This took place in March last year.
It is proof that Chinese people will travel long distances to eat well. We drove out of Taipei to eat lunch at Shi Yang Culture restaurant. A long drive followed by a long walk along a mountain path brought us to the entry gateway of this famous restaurant. Seating is by appointment only and the menu is not published – the chef decides what you eat, which he decides based on the catch of the day and what is available in his organic garden.
Seating is by appointment only and the menu is not published – the chef decides what you eat and he decides based on the catch of the day and what is available in his organic garden. The low slung double storey building of steel and timber is set into the hillside, indeed there were cave-like dining niches accompanied by airy tatami rooms.
There are Japanese influences in the architecture as well as the cuisine. For two hours, cuisine, culture and architecture converged lazily over an 11-course lunch. We were captivated by the dishes set in front of us, each a work of art in taste and appearance. And in between courses, our attention was captured by the views of the mountains in front of us.
So for a long time, the only sounds were made by the gentle scrapping of chopsticks against the bottom of porcelain bowls and a few discreet burps.