Shi-Yang Culture Restaurant is so exclusive that you will never know about it or stumble across it unless someone mentioned it to you. It’s hidden on top of a mountain in XiZhi and the only way to get there is via a car. Shi-Yang Culture Restaurant boasts a waiting list that can stretch out to months — something that’s not really common in Taipei.
Taipei is known for its array of good food that are easily accessible. Around where I live there are probably over 20 great restaurants that serve enticing meals at very affordable prices. So I was a bit hesitant to make a trip to Shi-Yang Culture Restaurant for a scrumptious dinner when I could just cross the road.
Whatever doubts I had about the restaurant, were quickly washed away as soon as I stepped outside of the cab. The location was zen-like and I was immediately engulfed by trees, flowers and even a small waterfall. The fresh air carried the subtle scents exuded from the jasmine, camphor and grapefruit trees.
The outdoor ambiance was recreated in the open private dining rooms. Each room was minimalistic yet stylish. We were in a dimly lit room featuring natural elements of sandstone walls and wooden furniture.
The food at Shi-Yang Culture Restaurant is decadent. They offer a set degustation dinner menu that also caters to vegetarians. The meals are a fusion of traditional Taiwanese and Japanese, but with a modern twist.
Every course that came out was a delight on the eye as well as the taste buds. The sashimi platter looked too good to eat and was presented like a work of art. Even something like a bowl of steamed egg was was accompanied by an elegant floral decoration.
The highlight of the meal was the final course, which was chicken broth soup filled with lotus, mushrooms and legumes. It looked quite ordinary, until the waiter carefully placed a dried lotus flower in the bowl. The lotus flower floated on top of the soup and slowly opened its petals, blooming right before our eyes.
The set dinner meal cost a little over NT $1,000 per person. Quite pricey compared to a standard dinner meal in Taiwan. However, paying under US $35 for a delicious degustation menu in an enchanting environment is not overly expensive. I would highly recommend Shi-Yang Culture Restaurant for a fine dining experience, it’s definitely worth the hassle of getting there. Just remember to book ahead to avoid any disappointments.
Here’s a photo of us looking super excited before our meals. Special thanks to Eva and Dahuang (pictured on the right) for taking me to this secretive restaurant.
Shi-Yang Culture Restaurant
Tel : +886-2-26462266
Address : No. 7, Lane 350, Sec 3, Xi Wan Rd. XiZhi City,Taipei County, Taiwan