Nox on nostalgia
Updated: 2012-10-28 14:31
By Paul Cheyne in Taipei (China Daily)
A little over a year ago, a few like-minded friends decided to take their mutual passion for epicurean appreciation and create a space where people can simply come, relax, have a chat and drink and unwind while indulging in a few of life's little luxuries.
If you can imagine the old-style taverns in which people would order a drink and confide their woes as the bartender wiped down the bar and shared a shot, this is the place which brings that scene back to life. Only this is Taipei.
Right from the intriguing double door entrance, visitors can easily imagine leaving the hustle and urban bustle behind as they enter the calming, low-lit lounge and bar space.
With around 150 different varieties of Japanese, American and Scottish whiskies on offer, it goes without saying what their choice of poison is. But if whisky isn't your thing, there are plenty of other beverages including a wide selection of spirits, beers and cocktails. The only thing you do not get here is wine. For that you have to go across the road.
I was told that if you had a favorite cocktail in mind, they would do their best to conjure it up. And when they say "on the rocks" here, they literally mean it. Drinks are served on a huge ice ball handcrafted by NOX bartenders out of a large block of ice, so your drink remains cold without too much watering down.
Here, you can buy drinks the standard way or purchase a bottle and leave it with them for the next time if you cannot finish it all. But unlike other bars in Taipei which offer a similar service, once a bottle is purchased at Nox, there is no on-going "service charge" each time you choose to enjoy your bottle. A minimal fee only applies if you choose to share it with others.
There is also a selection of imported cigars on offer, as well as an Asian fusion tapas-style menu extracted from Taiwanese, Malaysian, Korean, Indian and European origins, prepared by a chef who used to work in Shangri-La Hotel.
This place is delightfully soft-spoken but has real talent humbly displayed in a gorgeous environment.
Another good feature of NOX is the clientele that it attracts: It ranges from business suits to the T-shirt brigade. There is little pretension here - everyone is made to feel welcome and comfortable, which generates an environment in which people from all backgrounds can come together.