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HOME > NORTH TAIWAN > TAIPEI > DINING >
RESTAURANT roundup

TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE, September 2004

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Pisces Coffee Garden

134, JinShan Road, Yang Ming Shan, Taipei
(02) 2862-6898
Hours: 11 am -2 am;Fridays and Saturdays: 11 am-3 am
Credit cards not accepted. No service charge.

On a sloping hill, seemingly on a road to nowhere, one may be surprised to find an open, outdoor dining area, and Pisces (Shuang Yu) Coffee Garden. When the weather is nice, it feels as if you can hug the entire sky while you breathe in the in the fresh Yang Ming Mountain scents at this very popular open-air cafe. The Spicy Chicken Leg with a Peach Sauce (NT$240) is the favorite house dish. The Spaghetti with a Mushroom and Bacon Cream Sauce (NT$200) is entirely worth the long drive up the mountain. One thing you will find here that you find nowhere else on the mountain is the special Twin Fish caffine-free Wheat Coffee (NT$140) served hot or cold. The Twin Fish Milk Tea (NT$160) is served hot with whisky and cold with Baileys Irish Cream. Tea Time runs from 5 to 12 pm. Order a drink and save NT$20 on your cake and biscuits order. This is a great place for families because of its large out door gardens and long tree swing for the kids.

Secret Garden Coffee Shop and Restaurant

136-1, JinShan Road, Yang Ming Shan, Taipei
(02) 2861-4067 / 2861-7450
Hours: 9 am-12 am
Hours: 11:30 am-2:30 pm(Lunch);
5:30 pm-9 pm(Dinner)
Credit cards not accepted.

Located on an old pig farm in the mountains, Secret Garden, hideaway of Taipei sweethearts, was renovated and designed by owner James Lai to represent an Italian country villa. Some people are taken aback by the rustic Italian design, openness and light from the transparent roof, colorful accoutrements, and stark white walls, and pause to praise the Secret Garden's simplicity and beauty.
Although early morning mountain hikers like to stop here for a rest, the Secret Garden is best during tea and dinner times. Along with the German Pork Knuckles (NT$350) the Secret Garden's many types of spaghetti (NT$200-NT$250) are the favorite food items here. In the winter, Yam and Seafood Buns (NT$250) are a crowd favorite.
Refills on coffee (NT$130 to NT$160) are free for American coffee, and half price for the second cup on special coffees. Self-serve hot tea refills are a bargain for students and those on a budget and NT$100 can easily last a whole afternoon as you refill the large fruit filled teacups.

Yang Guang Shui An

12, Lane 131, JinShan Road, Yang Ming Shan, Taipei
(02) 2861-9088-9
Hours:11 am-12 am; 11 am-1 am(Saturdays and Sundays)
Credit cards not accepted.

Roughly translated into "Sunny Peaceful Waters",Yang Guang Shui An is close to a mountain stream; tables line the bank and one can even wade in the stream. It's only been open two months and is a great place for the family to take an afternoon getaway. The restaurant has a modern look and artistic feel to it. In fact, the old, small farmhouse has been converted into a living art studio, conjuring up a feeling of New York's Soho District. There are Belgian beers like Delirium Tremons and others in many different fruit flavors. If you're driving, be careful because the alcohol percentage of these beers can reach 9%. Set meals run from NT$360 to NT$520 and consist of tasty items like French Style Roasted Spare Ribs of Lamb (NT$520). If the set meal is too much for you, then there are European-style snacks like German Sausage with Fried Eggs (NT$300). Pastries and cheese cakes (NT$70) of many types fill the menu.

Montmartre Restaurant and Photo Studio

13, Lane 131, JinShan Road, Yang Ming Shan, Taipei
(02) 2862-4347
0935-792767
Hours:10 am-12 am;
10 am-1 am (Saturdays and Sundays)
Credit cards not accepted.

Owner Lai Yue Zhong rebuilt built from scratch with his own hands and design, including the planting of the grass Montmarte is more than just coffee house and restaurant; it is more an art house and a photo studio. In fact, by appointment the place can be reserved for wedding or salon photos. Lai Yue Zhong or his partner Wei Wei will take the photos themselves. It is probably the most casual coffee house on the mountain; like a famous Chicago restaurant, or dining in the luxury of a comfortable in a French-style villa. The best part is saving the cost of flying half way around the world to do so. The food is Chinese-Tomato and Spicy Chicken with Rice (NT$380) - and Western-Country Chicken, Goose Liver and Filet Mignon (NT$480 to NT$650) style set meals. Coffee, tea and other beverages are on par with the surrounding restaurants. This place is all about style and romance, even the outdoors areas have a soft light, and romantic and soulful Edith Piaf music fills the air. Montmarte is the ideal mountain retreat for a Valentine's date or a special anniversary.

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