Nestled on a quiet corner in the otherwise bustling Guting area of Taipei City, Ooh Cha Cha is now a legend and stalwart of the vegan scene in Taiwan.
As one of the original purveyors of healthy, whole food vegan fare; an eclectic mix of Western, Vietnamese and Taiwan cuisine with items like the Vietnamese Tofu Burger (a twist on a vegetarian bahn mi) and marinated tempeh rice bowls, almost any vegan who has visited Taipei would have paid a visit, or at least heard of Ooh Cha Cha.
A lot has been written about Ooh Cha Cha – whose emphasis is on local, whole, organic-where-possible, and raw food options, and it’s founders Mai Bach, Spencer Hudson, and Stella Wu – in various blogs and magazines, but we still feel like we have been keeping this gem as one of our little secrets for the last few years and decided we needed to share the love.
While tried and true, and standing the test of time, Ooh Cha Cha have never been afraid to innovate and frequent shake ups and additions to the menu keep things new and exciting while remaining predictably delicious.
One such new addition is the Ooh Cha Cha Kombucha, of which we tried the Pomegranate variety, which comes served with a handful of blueberries and is an outstanding brew. They also have a small selection of craft beers.
This visit was all about the burgers. Don’t worry, these aren’t your grand dads burgers. On a whole meal bun, with fresh ingredients, hand made sauces and no grease or oil in sight, these burgers are sophisticated, nutritionally balanced and look colourful and gorgeous.
The bacon cheese burger, whose name would suggest a lard filled encounter, is actually an amazing and innovative take on it’s distant smokey, meat filled Western cousin. With a firm beet based patty, a house made nacho vegan cheese and strips of eggplant bacon this is a burger that will hit the spot without hitting your arteries.
The Vietnamese tofu burger, as mentioned earlier, is like a bahn mi in a burger bun, with a lemongrass marinated tofu, a generous helping of cilantro (coriander), pickled carrot & raddish, and cucumber.
Both burgers come with a small serving of oven baked potato wedges and are outstanding with powerful flavours that have kept us coming back many times.
The other thing Ooh Cha Cha has developed a reputation for doing very well, are smoothies and raw cakes. There are several smoothie options to choose from, but as we’re writing this Taipei is experiencing a heat wave so we went for refreshing tropical flavours to cool us down.
The raw cashew based cakes are a great way to round off what is all in all a really satisfying and wholesome feed. They have a great consistency and no-too-sweet flavours (the coffee-chocolate option is a favourite here) with a raw nut-based crust.
Ooh Cha Cha also stocks a small array of grocery type items that you can conveniently pick up to take home; stone ground almond butter, cookies, gluten free oats from Runivore, and artisanal hand-crafted cashew cheese from Moon Cheese Taipei.
Ooh Cha Cha will soon be re-launching their satellite kitchen cafe Pantree, near Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall MRT, which will have an entirely fresh menu, and we’re looking forward to check out what is on offer.