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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pumpkin House: A Restaurant Review

Coco Hsiao

The Art Greenway, in the National Art Museum neighborhood here in Taichung, is a great place to spend a day off.  There is a lot of art to look at and lots of cafés where you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea.  Sometimes, however, a light snack is just not enough.  When your stomach tells you it needs a real meal, you might want to try one of my favorite arts neighborhood restaurants, Pumpkin House.

All photos by the author
  Everything at Pumpkin House is permeated with western country style. The outside of the restaurant is done in red brick to give it a nostalgic feeling.  After you go inside, you’ll be surprised at the many kinds of cute pumpkin decorations that fill this small space such as dolls, toys, and paintings. Their tables and chairs are made from wood, and the Pumpkin House staff has also has put some pillows or Teddy bears on the chairs to make them more comfortable.

In Pumpkin House, not only are the decorations great, but the ambiance is also wonderful. The brisk background music and bright natural light that passes through the whole restaurant create a simple living atmosphere where you can enjoy some quite alone time or chat quietly with friends.

The Pumpkin House serves set meals, a la carte dishes, and afternoon desserts. All set meals include salad, soup, entree, dessert, and drink. The menu includes steak meals, potato meals, and cheese gratin meals. The average price is around NT$290 to NT$490.

During my most recent visit, I ordered the pumpkin with smoked chicken, bacon, and cheese gratin set meal. I did not have to wait too long before a pleasant server with a big smile brought me my meal. The first dishes were a fresh vegetable salad and a bowl of tomato soup. There were four kinds of vegetables in the salad (corn, red & white carrots, and cucumbers), and the salad was served with Pumpkin House’s special salad dressing. The salad was fresh and crunchy, and I love that texture of food. The tomato soup tasted a little sour and a little sweet because of the many kinds of vegetables inside. 

The main dish included a piece of garlic bread, some smoked chicken, and a generous helping of cheese baked on the top of the rice. Inside the gratin were some potato cubes and sweet pumpkin pieces. The fragrance of the sweet pumpkin and rosemary smelled great. The main course was very filling. It was a bit salty for my taste, but still very tasty. If you order a gratin set meal, be careful to eat slowly because the filling is really hot. After my meals, I tried their special desert, a slice of cool pumpkin pie. The pie tasted soft and not too sweet – just like a custard tart.  It is very appropriate for young ladies who don’t want to get fat, too.  I highly recommend it!

I really enjoyed my lunch at this country style restaurant. I came away full at a reasonable price. However, I love Pumpkin House for not only for their delicious food at prices even a student can afford, but also for the easy feeling that their décor gives me – just like being in a foreign country. If you want to experience foreign countrified ambience, Pumpkin House is really worth a visit.

To get to Pumpkin House, you can take the No. 5 bus to the National Art Museum and cross Wuquan W. Road to the Greenway. Walk along the Greenway for around 10 minutes and you’ll see Pumpkin House on your right. Before you visit Pumpkin House, I suggest that you make a reservation to avoid the lunch hour crowd between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Also, remember that Halloween is coming soon, and this autumn festival just might be the perfect time for an unforgettable Pumpkin House dinner!
Pumpkin House

108 Wuquan 4th.Street, Xitun District, Taichung
Hours: 11:00-15:30 ; 17:00-22:20
Phone: 04-2372-8456

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