One of the pitfalls of Taiwan’s small townships is that there’s usually bugger all to eat late at night.
Usually that wouldn’t be a problem as you’d tuck into dinner at the usual 6-9pm time period. Taiwan being Taiwan though, a combination of late working nights, balmy warm evenings and the general laid back nature of its small towns has meant I’ve come to live with and love the hunt for a late night snack.
Typically this translates into fried or boiled this and that, or if I’m really desperate a trip down to the local 24 hour McDonalds.
Offering up an alternative is Till Village and it was one late summer night I found myself with a craving for some fried food and beer that saw me walk in the door of the Toufen franchise.
Part of the “European” branding the name suggests, Till Village attempts to recreate the atmosphere of a European (British?) pub atmosphere of old. Not quite a pub though (there’s no bar), what you wind up with instead is a weird bistro vibe.
In the relatively small township of Toufen, this didn’t really seem to be working out and at around 11pm on a Saturday night, we found Till Village deserted:
As you can see, Till Village’s decor attempts to be European inspired but with weird little figurines everywhere and photos of kittens on the wall, just comes across as being weird (or how a Taiwanese princess might envisage a European style bistro to look like).
Getting down to the food side of things, despite being open late (the neighbouring Till Village in Jhunan Township is actually open 24 hours), we were informed the only items available on the menu were fried food and drinks.
This was a bit of a disappointment but we pressed on and ordered the “Fried Snacks Set” ($218 TWD):
and a “deep fried chicken wing” ($70 TWD), which was actually a drumstick:
The snack set was as good as an assortment of fried (presumably) frozen food could be, and the deep fried chicken was a bit dry.
Drinks wise the girlfriend ordered an “ice cream coke” ($90 TWD):
and I took the Heineken Draft Beer in a “middle” size ($120 TWD):
The Heineken was easily the best part of the meal…
All in all we walked away $498 TWD lighter and feeling not that full. I kind of got the impression we were paying a huge premium for a “western” experience, which when living in Taiwan you come to expect but perhaps not this much.
Being deserted on a Saturday night didn’t seem like a good sign and I can only conclude that the idea they’re going for doesn’t really sit well with the locals in the area.
Mind you if all Till Village are serving up is alcohol and fried food late at night, then apart from the decor they’re not really differentiating themselves from the much cheaper food available. In that sense I guess I’m not surprised we were the only ones there for the hour or so we sat.