158, Dun Hua S Road, Sec 1
website: sugar.com.tw (in Chinese only)
hours: 10AM - 10PM
Visit reviewed: 3/9/2007
I was delightfully surprised to walk into a store like Sugar and Spice in Taipei. With only one location here and a few more in Taichung, it was walking into a little girl's fantasy of a bakery. Sweets, cookies, chocolate and cakes everywhere with pink and brown boxes and walls to match the sweetness. I ended up choosing just a small cheesecake and organic brown sugar pudding to go, although I was very tempted to get some of the other cookies.
Funny enough, a few days later, I realized someone gifted our family with cheese pineapple pastries from Sugar and Spice, and yesterday, I received a beautiful little box with six tins of cookies inside (for the 2 month celebration of a new baby). They are the crispy type of crumbly snack cookies that are popular in Taipei.. For presentation, they get high marks in my books, since it's so cute and original. But the packaging comes at a premium price and the tastes of what I've sampled are just "okay."
As for the sweets I purchased, I enjoyed the cheesecake, but it was quite dense and sweet- a bit heavy to finish in one sitting. Having had both the caramel pudding and the cheesecake from 85 degrees C that same week, I realized how much more I enjoyed the 85 Degrees C sweets, even though they looked similar.
You can buy gift packages wrapped in cute pink and brown packaging such as Cookies (NT$350 for 3 tins, NT$780 for 6), Cheese Pineapple Pastry (NT$180-$360), Organic Brown Sugar Pudding (NT$336 for 8), Nougats, Macaroons (NT$360-600) or Chocolate. In their bright takehome brochure, there are also lots of cakes, including Mousse cakes that come in Macadamia nut, chocolate, vanilla chocolate or passion fruit flavors, as well as cheesecakes, tiramisu, roll cake, puff pastry cream cake and cakes topped with fruit (NT$380-1200 for smaller cakes, up to NT$3500 for 18 inch rounds).
All in all, for me, the packaging almost sets up too high of an expectation for the taste- I'd rather have an unwrapped delicious tasting gift than one that is beautifully wrapped, but average tasting. But some people eat with their eyes- so you can still walk around the store and see for yourself.