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TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE, December, 2005.

River Side Restaurant

(02) 2892-4346
1, XueYuan Rd., Beitou (in Taipei National University of the Arts)
Hours: 11 am-9:30 pm
Chinese style lunch available from 11 am-2 pm
Chinese style dinner available from 5 pm-9:30 pm
Afternoon tea 2 pm-5 pm
Moroccan cuisine available all day
Parking lot available, parking charge is NT$50 each time, limited to day of patronage. (For dining bills of over NT$1000, receive one NT$50 parking coupon.)


--By Leslie Tsengl Translated by Yvonne Chen

Looking for authentic Moroccan cuisine in Taipei?
River Side owner Ms. Li has been in the restaurant business for over 10 years and, being married to a Moroccan, it is only natural that she has introduced traditional dishes from her husband's homeland at her restaurant. The result is a fusion of Chinese and Western style dishes: Sichuan and Hunan cuisine offset by Moroccan dishes. This diverse and multi-faceted eatery offers set meals, combo courses and banquet courses in addition to its a la carte menu. Changes to the set courses are allowed to satisfy the choosy palates of more particular customers. Traditional Moroccan banquet dishes must be pre-ordered three days in advance; the owner herself will personally prepare the dishes.

Located within the Taipei National University of the Arts, the restaurant occupies 100 pings. This spot exudes its own unique style and by-the-river decor. Outside the restaurant, the bridged garden, fishpond landscaping and the lotus flowers echo and accentuate each other. The entrance features a custom-ordered bronze-patina door with an Arabian half-circle design. From the elevated ceiling hang 22 white- fabric lamps. The walls are vibrant orange stucco. The tables are tiled in red and black mosaics, allowing the diner to appreciate the beauty of this Moroccan art while eating. The Moroccan adornments, along with Chinese calligraphy and pottery, render an artistic feel for a richly-cultural dining atmosphere.

The Chinese-style dishes are diverse, while Moroccan dishes are prepared mainly through the methods of roasting, grilling, and braising. Signature dishes include Vegetable Couscous with Chicken (NT$360), Kofta in Tomato Sauce (NT$320) and Prunes Tajine Chicken/Beef/Lamb with pita bread (NT$320). The Moroccan Mint Tea (NT$150) is also another feature, a unique tea with the refreshing aroma of mint that is unforgettable!