Does the “W” in Taipei stand for “woo”, for Woobar? Or “warmth”, for the warm colors and cheery atmosphere at The Kitchen Table? No, at W Taipei’s 31st floor restaurant and bar Yen, we think it stands for “wow”. Because look–just look–at that stunning view.
Located on the top floor of the W complex, Yen serves up excellent rendition of traditional Asian dishes in its own unique way. Is it Beijing food? Shanghainese? Cantonese-style? None, but all of the above. Yen serves what it terms as “nouvelle Chinese cuisine”. Hot and sour lobster soup, dim sum beautifully presented on platters. We like the way the W does Chinese, where presentation is just as important as taste.
Red, orange, purple: colors of royalty. Red walls, purple napkins, glowing lanterns. Lanterns that remind one of the ones that drift off daily at Pingxi. Chinese tradition isn’t forgotten here, and well it shouldn’t, in the first Asian restaurant in the W family.
So who’s watching you, as you slide sleek black chopsticks across your plate to chase that last bit of dumpling? No one, but we can bet that you’re watching the bar; the Bar at Yen, to be precise. You’re watching it, because of the stunning, dead-on view of 101, and its watching you, because really–who can resist it?
We’ll take a seat, thanks. And with Bar Yen-exclusive drinks like the “Ni Hao”, a cocktail made with oolong tea, there’ll be those who are only too willing to leave the pool downstairs and say hello to 101. Limited seating, so be sure to make your reservations early, whether its for drinks or afternoon tea.
All the eyes at the bar making you a bit uncomfortable? The W understands. Yen offers private room to those who like to rendezvous behind closed doors.
Your thoughts? It’s way too expensive for my budget; for my birthday, for my graduation for my family reunion. I’m a student, I’m a young person, and what do they say about being young and having all that time, but no money?
The reality? The minimum charge per room is a surprisingly decent 18,000 NT for a seating of 12; and the option to book two tables in a room. It certainly isn’t lunch money, but when you consider private waiter service, lavish surroundings, and a view of 101–you’d run, not walk, to book for that special event.
Wait–did we hear “a view of 101?” You’ll pay more for a view of 101 in the Moon Room, but when you’re settled into plush purple pillows free from the hustle and bustle of the outer bar, friends’ laughter bouncing off gleaming, sound-proof wooden panelled walls–you’ll see that there’s some things that even money can’t buy.
Tip: Don’t miss the “SIP” wine machine, a new feature on the Yen floor. The machine allows wine lovers to have anything from a “sip” (a small tasting sample) to an entire glass of the W’s extensive wine collection. The perfect activity when you’re feeling adventurous, or when you’re tired of the usual cocktail.
Photography by UP AGAINST THE WALL ASIA