SWEET TEA by STAY at TAIPEI 101 米其林三顆星
No.45 Shifu Rd, 4F 台北市市府路45號4樓
MRT: Taipei City Hall
website: Sweet Tea FB page
hours: 11AM- 9:30PM
kid friendliness: high chairs available
Visit reviewed: 5/13/2012
If you haven't been to Taipei 101 lately, then you're in for a surprise. The former "restaurant row" on the 4th floor is being transformed into mini Rodeo Drive with huge Louis Vuitton, Prada, Miu Miu, Dior and Burberry, in various stages of completion. Page One? Gone from its central spot to a different area. And with high end brands, you need high end dessert shops to match- Sweet Tea and chocolatier Jean-Paul Hevin.
I had eaten at STAY last year, also in a corner on the 4th floor, and Sweet Tea features confections by the pastry chef at STAY, opened by Michelin starred chef Yannick Alleno.
The colorful menu includes pastries, macarons, gelatos and ice creams as well as afternoon tea sets.
On a recent meeting with Singaporean food blogger Brad Lau (aka Lady Ironchef), we had a crazy dessert trail that ended up at Sweet Tea at 101. It was a good choice, since it was the first time for both of us and I had heard about it for awhile, but never had the chance to go. At the entrance, the hostess informed us there was a NT$380 minimum per person to sit down. It's a little annoying, but better than the trending drink minimum where the drinks are overpriced and not that good. At least this way you can spend all your money on sweets.
And sweets galore, there are. Walking around the small space, there is a lot to choose from. Long rectangular tarts with rows of fresh raspberries listed on the menu as strip pies, or the collection cakes, displayed like miniature works of art under individual clear cases under the glass display.
Or a sweet'dwich (NT$170-240) if you prefer your sandwiches stuffed with cream.
Or the ever popular macaron (NT$80), with flavors like almond, raspberry, hazelnut, lemon or chocolate.
Or maybe tea pastries are more your speed.
We carefully made our selection, mentally calculating our minimum amount we needed to spend and returned to our seats, where shortly a plate was delivered to be photographed from every angle, and then savored.
I can barely believe that we could still eat this, after lunch and sharing a cotton candy with espresso and ice cream from Coffee Alley as well as a cake sampler from Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki.
The St. Honore also surprised me with the light and airy vanilla bean speckled cream and crackling, sweet carmelized mini cream puffs.
Despite the prime location, Sweet Tea wasn't too crowded and was a great place to relax and chat and people watch the streams of tourists headed up to the Taipei 101 observatory deck.