> TAIPEI > DINING
FUN MAGAZINE, November, 2005.
1, Lane 16, XinSheng S. Rd., Sec. 3
Hours: 10 am-11:30 pm
Credit cards accepted. No smoking.
YOUR RATING & REVIEW | VIEW VISITORS RATINGS &
--By Claire Tyrell Translated by Charlie
Taipei is the 24-hour city. We play
hard, shop hard and sometimes, just sometimes, we need
to recoup hard, too. Enter the teahouse. Wistaria Tea
House, to be specific.
Wistaria House, officially an historical site, has served
as a gathering place for scholars, artists and political
dissenters. Now a teahouse with a forward-thinking view
of tea culture, it notes "quietness allows you
to rid yourself of vexation...a precondition for gaining
clarity about one's own existence".
Choose from a beautiful dining room
or a smaller room of tatami mats. In each, the attention
to detail is perfect. A calming painting here, a beautifully
arranged flower there-all create the desired effect.
There is a small menu of light meals (NT$200-300) and
traditional snacks such as seeds, dried fruits, tasty
pineapple or blueberry cakes (NT$50-100). However, tea
is the focus and the tea menu is extensive, offering
over 15 different kinds. Menus are only in Chinese,
but the staff speak English well enough to recommend
a tea to your personal taste. Those unsure are generally
recommended to try the pleasant Oolong Black Tea, or
the medium Dong Ding Oolong. These local Taiwanese teas
cost between NT$200 and NT$320. For the tea connoisseur,
fine Chinese teas are also available; some of them are
apparently the age of a vintage wine, and their prices
reflect their quality.
If the array of utensils that arrives
leaves you bewildered, they can lead you through the
ritual, and then leave you to the comfort, and the slight
buzz engendered by the tea.
Wistaria certainly creates a unique atmosphere and,
on a weekday afternoon, offers relaxing music, soft
chatter and the bubbling of boiling water. On a weekend
afternoon, the dining room can be a riot of enthusiastic
Yet, even after an entire afternoon of ridding myself
of vexation, the tea still lasted longer than I did!