Typhoon Nanmadol was approaching Taiwan during our stay causing unstable climate and frequent showers. We were afraid we would be stuck in the hotel (not so much about flight delays or cancellation to be honest, really don't mind staying longer), but luckily by the time we got up the early morning shower has stopped and left us with a gloomy sky. I like waking in the rain, it is rather romantic as well but only if it is light rain or shower not heavy rain AND strong winds!
Yes, we woke up around 3pm and darn proud of it! No more breakfast at the hotel obviously so we hurried out to get something to eat. There are many outlets of Smith & Hsu (Tien Wu shop), famous for their tea set, tea, scones and sandwiches. We did not pick the one within walkable distance to the hotel, we picked the Tien Mu outlet which took us 15-20 mins by taxi. Why then did we travel all the way to that outlet? Simple, the taxi ride made us feel like we travelled a bit out of the district!!
Tea is its main draw here with retail shop on the ground floor and dining areas on the 1st floor as well as basement as well. We ordered the afternoon tea set for two and we were offered a tray of tea to pick from. This way we can examine the individual leaves of each type and get a sniff of the aroma.
Not only do they offer their own brand of tea leaves, almost all the utensils are self-branded which can be sold separately as well. I was tempted to purchase the stainless steel tea filter along with the tea pot!
The afternoon tea set came with a fair bit of variety, including 4 scones (2 sweet, 2 savory), tea jelly, sandwiches and some cookies / biscuits as well. I have to say the sandwiches were beyond my expectation! the roast beef sandwich and open-face smoked salmon sandwich were all D-D-Delicious! Slightly larger than bite-size, they were places on the top tier layer of this detachable tier-set. We later saw this Germany-made tray in Hong Kong with three different colors. It looked and felt very plastic but a very practical, flexible yet easy to clean item. The main reason I like the detachable concept is how I can take off each layer for better pictures!! It is quite difficult to take pictures of item on tiered afternoon tea set for those who experienced the frustration before!! (shadows and etc!!)
The highlight for the afternoon has to be the scones! They were not much to look at but a pleasure to be eaten! A light crackling sound which opening in half by hand and fluffy soft in the center! Both the sweet and plain savory version were consistence in quality that I was tempted to order more on the side and treat this as dinner! Thumbs up!
After our heavy afternoon tea, we headed over to the nearby Sogo Department store for a brief walk before heading for dinner around 7:30pm.
It wasn't the easiest place to find but we arrived after making a few wrong turns. Taipei's city planning, especially its road system is in much of improvement. It is a historical issue, a urban development problem over the last few decades but complicated is an understatement in my opinion. There are so many small roads/lanes in a single section of a street in a particular district! Take this Tafu Grill (大福燒肉) we visited, it is located in section 4, lane 345, sub-lane 4, building no. 45 of a street. (ie: 台北市大安區仁愛路四段345巷4弄45號1樓) Anyhow, back to the food side. I did not have the chance to take pictures during this meal so I will definitely be back next time. Not only was I impressed with the food, the selection of different parts of beef was more than plenty, friendly staff would help cook / grill for guests by default unless otherwise requested. A wonderful place to have a casual dinner with friends over a few glasses of whisky inspired drinks!
~ end of day 2 / 4 ~