I wish we had more time to check out Taipei’s café scene and was thrilled we managed to squeeze in some time (and stomach space) at smith&hsu (www.smithandhsu.com/). Looking back, I really love how the tea culture in Taipei is more than just alive and breathing, and hasn't been washed out by artisanal coffee or trendy bubble tea joints.
We arrived at the Hankyu branch at about 11am and were seated almost immediately. I've heard and read that it is always impossible to get a walk-in table during peak hours so do try to make your way there as early as possible if you have not made a reservation.
smith&hsu marries East and West heritage of teas and the result, like good-looking mixed kids, is a modern teahouse that has been injected with a handsome dose of modern minimalism.
smith&hsu carries a great variety of teas from the traditional black, green tea and oolong to the contemporary blended, milk tea and fruit teas.
If you are a person prompted by olfaction, you will love the sniff preview smith&hsu offers.
I got the mango and passionfruit tea but really liked kw's osmanthus oolong blend.
Suffering from perpetual fullness, we could only manage some of their signature scones.
They might look like your average scones but they were pretty darn incredible. Cake-y, a little gummy and utterly buttery. I slathered some lemon curd and clotted cream onto my scone for some zing and oomph but without them, the scones were just as scrumptous.
If you have never tried a scone, this would be a respectable introduction – though I got to warn you that future scones might lead to bitter, dry and crumbly disappointment.
If you are feeling more than peckish, you could go for their English Afternoon Tea Set which comes with scones, cakes, cookies, sandwiches, alongside 2 pots of tea. It is a good thing there aren't any time restrictions for their high tea sets. Oh, they also have sandwiches that looked mouth-watering – but that could be just the effect ozzy melted cheese has on me =)