
This suits the owner fine, according
to Ellie Lee, Guan Dii¡¦s manager and occasional
bartender. This is just the kind of image he
desires, she says. Intimacy, seclusion, exclusivity,
¡§Quite a number of celebrities¡K come
here, many of them for private get-togethers,¡¨
says Lee, who adds that many of her other customers
are from Japan and Shanghai, where Guan Dii
enjoys a high profile.
In fact, Guan Dii¡¦s Cantonese owner
spends most of his time in Shanghai, taking
care of the five Guan Dii branches there.
Opened three years ago, Taipei¡¦s Guan
Dii is said to be Taiwan¡¦s first lounge bar.
A members-only club until around a year ago,
when the state of the economy took its toll,
there is now no minimum charge for the first
floor. The second floor remains hush-hush; taking
photographs isn¡¦t welcomed. It holds four private
areas, with price tags of NT$8,000 to NT$10,000
As for the menu, the most popular dish
is the Broil (Grill) Mix Plate (NT$350), which
includes spring rolls, shrimps, ground pork
and goose liver paste. The bartender can shake
up more than 60 different Martinis. Women often
go for Romantic (NT$250), while men like the
stronger Tanqueray Special Dry Gin (NT$270).
A Guan Dii shot (NT$300) is also a favorite.
Expect the face of this lounge to change: The
owner religiously redecorates every year to keep things
fresh and novel. But don¡¦t expect to see that heavy
bronze gate to disappear any time soon.