Sugared & Spiced

巴黎甜點人

taipei cafe guide (英文)

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a poet

Behind a poet’s unobtrusive storefront is an enchanting courtyard filled with fresh flowers and greens, complete with a skylight that allows in plenty of natural light. Eclectic, sophisticated design, picture perfect! Come for a light lunch or afternoon tea. [desserts] 280~360 NTD, [drinks] 100~240 NTD, [dishes] 350~880 NTD. Click here for details.

Whiple House

This hidden gem is part apparel shop/part home decor retail space/part cafe. The best part? It’s nice and quiet even though I visited on a Sunday afternoon. Try their milk tea, which has an alluring aroma from the extra sprig of mint that was used in the brewing. Note: service can be spotty. [drinks] 150~200 NTD, [desserts] 180 NTD, [pasta] 320~480 NTD. Click here for details.

Cafe Flat White

The small alleys of Yongkang Street hide a good number of stylish cafes, Cafe Flat White being one of them. If you are lucky enough to find yourself a seat here (they don’t take reservations), it’s a perfectly comfortable spot to spend the afternoon. [drinks] 90~220 NTD, [food] 160~200 NTD. Click here for details.
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Season Cuisine Pâtissiartism

For a picture perfect afternoon tea, visit Season Cuisine Pâtissiartism, a cafe/restaurant that pours forth ingeniously and whimsically orchestrated desserts. There’s room for improvement in terms of flavor, but the presentation itself alone is worth the trip. Try the Mint Ice-Cream Pot, comprised of a layer of chocolate crumble covering mint ice-cream and chocolate cake. [afternoon tea] 520 NTD/set. Click here for details.

Cafe Megane 眼鏡咖啡

A stylish Japanese café serving simple and comforting food – onigiri (rice balls), chicken stew, waffles, green tea latte…all in a warm and subtle palette of natural wood with yellow lighting. This space is also filled with random curiosities on display for sale – artsy books, slightly disturbing paintings, and a spiny chestnut cupule used as a vase? [drinks] 100~220 NTD, [food] 180~280 NTD. Click here for details.

Woolloomooloo

Fujin Street, a quaint little road close to the Taipei Songshan Airport, is full of pleasant surprises. Take Woolloomooloo as an example: open plan, big communal tables, soft lighting, minimal service, delicious coffee. It’s the kind of place that has me lingering for a long long while. Downside: packed and a bit stuffy on weekends. [drinks] 60~240 NTD, [desserts] 100~250 NTD. Click here for details.

Micasa Dolci 蜜膳屋

At Micasa Dolci, each gorgeous sweet plate is an elaborately orchestrated ensemble of alluring colors, fancy garnishes, and extraordinary flavors – and everything is conjured up à la minute. It’s quite pricey compared to other patisseries in the city, but it is well worth the extra NTDs. [desserts] 300~400 NTD. Click here for details.

Smith & Hsu

Upon seated at Smith & Hsu, you will be presented with a myriad of tea samples on a tray. It’s an amusing and overwhelming experience as you open bottles after bottles, smelling blends after blends with intriguing names like “Pearls of the River Nile“, “Exquisite with Raspberry“, and “Rose of the Orient“. Can’t decide what to pick? Don’t worry, it’s part of the fun. [tea] 180~690 NTD, [afternoon tea sets] 235~1120 NTD. Click here for details.

Cha Cha Thé 采采食茶文化

This elegant teahouse/restaurant is a most welcomed center of calm admist the dizzying Taipei Eastern district, with beautiful interior design and tasteful merchandising that hint at the background of its owner Shiatzy Chen. Courteous staff, delicious food, beautiful ambience. Come and stay the whole afternoon. [afternoon tea] 480~580 NTD (+10%). Click here for details.

VVG Bon Bon 好樣棒棒

If Marie Antoinette were to fancy cupcakes in Taipei, she would undoubtedly get them from VVG Bon Bon. This fairytale-come-true escape is a resplendent medley of rose petal-adorned sweets, jars and jars of marshmallows, soft pink walls, sparkling chandeliers, oversized armchairs with furry pillows. So sumptuous, so ornate, so rococo, so…Marie Antoinette. [cupcakes] 80 NTD, [drinks] 120~250 NTD. Click here for details.

SALON DE THE de Joël Robuchon

This is Joël Robuchon, and Joël Robuchon does not disappoint. Be sure to try the macarons, with colorful thin crusts that break effortlessly at the teeth to reveal a soft and chewy cookie and a smooth, ganache-like firm filling. The canelés, with their thick caramelized crust and tender custard center, are also to die for. [macarons] 80 NTD, [cakes] 160~200 NTD, [afternoon tea set] 1040~1200 NTD. Click here and here for details.

Sadaharu Aoki 青木定治

Sadaharu Aoki is known for beautifully infusing Japanese ingredients and sensibilities into French confections, creating pastries, breads, and desserts that are a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds. But as I sat myself down and dug into these impeccably exquisite cakes and macarons at his new outpost in Taipei, I was disappointed. [cakes] 180~200 NTD, [macarons] 80 NTD. Click here for details.

Boite de Bijou 珠寶盒法式點心坊

A small French patisserie where the aroma of freshly baked bread permeates the air, where gorgeous cakes sit quietly inside a glass display, where light-hearted music waltz in the space, where waiters and waitresses carry smiles so genuine you can’t help but want to snap pictures of them. Boîte de Bijou, may I please fold you up in my suitcase and carry you back to Shanghai with me? [cakes] 120~150 NTD. Click here for details.

Zenique Le Salon 小茶栽堂

Zenique Le Salon boasts a rather attractive concept of integrating Taiwanese tea and French desserts. The actual executions aren’t as impressive as the idea itself, but the cafe is still a nice place to rest your feet if when in the Yongkang street area. Decent tea, above average desserts, friendly service, quiet ambience. Yeah, why not. [afternoon tea] 250~400 NTD/person. Click here for details.

Nido 巢

Nido is another cozy cafe in Taipei for you to add to the list of afternoon hangouts. The decor, though somehow not hitting all the right notes for me, is warm and comfortable. Try their Liuo Liuo Rare Cheese Cake (溜溜雪藏起司蛋糕), served with rose/peach jam and a little mound of graham cracker crumbles. It’s quite yummy. [drinks] 120~240 NTD, [desserts] 120~150 NTD. Click here for details.

Pekoe

Pekoe is a small cafe/gourmet ingredient store opened by Taiwanese food writer Yeh Yi-lan (葉怡蘭). What you can find here: Ippodo hojicha, Christine Ferber jams and jellies, Felsina olive oil, Alsace honey, Amedei chocolates, and the likes. Not a bad choice for stopovers during any time of the day. [drinks] 100~200 NTD.
Click here for details.

Dazzling Cafe

The only reason why I’m including Dazzling Cafe in this guide is because it’s so popular, and I have no idea why. There’s nothing to sing about their decor, ambiance, or service, and their famed honey toasts are huge disappointments. Not recommended. [honey toast] 200~380 NTD, [drinks] 140~160 NTD. Click here for details.

 

Written by sugared & spiced

March 11th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

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