We recently had the great opportunity to visit the San Want Hotel in Taipei to enjoy there fine dining in the Chao Ping Ji Restaurant for afternoon brunch with close friends and family and afterwards their utterly fantastic baked goods at the Pozzo Bakery.
From the moment we entered the hotel, we encountered first class service in the hotel lobby. Multiple hotel staff were there to greet everyone that entered and offered assistance as needed.
We were promptly shown the Chao Ping Ji restaurant on the 2nd floor, which had a lovely ambiance and several people to handle reservations and seating.
I immediately wanted to start taking photos for my blog and realized I had lost my camera. We had just come from the SOGO department store and was in the Issey Miyake section where I was seated waiting for my wife to finish shopping.
Little did I know that it dropped from my pocket on the floor. I dashed back several blocks to the MRT, took the train to the Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station and hurried to the SOGO department store next door.
|Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Line - Courtesy of Wikipedia|
Up the escalators from the B2 level to the 4th floor. When I arrived to the area I was sitting at, there it was, still on the floor. Thank goodness for honest people in Taipei.
I arrived back at the restaurant, happy, a little overheated and somewhat tired, but even more hungry and ready for a wonderful lunch.
|Chao Ping Ji Restaurant's Decor|
Now lets take a few peeks at the Chao Ping Ji Menu:
The Chao Ping Ji is famous for its excellent "Dim Sum" and Yangcheng Lake Chinese Mitten Crab when in season.
Wikipedia states that “Yangcheng Lake Chinese mitten crab 陽澄湖大閘蟹 is a famous delicacy in Shanghai cuisine and is prized for the female crab roe. The crab meat is believed by the Chinese to have a "cooling" (yin) effect on the body.”
|Courtesy of Wikipedia|
Wikipedia also mentions that “Chinese spend hundreds of yuan just to taste a small crab from Yangcheng Lake which are considered a delicacy. The crabs cost 680–700 Chinese Yuan, or roughly US $105, per kilogram. Most of the Yangcheng crabs are exported to Shanghai and Hong Kong, and high-profit foreign markets. Recently, China introduced vending machines to sell this species of crab in the subways. The crabs are stored at 5 °C (41 °F), which induces a sleepy state of hibernation. The prices of the crabs range from around $1.50 to $7.00 (USD). They are guaranteed to be fresh and alive. This species' distinguishing features are the dense patches of dark hair on its claws.”
|Mitten Crab - Courtesy of Wikipedia|
Of course, in Taiwan and even in China restaurants, you should expect to pay $20 to $30 or more for one of these delicious crabs prepared in a variety of ways. We had our crabs prepared and served as our last course.
In the meantime, we had many incredible tasting dim sum prepared for us. You can see many of the dishes below. For my global readers not familiar with dim sum style of food, dim sum refers to a Chinese style of food prepared and served in small bamboo steamer baskets or plates. Much of the dim sum is fresh vegetables, meats, and/or seafood enclosed in a type of rice pastry and then steamed cooked in the bamboo baskets.
|Typical Hong Kong style (Canton Provence) Dim Sum - Courtesy of Wikipedia|
The baskets are perforated on the bottom and stacked 5 to 10 high while being cooked and then covered and served to guests. Dim sum can be steamed, deep fried, cooked or served cold depending on the type of food, and there is always wonderful tasting soup selections as well.
Some of my friends call dim sum “finger food”, snacks, or appetizers that can also be served at the formal afternoon tea. There are many sweet and tantalizing dim sum offerings including egg tart, egg custard, flavored gelatins such as almond and others, sesame and taro steamed or deep fried treats and more.
|Typical Egg Custard Tart - Courtesy of Wikipedia|
My favorite is Mango Pudding!! I’m sure you could have guessed that from my Mango Madness Blog!
|Typical Chinese Mango Pudding .... Yummmm! - Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia|
Many restaurants only serve dim sum in the morning or for lunch, so if you want dim sum for dinner, call your restaurant ahead of time to make sure it is available.
The fun part of dim sum in many restaurants is that they serve on carts that are rolled around the restaurant, so you can pick and choose whatever looks or sounds interesting. In the Chao Ping Ji Restaurant, they actually bring each dish directly to your table to ensure it is steaming hot and fresh. The following are some traditional dishes like vegetbles, sliced duck, sliced pork, etc.
Dim Sum is a traditional Cantonese style food from China’s Canton Province. This restaurant is actually Chaozhou潮州菜,Teochew, or Chiuchow cuisine originated from the Chaoshan region in the north-easternmost area of Guangdong province, China, which includes the cities of Chaozhou, Shantou and Jieyang. The following are some of the real dim sum treats we ordered and ate at this restaurant.
|Baked with Sweet Pork filling|
|Steamed dumpling with shrimp and vegetable filling|
|Lots of Yummy Dim Sum|
|Steamed bun with Sweet Pork filling - My Favorite!|
|More of my favorites on the Bottom row...Steamed shrimp (left) Steamed Pork, Mushroom & Shrimp (right)|
|Baked BBQ Pork - Delicious!!|
|Ahhhhhh..... my egg custard tarts arrived !|
|More goodies !!!!!!!!!!!!!|
If you are visiting Taipei, or live here, you have to stop by the San Want hotel, try their famous Chao Ping Ji Restaurant and enjoy the flavors and tastes that their chefs’ meticulously prepares! You will not be disappointed.
Well if this Chao Ping Ji restaurant isn’t enough to get you to visit this hotel, the maybe their equally famous POZZO Bakery on the first floor might tempt you even more.
I recently wrote a blog on the Florida Bakery in Qing Guang market area of Taipei. That is a great bakery, but I must say, that the Pozzo Bakery rivals the quality of their baked goods, even though it does not have the same extensive variety of the Florida Bakery. Lets look at just some of the Pozzo Bakery Goodies:
There walnut raisin bread is scrumptious, soft and so very enjoyable as is their cheese bread. Their blueberry cream cheese tart is a delicious breakfast snack.
But their tiramisu mango desert is just to die for. A tiramisu cake on the bottom and a wonderful mango like pudding on the top…… What a great combination !!
|Mango Tiramisu - Second Row from Bottom and fourth (4th) desert from right to left.|
Need a super birthday, party or family desert cake, go for their Tiramisu cake. We bought one for my brother-in-law's birthday and it is the best tiramisu cake/desert I have had so far in Taiwan.
The San Want Hotel in Taipei is a great hotel with excellent service, a superb Chinese restaurant and an awesome bakery.
San Want Hotel:
Address: 128 Nanjing East Road SECTION 1, 104, Zhongshan District, Taipei, Taiwan
Location: Just minutes from the Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station
This blogger plans on going back again very soon!