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[Taipei 台北] Cafe Megane 眼鏡咖啡

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Cafe Megane 眼鏡咖啡

Add: No. 6, Lane 52, Siwei road, Taipei
Hours: 10am~8pm (closed on the last Wednesday of each month)
Website: coffeemegane.com
Price: 200~400 NTD/person
Visited: Dec 2016

I had already blogged about Cafe Megane years ago. This low-key Japanese-style coffee shop, hidden inside one of the small lanes of Siwei Road, has always been one of my favorites in Taipei. Revisiting it years later, it was comforting to find it mostly unchanged. The interior is warm with dark wood and yellow lighting, doesn’t fit more than 20 even when fully packed, and there are indeed glasses everywhere (“megane” means glasses in Japanese). The coffee here is perfect, the onigiri delicious, and I heard the matcha waffles are amazing as well. If you are fortunate enough to be living in or visiting Taipei, do find a quiet time to enjoy a cup of coffee here.

其實早在 2011 年剛開始寫部落格不久時,就介紹過眼鏡咖啡了。這家隱藏在台北四維路某個巷子裡的日系咖啡店,低調而有個性,一直是我很喜歡的地方。好幾年後再訪,安心的發現裏面一點也沒變。內部的裝潢是溫暖的原木和黃色燈光,店裡坐滿了也只能容納十幾個人,小小的店內到處都可以看到眼鏡的出沒。這裏的咖啡完美,飯團好吃,聽說抹茶松餅也做得極好。如果你很幸運的住在台北或去旅遊的話,絕對要挑個人少的時候來享受一杯安靜的咖啡。

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January 23rd, 2017 at 2:37 am

[Taipei 台北] VVG Hideaway 好樣祕境

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VVG Hideaway

Add: No. 136-1, Jingshan Rd, Taipei City
Tel: (02) 2862 6488
Hours: 12-9pm
Price: 500-700 NTD
Visited: Dec 2016

This time in Taipei, I headed to Yangming Mountain to explore one of Taipei’s more popular cafe/restaurants, called VVG Hideaway. Online, this place has been described as “secret little white house nestled in the mountains” or “heaven-like dreamy secret hiding place”, which I found exaggerated to a point of being funny, but it is true that the photos look quite stunning. Though I was never a big fan of the food from VVG group, I was still willing to trek out there just to take a look at the space.

這次在台北,抽了一天上陽明山探了探當前人氣網紅店之一的 “好樣秘境 VVG Hideaway”。之前看到對這家店的描述,大多是 “坐落于山林間的秘密小白屋”,或著 “天堂般夢幻的白色秘境” 這類的。心裡想著這也太誇張了,不過看了照片後還是忍不住被吸引。雖然知道好樣集團出品的食物向來 “…”,不過爲了美麗的環境硬是要去踩個地雷 - 大概是這樣一個心態。

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To get to VVG Hideaway by public transportation, you need to take the MRT to “Jiantan Station” and hop on Bus #303 to “Qinshanli #2 Stop”. Personally I find that quite troublesome – apparently some people waited for an hour because they missed the bus – but if you happen to have a lot of time, or are lucky enough like I was to have a friend drive you, then why not explore?

如果搭乘公共交通前往,得坐捷運至 “劍潭站” 再轉搭 “303號公車” 在 “菁山里二站” 下車。個人覺得這太麻煩了(聽說有人沒看好公車時間,等了一個小時的),不過如果你剛好很閒,或著和我一樣幸運的有朋友開車載上山的話,倒不妨去瞧瞧。

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January 18th, 2017 at 11:09 am

[Taipei 台北] Quelques Pâtisseries 某某。甜点

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Quelques Pâtisseries 某某。甜点

Add: 34, Lane 102, Section 1, Anhe Road, Taipei
Tel: (02) 2755 4097
Hours: Wed-Sun 1-7pm (closed Mon & Tue)
Price: [pastries] 160-200 TWD [tea] 110-120 TWD
Visited: Jun 2016

There has been a burst in growth of French-style pastry shops in Taipei during the past few years, and actually, quite a few of them were opened by fellow alums from Ferrandi, where I had completed my professional pastry training. On this recent trip back to Taipei, I visited one of them called Quelques Pâtisseries, which literally means “a few pastries” in French. Cute, no?

台北近幾年來法式甜點店一家接著一家開,其中不少是由和我在巴黎同一所學校(Ferrandi費杭第高等廚藝學院)的校友所經營。這次在台北短短幾天,在僅能擠出時間探訪了一家的情況下,我選擇了去年底才開幕的 “Quelques Pâtisseries 某某。甜點”。

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The shop was started by two girls – Lai, who is in charge of the kitchen, and Jiou Jiou (the cutiepie below), who takes care of everything front of house. I met both of them at Ferrandi, and knowing that they are two perfectionists, it’s no surprise that Quelques Pâtisseries is lovely from head to toe – the interior design, decoration, furniture, and of course, the pastries themselves.

Quelques pâtisseries 法文直譯的意思是 “幾個甜點”,很可愛的名字。負責外場的 Jiou Jiou(下圖裏的小美女)和內場的 Lai 都是我在 Ferrandi 的好朋友,兩個完美主義者組合在一起,也難怪某某從店裝到甜點的每個細節都令人無可挑剔。

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August 23rd, 2016 at 12:29 pm

[Taipei 台北] L’Air Café Néo-Bistro 風流小館

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L’Air Café Néo-Bistro 風流小館

Add: No.5, Lane 174, Jinhua Street, Taipei
Tel: 02 3343 3937
Hours: 12-3pm, 6-10pm (closed on Wed)
Price: [lunch] 1200+ TWD [dinner] 4000+ TWD
Visited: Jun 2016

L’Air Café, as casual as the name suggests, is actually a refined bistro serving delicate French cuisine. It’s a collaboration between the owner of Boite de Bijou, a boulangerie/patisserie I raved about back in 2011, and head chef Dana Yu, who has honed her skills under Singapore celebrity chef Justin Quek and Robuchon Taipei among other prestigious establishments. L’Air Café has been a favorite among many of my friends living in Taipei since its opening in 2012, but as I had left for Paris that year, it wasn’t until this recent trip that I finally got to pay my first visit.

風流小館是台灣知名的珠寶盒面包店和兔子聽音樂的老板開的法式餐廳,是我很多住在台北的朋友都喜歡的店。餐廳位于永康商圈一個安靜的角落,有大片的落地窗,望出去是金華公園的一整片綠。掌管廚房的女主廚 Dana 在新加坡名廚 Justin Quek 手下工作多年後,加入了台北的 Robuchon 的開幕團隊,最後來到了風流小館。 之前在網上和她稍有交流,這次回台北,決定來嚐嚐她的料理。

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L’Air Café is located at a quiet corner in the Yongkang neighborhood. I came by during lunch time, and my mood was immediately elevated by 1) the ample sunshine pouring in from the floor-to-ceiling windows, and 2) this lovely-looking menu dotted with Spring and Summer colors, bright enough to cast away any dark clouds.

當季菜單的設計,非常春夏的顔色,拿在手裏心情都輕飄飄了起來。

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The meal started with this: white asparagus jelly, lemon-flavored crab meat, white asparagus slices, chorizo, and caviar. From the color to the flavor to the texture, each element is light and elegant, a most pleasant start.

Dana 的料理風格溫柔細致,比如這道白蘆筍凍搭配檸檬風味蟹肉、白蘆筍片、西班牙香腸及魚子醬,從顔色至風味和口感都清淡優雅,非常怡人。

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Sweet fish (ayu), sweet fish liver, honeydew.

香魚與香魚肝佐哈密瓜。

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August 14th, 2016 at 9:39 am

[Taipei 台北] Plants

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Plants

Add: 1F, No 10, Ln 253, Sec 1, Fuxing S. Rd., Da-an Dist., Taipei
Tel: (02) 2784-5677
Hours: [Tue-Fri] 11:30am-9:30pm [Sat-Sun] 10am-9:30pm
Price: 500-800 TWD/person
Visited: Jun 2016

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’m far from being a vegetarian – as a food blogger, I pretty much eat everything and anything the restaurants serve. When on my own, however, I rare order or cook any meat, preferring light meals filled with lots of veggies. So when my friends in Taipei took me to Plants, a recently opened vegan/gluten-free/whole foods cafe, I was immediately charmed by it.

我本身並不是素食主義者,不過最近的確是吃的越來越輕盈了。這次在台北被朋友帶去了才剛開幕的 Plants,馬上喜歡上這家由兩個女孩子 Square 和 Lily 經營的 “植物性、無麸質、全食物小食堂”。

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Plants prepares their food based on three principles: “plants-based” – their food is free from eggs, dairy, honey and all other animal products; “gluten-free” – they do not use any wheat, barley, rye nor any grains with gluten, and instead use certified gluten-free oats, carefully choosing their sources to avoid cross-contaminated with gluten; “whole foods” – they use whole ingredients, unrefined sugars, and no overly processed food nor funny additives.

“植物性” (plant-based),以不傷害動物爲原則,完全采用全植物食材,也沒有蛋、奶、或蜂蜜;“無麸質” (gluten-free),不使用引起麸質過敏的食材;“全食物” (whole foods),指的是未精致過、可看到天然樣貌的食材。光聽就知道是家用心的好店。

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“Count nutrients, not calories”. Word.

小小的食堂清新明亮,牆上寫著 “Count nutrients, not calories”,透過櫃台能隱約看到後面的廚房。

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July 26th, 2016 at 7:30 am

[Taipei 台北] Shoun Ryugin 祥雲龍吟

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Shoun Ryugin 祥雲龍吟

Add: 5F, No.301, Le Qun 3rd Road, Taipei
Tel: (02) 8501 5808
Hours: [Tue-Sun] 6-9:30pm (last order), closed on Mon
Website: www.nihonryori-ryugin.com.tw
Price: 6500 TWD + 10%
Visited on: Jun 2016

Please note that this was an invited tasting.

One of the meals I most looked forward to on this trip to Taipei was dinner at Shoun Ryugin, the sister restaurant of three Michelin star Ryugin in Tokyo. I visited Ryugin five years ago and was quite blown away by Chef Seiji Yamamoto’s impeccable cuisine, so naturally I was excited to try his Taipei establishment, which features the richness of Taiwan’s local ingredients while striving for the same memorable dining experience.

請注意這是餐廳安排試吃。

五年前慕名去了東京米其林三星的龍吟,當時就對山本征治主廚的極致料理相當佩服。後來聽說他在台北開了家姐妹店,而最近才知道這家分店和RAW(以及很多台北其他的餐廳)都是HASMORE赫士盟餐飲集團經營的。這次多虧了他們的邀請,讓我嚐到了這兩家餐廳。

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Upon entering, I was first served a cup of cold brew tea at the reception area (godsend on this hot hot summer day in Taipei), and once our entire dinner party has arrived, we were led into the elegant dining room via a stone path.

抵達後,服務人員讓我在休息區稍坐,幷送上一杯冰涼的冷泡茶(台北夏天,太需要了)。店內沈穩優雅的風格,和東京本店有些相似。

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July 26th, 2016 at 4:15 am

[Taipei 台北] RAW

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RAW

Add: No.301, Le Qun 3rd Road, Taipei
Tel: (02) 8501 5800
Hours: [Wed-Sun] 11:30am-2:30pm, 6-10pm (closed on Mon & Tue)
Website: www.raw.com.tw
Price: 1850 TWD + 10%
Visited: Jun 2016

Please note that this was an invited tasting.

My friends’ first reaction to me going to RAW was uniformly – “How did you get a reservation?!”…and immediately after: “Can I come with you?” It’s no surprise they are so shocked – since opening in 2014, seats at RAW get snatched up literally seconds after being released, everyday – even many of my friends living in Taipei haven’t had a chance to go yet. What’s the big deal?

請注意這是餐廳邀請試吃。

朋友們聽到我要去RAW,第一個反應都是:“你居然訂到了!”,然後就是 “可以帶我去嗎?” 的確,這家餐廳自2014年開幕以來每天都被秒殺訂滿,連我很多住在台北的朋友至今都還沒吃到過。這麽難訂的餐廳,值得嗎?噢,絕對值得。

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The reason why RAW is so wildly popular, other than the fact that it’s conceptualized by André Chiang (of the Restaurant André fame), is also because it consistently offers delicious and creative cuisine at a reasonable price of 1850 TWD+10%. RAW positions itself as “bistronomy” – the combination of bistro and gastronomy – meaning that it’s not as uptight as fine dining restaurants, but is more refined than the typical bistro both in terms of decor and cuisine. I’m quite familiar with this style as I frequented many neobistros in Paris, and was curious to see the Taiwanese version at RAW.

RAW的定位是bistronomy(bistro和gastronomy的結合),沒有高級餐廳需正襟危坐的拘束感,又比普通小館子來得精致,在料理上更是下足了功夫。而它這麽紅的原因,除了因爲主廚是江振誠(台灣名廚,在新加坡的André餐廳已連續好幾年名列世界前50餐廳榜單),當然還是因爲料理本身出色,而且價格實在令人無法抱怨(1850台幣+10%)。

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July 22nd, 2016 at 3:51 am

[Taipei] Café de Riz 米販食堂

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Café de Riz 米販食堂

Add: 34, Lane 78, Section 1, An He Road, Taipei /台北市大安區安和路一段78巷34號
Tel: (02) 2755 6587
Hours: [Tue-Sun] 11:30am-10pm
Price: 600~1,200 NTD/set
Visited: Feb 2015

When Yuji Nomura left in 2013, the owners of Nomura Sushi renovated the space to become what is now Café de Riz. Literally “rice cafe”, the focus here is of course on the rice, showcased in the form of donburi and ochazuke (which they call “consommé rice” here at the cafe). It was chilly on the day of my visit, and a hot bowl of ochazuke was exactly what I had on my mind…

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In terms of space, Café de Riz is rectangular shaped and neatly sectioned into the kitchen, bar, and table areas. The style of decor is a mix of elegant and cute, with clean lines, soft lighting, and chic little knickknacks placed here and there. Many items, the plates and chopsticks included, are hand-carried back from Japan by the owners themselves. It shows that a lot of heart has been put into making this place a most pleasant one possible.

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March 23rd, 2015 at 11:12 am

[Taipei] AGCT Apartment

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AGCT Apartment

Add: 3F, No. 2-2, Lane 49, Wen Zhou Street, Taipei / 台北市溫州街49巷2-2號3樓
Tel: (02) 2369 6659
Hours: [Wed-Sun] noon-11pm (closed Mon & Tue)
Website: www.agctgroup.com
Price: 120-200 NTD/drink
Visited: Feb 2015

I put AGCT apartment on my list of cafes to visit in Taipei, convinced that it’s, well, a cafe. It took me a while to find, hidden on the 3rd floor of a nondescript building on the very quaint Wen Zhou Street, accessible only after ringing a doorbell and ascending through a dark elevator…which makes the lovely ambience inside AGCT a surprisingly contrast. The space is soft and airy with afternoon light streaming in from large windows, and chairs are placed at comfortable distances to allow room for small talks. Only when I sat down to order did I realize that AGCT is much more than a cafe.

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As the friendly shop owner soon explained to me, AGCT is actually a local Taiwanese fashion brand that he launched in 2009 with his partner. The cafe is their showroom, though guests are also welcome to linger for light food and drinks. From what I could see, most people – myself included – were there for coffee rather than the fashion selection, and this is something that AGCT is trying to change by potentially making the cafe a member-only space. For now, you can still come and go freely, though reservation is highly recommended.

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March 22nd, 2015 at 11:16 am

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[Taipei] Juicy Diary

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Juicy Diary

Add: 1F., No. 68, Lane 233 Dunhua S. Road, Taipei / 台北市大安區敦化南路一段233巷68號1樓
Tel: (02) 8771 4358
Hours: [Tue-Sat] 11am-7pm [Sun] 3-7pm (closed on Mon)
Website: juicydiary.com.tw
Price: 250 NTD/bottle
Visited: Feb 2015

I’ve known Mark for a while – over 10 years, perhaps? – and I’ve always categorized him in the “fashion” crowd. I mean, we are talking about a guy who went to Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, whose resume reads YSL, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Giorgio Armani…so it was a complete surprise when he messaged me one day and said, “Hey, I’m moving back to Taiwan to open a detox juice shop.”

What?

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But he really did. Together with his wife Anita, Mark started Juicy Diary in Taipei in October 2014. This, however, is no ordinary juice bar that you can find on the streets of Taipei. For one, the technology they use for extracting juices is completely different from the traditional method, which is to blend fruits and vegetables through high-speed cutting. The blending process heats and oxidizes the fruits, and as a result many essential vitamins, enzymes, proteins, and minerals are lost. Juicy Diary, on the other hand, uses imported cold-press juicing machines to extract juice directly from the pulp through pressure, which minimizes oxidation and preserves the maximum amount of nutrients.

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Other than individual bottles, Juicy Diary also offers juice sets for those who are in need of a cleanse. To be honest, juice cleanse was probably the last thing on my mind when I visited Taipei because all I could think about is how to stuff my face with all these food that I won’t see for another year or more…plus it was Chinese New Years holiday, which means justified/obligatory overeating. But perhaps I really overdid it, and I somehow found myself at Juicy Diary on the last day of my trip, feeling in need of a break from food.

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For recipes, Mark and Anita work with professional nutritionists and use only organic produce, local or imported, and it goes without saying that there are no artificial additives. The bottles (all priced at 250 NTD) are categorized into four groups – Citrus, Roots, Greens, and Nuts – and I sampled quite a few on this first visit, including Citrus 2 (pineapple, cucumber, lemon, apple, mint, chia seeds), Roots 3 (oranges, apple, carrots, celery, parsley), Roots 4 (beets, pineapple, lemon), and Green 6 (kale, orange). I went home with a bottle of Citrus 2, which ended up being my last meal in Taipei and made me feel all light and airy….until I flew off to Phuket for more overeating, d’oh.

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March 21st, 2015 at 12:42 pm