It’s no secret.
We’re budget travelers.
Because we don’t swim in pools of money like Scrooge McDuck, it sort of comes with the territory of traveling long term.
A lot of the time, this means squatting at road sides eating meat of questionable origin with the locals, and even traveling overland (and sea) through the entire length of Philippines just so we don’t need to pay for airfares.
But once in a while, we let ourselves go and enjoy a (relatively) high brow meal (often pushing the limits of what our chosen restaurants consider as “acceptable” dress code).
And so while we were in Taipei, I was determined that no matter what the cost, we would have a meal at the top of Taipei 101, the (once) tallest building in the world.
Alright… the cost still mattered.
And that’s the reason why we eventually chose to have lunch at Shin Yeh (欣葉). It’s the cheapest out of the three options on the top of Taipei 101 (the other two options being Dingxian 101 and Diamond Tony).
Of course, lunch cost a lot less than dinner too.
And even though we chose the cheapest menu available (which meant we wouldn’t get a window seat), the staff were kind enough to upgrade us at no extra charge.
We may or may not have tried our hardest to look like we were on our honeymoon.
Somewhere at the start of the first course of our eight-course lunch, I suddenly remembered the reason why we don’t normally eat at high end restaurants.
They leave me wanting for more… food.
Thankfully, the rest of the courses were A LOT more substantial.
We had abalone and bird’s nest, but the best thing was the last course of the day – a huge serving of fois gras fried rice to make sure that we would leave the place full!
I would go so far to say that at $35++ a pop, it was pretty good value for our money.
Special kudos have to be given to the staff at Shinyeh.
The service was impeccable. They were unflinchingly polite to the two shabbily dressed diners and did not even bat an eyelid when we were the only two people left in the restaurant.
It’s one of those good/bad things about traveling. We don’t need to abide by conventional meal times. This means that we are normally having lunch just as “working folks” are going back to their office at the end of the lunch hour.
The bad part is that we are normally the ones delaying the restaurant staff from taking their afternoon breaks after having to deal with the lunch hour madness. At some of the more dodgy places we go to, we make sure that we quadruple check our food for extra “ingredients”.
Anyway, if you are in the vicinity of Taipei 101, do check out this seriously gorgeous bookstore too.