Psst!!! I have to let you in on my latest finds before word starts coming in. The coolest area in Taipei lately, according to the nanamoose, is Minsheng District.
Funny, because the person who inspired me to venture into the area where even the Blaire Waldorf of Taipei girls didn’t know about was, in fact, a clerk at HSBC in Central Hong Kong. I was there opening a business account for my small forthcoming tea venture when he, Mr. C, inquired into the sort of business I am going into.
“F & B,” I said.
“Oh, how fun, what kind?” he seemed genuinely concerned.
“Café kind of thing lor,” I answered reluctantly.
“Oh, you know what, you should really watch this Taiwanese movie then with Gui Lun Mei in it, do you know her?” He was all ecstatic then. “It's a really cute movie called 36 Stories, about a girl opening her dream café. You just have to see it!” I was starting to wonder whether he was gay from his emphatic hand gestures.
This conversation stuck to the back of mind somehow. So I picked up a copy of the 36 Stories DVD at Eslite Bookstore in Taipei the last time I visited and fell in love with the setting at once. It was almost exactly how I wanted my café to look like (or I thought). Turquoise antique wood door, turquoise-painted wall with a drawing of a tree, black and white mosaic floors, open home-style kitchen and a bright and airy back garden.
And so, I ventured into the movie set this time - Daughters Café at Fu Jin Street in Minsheng District just off Songshan airport, a remnant of the movie and yet obviously purpose-built one might wonder whether the café was made for the movie or vice versa. Everything was as cute as it appeared in the movie; except that the café is now so successful it was completely packed on a Sunday afternoon.
My biggest surprise came from Beher’s Kitchen not far down the street. Beher’s is a lifestyle kitchen that offers cooking lessons and sells a selection of cookware sourced from Beher’s extensive travels. A shelf on a far corner displays Beher’s handmade delicacies like shredded ginger in fragrant oil, gingered brown sugar, and a selection of very yummy homemade jams. Beher used to offer afternoon tea but sadly, due to a lack of manpower, decided to stop this service. In the meantime, if you want to enjoy Beher’s cheerful company and her lovely rustic chic-y Japanese tatami setting, the only way is to befriend her.
I’d start my Minsheng stroll from Mingsheng Park. Pop into Sunnyhill’s for some of their delectable pineapple cakes, then take a leisurely walk north up to Fu Jin Street for Beher’s. Stock up on some of her shredded ginger oil (they’re amazing mixed with instant noodles) before heading for your favourite tiramisu and coffee at Daughter’s Café. Can you think of a better Sunday afternoon than this?
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