Rating: ★★★★☆

Address: 10 Zhongxiao East Road, Sec. 5, Xinyi District, Taipei

Telephone: +886 2 7703 8887

http://www.yentaipei.com/en/

http://www.yentaipei.com/en/yenbar

It was gorgeously sunny when I went to Taipei, which made it perfect for me to have lunch at YEN, W Taipei’s signature Cantonese restaurant located on the 31st floor. A sleek open kitchen, spacious seating and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the natural mountain ranges that surround Taipei make YEN one of the chicest Chinese restaurants in town.

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As I mentioned in my review of W Taipei (see here), the hotel has an impressive view of the Taipei 101, and Yen Bar may just be the best spot in town to enjoy this view. Located on the same floor as YEN, this bar is effortlessly stylish and serves a selection of delicious Asian tapas and innovative cocktails.

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The restaurant’s kitchen is helmed by Chef Yu, who has worked at various renowned hotels and restaurants, including Michelin-starred Cuisine Cuisine at The Mira Hotel, Hyatt Regency, The Venetian Macao and Lei Garden, prior to joining YEN. Chef Yu is incredibly friendly and down-to-earth, and he seemed very excited to be able to chat with me and my friend in Cantonese when he met us!

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(1) The beautifully presented pumpkin bisque with black truffle and crab-shrimp paste (NT$600) instantly caught our attention. The pumpkin bisque was naturally sweet and creamy, and was enhanced by the enticing flavours of seafood.

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(2) The braised bird’s nest soup with crab meat (NT$1,980), which was packed with deep, refined flavours, was memorable.

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(3) The black truffle and mushroom dumplings (NT$210) were light yet totally satisfying, and the black truffle flavour was outstanding.

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(4) The baked barbecue pork buns with sugar frost (NT$300) was delightful – the sugar frost was tasty and the pork filling was well adjusted. However, the buns could have been lighter and fluffier.

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(5) The foie gras and pork dumplings (NT$240) were nicely thin-skinned and broth-filled, just like how good xiaolongbao’s should be, but the foie gras flavour was a tad weak.

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(6) I love turnip cakes and was very pleased that the crisp turnip cake with dried shrimp, mushroom and scallion (NT$180) was ordered. The dish was very satisfying, but the outer layer of the turnip cake could have been more crispy.

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(7) The braised whole abalone with straw mushrooms and seasonal greens (NT$1,280) was an alluring dish. The abalone was soft and thoroughly cooked, and the straw mushrooms and vegetables added lightness to balance out the abalone’s intense flavour.

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(8) The fried rice with seafood, pumpkin and black truffle (NT$780) showed off the kitchen’s skills in preparing simple, yet scrumptious dishes. The flavours were completely balanced, and the pumpkin and black truffle added a delicate, delicious touch.

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(9) The steamed sticky rice cake with red date and coconut cream (NT$180) was heartening. The texture was excellently gelatinous, and the red date and coconut flavours were robust.

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The restuarant is a very popular venue for events and banquets thanks to its breathtaking views. We were shown one of their function rooms, which is massive!

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There are four different function rooms at the restaurant, and this one is the smallest but has a completely unobstructed view of the Taipei 101.

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I enjoyed the Cantonese dishes at YEN, but it was the restaurant’s view that delivered the most lasting impression – this is definitely an awesome place to admire the beautiful skyline of Taipei!