A Unique Restaurant That Features a Dried Lotus Flower Blooming on Soup

Shi Yang Shan Fang (食養山房)  is a unique restaurant in Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)
Shi Yang Shan Fang (食養山房) is a unique restaurant in Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Nestled in a lush bamboo forest in a mountain valley east of Taipei City  in northern Taiwan, Shi Yang Shan Fang (食養山房) is a unique restaurant famous for its relaxing ambiance, fresh local ingredients, and lack of menus.

Please watch the following video of the Shi Yang Shan Fang restaurant in Taiwan.

Founded by a former construction contractor, Shi Yang Shan Fang is exquisitely designed in a minimalist style and purposely furnished in dark wood. With the perfect blend of Chinese and Japanese Zen art, the restaurant is like a monastic retreat.

Shi Yang Shan Fang is nestled in a lush bamboo forest in a mountain valley east of Taipei City, (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Shi Yang Shan Fang is nestled in a lush bamboo forest in a mountain valley east of Taipei City. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The dining areas include a long and narrow hallway decorated with paper lanterns and large transparent windows that allow visitors to take in the beautiful surroundings while enjoying tasty meals.

Visitors have to walk through a leafy stretch before getting to the entrance of the restaurant. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Visitors walk through a leafy stretch before arriving at the entrance of the restaurant. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The knee-high wooden tables and benches on tatamis-mat floors, ink paintings and calligraphy works, roll-up bamboo curtains, flowers and plants carefully placed in proper places, with Zen music in the background, make for the serene ambiance of the restaurant.

There are about a dozen "private" cubicles in the long hallway section. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

There are about a dozen ‘private’ cubicles in the long hallway section. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The restaurant serves one vegetarian or regular set meal according to the chef’s own menu of the day. The meals are relatively low in oil and salt and have plenty of vegetables. Different flavors of homemade fruit vinegar served between meals are also very tasty.

Dinners can take in the beautiful surroundings of the stunning environment while enjoying tasty meals. (Image: Julia Fu / Vision Times)

Diners can take in the beautiful surroundings while enjoying tasty meals. (Image: Julia Fu / Vision Times)

The restaurant uses the freshest local produce according to the season and serves about a dozen courses, including an appetizer and dessert, such as homemade tofu topped with wasabi and passion fruit dressing, rice with asparagus and mushroom, and salmon rolls with steamed eggs with dried scallops.

The food in Shi Yang Shan Fang is pleasing to both the eye and palate. (Image: Julia Fu / Vision Times)

The food in Shi Yang Shan Fang is pleasing to both the eye and palate. (Image: Julia Fu / Vision Times)

The most amazing dish is lotus chicken soup. After a waitress carefully places a dried waterlily flower on top of the hot chicken soup, the flower’s petals will slowly open in the black pot with a gentle scent right in front of the diners. The dried waterlily flower pedals are not only beautiful to look at, but are also edible and actually add a special flavor to the chicken soup.

All the dishes served in the restaurant are beautifully arranged and garnished. (Image: Courtesy of Shi Yang Shan Fang)

All the dishes served in the restaurant are beautifully arranged and garnished. (Image: Courtesy of Shi Yang Shan Fang)

The restaurant is particular about flavors and the art of food presentation. Dishes are beautifully arranged and garnished with flowers and leafy greens, and its utensils are carefully selected.

Rice ball with pumpkin, broccoli flower and other fresh ingredients. (Image: Courtesy of Shi Yang Shan fang)

Rice ball with pumpkin, broccoli flower and other fresh ingredients. (Image: Courtesy of Shi Yang Shan fang)

The waitress will interpret each dish when it is served while a book about philosophy or the arts is placed on each table for diners to read while waiting for meals.

A Chinese traditional wood-burning stove in the kitchen. (Image: Courtesy of Shi Yang Shan Fang)

A Chinese traditional wood-burning stove in the kitchen. (Image: Courtesy of Shi Yang Shan Fang)

Not only is Shi Yang Shan Fang a great place to dine, but it is also an ideal destination to experience a peaceful dialogue with nature. It is worthwhile to arrive at the restaurant early to enjoy the fresh mountain air and beautiful surroundings with a sea of trees, bamboos, exotic plants, a pond with koi carp, stone bridges, and a small waterfall.

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