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Mei's Tea Bar

-- By Claire Tyrell Translated by Liu Fang Ru

Stroll down a quiet lane off the ever-busy YongKang Street, and you may chance upon Mei's place. It's an ideal retreat where the relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere allows your mind to escape the busy city outside, making it popular with intellectuals and creative thinkers. Settle into the comfortable seating, surrounded by original art. The perfect accompaniment to informed debate is the quality drinks available -- Mei's place being one of the rare establishments where fantastic teas and good alcoholic beverages are both available to suit all moods.

Mei, previously owner of the well-known nearby Maussac tea shop, is keen to offer suggestions. Teas hail from China, Japan, Taiwan and India, and Mei was keen to recommend the Hualien Black Tea (NT$150/pot) -- which was apparently, during the Japanese colonial era, considered fit to serve to the emperor. Also on the be-sure-to-try list are the special Sun Moon Lake Black Tea (NT$180/pot) and Indian Chai (NT$180) -- an aromatic blend of three different spices, with Assam tea and fresh milk.
The wines and beers here vary, reflecting a continual desire to seek out some of the best that is on offer. Bottles of wine cost from NT$700-1,200, with house wine at NT$150 a glass. The selection of beers starts at NT$110 for local offerings and go up to NT$160 for good Belgian beers, including a Belgian banana beer, which I approached doubtfully, but loved! Spirits are also available for NT$160-220.

To accompany your drink, try the great Cheese Plate for just NT$100, the popular German Sausage Plate (NT$100) or meals that include the Lemon Chicken (NT$100) or a mean Beef or Vegetarian Chilli for just NT$200.
When you find yourself in the area and both your feet and mind need a time out, be sure to step into Mei's. Current regulations require us to remind readers not to drink and drive.

(02) 2394-2425
16, Lane 37, YongKang Street
Hours: 3 pm-1 am (open to 2 am on weekends)
Credit cards not accepted.
Smoking section outside.
MRT: GuTing or CKS
Alcoholic drinks are strictly prohibited for those under 18.

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