Sugared & Spiced

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[Taipei] Si Zhi Tang 四知堂

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Si Zhi Tang 四知堂

Add: 18, Section 3, Jinan Road, Taipei / 台北市濟南路3段18號
Tel: (02) 8771 9191
Hours: 12-10pm
Price: 800-1200 NTD/person
Visited: Feb 2015

Si Zhi Tang, a low-profile Taiwanese fusion restaurant with dishes that are a little bit out of the ordinary. Reviews of this place are highly mixed, with the negatives generally focusing on its high prices. I was debating whether to try this or just go to a good old Taiwanese restaurant with guaranteed good food and good prices, but decided to come here anyway to see what it’s about. The meal turned out to be quite pricey as expected, but the dishes were delicious, the service was smooth, and the overall dining experience very pleasant. I’d say it’s a nice place to try at least once.

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Si Zhi Tang might be slightly hard to find even if you have the exact address, especially if you go after dark. When you reach No. 18 on Section 3 Jinan Road, look for a small alleyway-like entrance that will lead you to the restaurant.

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The interior is shabby chic with an eclectic selection of decorations. The dining room is dimly lit and quite dark even with natural light oozing in from the windows, and I imagine during dinner time it would be even more somber. Having said that, the ambience is very pleasant with friendly service and light-hearted music floating in the background.

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The menu is hand-written and, interestingly and perhaps slightly disturbingly – doesn’t include any price information.

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House-made bread with complimentary cold appetizers.

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白豆酒蒸蛤蜊, clams steamed with white beans and wine (600 NTD). It’s a soupy dish with great flavors from the clams and lots of ginger, perfect to warm up the body on a cold day like this.

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麥門冬栗子排骨 Short ribs stewed with chestnuts and liriope (480 NTD). I’ve never had 麥門冬 liriope before, and learned on this occasion that it’s a medicinal ingredient that does a bunch of good things to your body. 

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乾菜炒牛肉, stir-fried beef and dried cauliflower (480 NTD). The dish is finished with dash of vinegar which gives it an intense and very appetizing acidity. Perfect with a bowl of rice.

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茭白炒山蘇 Stir-fried bird’s-nest fern and water bamboo (400 NTD). A fellow luncher told me that 山蘇 (birds’-nest fern) tend to be quite tough, but the ones we had at Si Zhi Tang were crisp and tender. Quality ingredients for sure.

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五穀米, five-grain rice (30 NTD/bowl).

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For desserts, we tried the vanilla soufflé (250 NTD), blueberry tart (200 NTD), and white grape tart (150 NTD), nothing too complicated but all pretty tasty.

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The meal ended with a complimentary cup of African Rooibos tea, refilled promptly as needed.

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Reflection. Candle wannabe!

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Plus 10% service fee, the meal turned out to be 2882 NTD for three people. Pricey for Taiwanese food? Yes, but I really enjoyed the experience. Each dish was thoughtfully put together with quality ingredients, service was smooth and attentive, and atmosphere very pleasant. This would be an especially appropriate place to take foreigners who would like to try Taiwanese food in a nice setting, though locals might very well enjoy it too for a change from the typical Taiwanese restaurants.

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Written by sugarednspiced

February 10th, 2015 at 4:12 am

Posted in taipei

Tagged with , ,