Taipei 2012 - Lunch at Shiyang Culture Restaurant

Want to know a secret ? This is without a doubt the best fine-dining experience in Taipei - and It costs only around RM 150 per person. It is a culinary feast that you will not soon forget.

The restaurant is tucked in the mountains in the North-East of Taipei. To get there you need to drive for around 1 hour through some hilly but scenic country side. The restaurant itself is housed in a 2-storey building with a centre open-courtyard. The simple yet elegant design is heavily Japanese influenced. It has a Zen-like feel about it that harmonizes well with the natural surroundings. Most of the dining rooms look into the mountains, but some of the smaller dining rooms which are tucked into the hillside are also quite interesting - offering a cave-like ambiance sans the view.

The food is a multi-course set affair. You don’t get to choose the courses, and the only concession is they will ask before hand whether you are allergic to any particular food items - which they will try to avoid. There is no menu - so each course is a surprise.

It started with an amouse bouche - a vegetable soup topped with some fish roe that was deceptively simple - but packed with flavours.

Then course after course started to arrive. Outstanding is the only word to describe them - the freshness of ingredients, the skill of preparation, and the beauty in presentation were all top notch !

The Starter was a trio of vegetable tempura, tofu and a rolled sushi topped with salmon roe.

The next course was a very delicious Chawanmushi with scallop presented with a beautiful flower.

Next came this platter of shashimi and fresh vegetables. I just had to wonder how they brought such fresh seafood up into the mountains.

Palate cleansers are served in between some of the courses. These were pineapple juice spiked with passion fruits.

The next course looked really impressive - grilled big prawns with roasted pumpkin and an inari sushi filled with rice and a slice of white fish - probably kisu. Very tasty.

Steamed glutinous rice with ham and mushroom. Another well executed dish.

The famous chicken soup with blossoming lotus flower. Very theatrical - and tastes divine.

The most memorable dish was a toss-up between the shashimi platter, or the chicken soup. The soup was served as the last of the main courses - we were all stuffed to the brim, but still had to have 2nd or 3rd helpings. It was that good !

I would have to say that dessert is quite simple and probably not their forte - yam mochi and fresh fruits. But how can you complain after such an amazing meal.

On your next visit to Taipei, do yourself a favour and book a seat at Shiyang Culture Restaurant. It is guaranteed to be the highlight of your trip.


Pegs said…
Reading this post, triggered my taste tub memories... Oh yummm....
Very likr Shiyang Culture Restaurant on Ranthambore Hotels
Have lunch at Shenyang culture incipient. Useful information

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