Yongkang Street (永康街) is a famous gourmet street in Taipei, located at Da’an District Xinyi Road (台北市大安区信义路). There are many notable restaurants, cafes & street food in this area. Currently there isn’t a MRT station nearby, but in future there will be a Dongmen MRT Station (捷运东门站) which will likely make Yongkang Street an even more popular place to hang out.
Our hotel reception staff told us that it would be easier for us to take a cab to Yongkang Street from Ximending rather than trying to take public transport. The cab ride took about 10 min, NTD 110 (about S$4.70), & we alighted at the start of Yongkang Street.
Yongkang Street is characterised by many small & narrow lanes & alleys. Our first stop was Smoothie House main outlet (思慕昔15號本館) (No. 9 Yongkang St., Da’an District, Taipei City 106/ 台北市大安區永康街9號).
This is the flagship store of Smoothie House, 2 storeys with indoor seats. It has another outlet further down the road which is an outdoor cafe & attracts a younger & more local crowd. The outlet that we went to requires each customer to spend a minimum of NTD85 & we spotted many foreigners, particularly Japanese patronising this outlet. We ordered the best seller item to share:
I like that the ice was very smooth & melted in the mouth easily. It is like 雪花冰 that we can find in the Taiwanese dessert stalls in Singapore. The fruits (strawberry, kiwi & mango) were very fresh. The price isn’t cheap (about S$6.80) but the bowl was big & fruit servings were quite generous. Furthermore, it was good for a warm Summer day!
Not sure if it was because it was still early (around 3pm), the street was pretty quiet & we only browsed a few clothing shops (& found them expensive compared to those sold at night markets), before stepping into another cafe, the highlight for my friend lol.
Cafe Flat White (12, Alley 41, Yongkang Street, Da’an District, Taipei / 台北市大安區永康街41巷12號) is tucked in a small alley off Yongkang Street, & opposite the cafe, are residences. Looking at those houses reminded me of the houses I often see in Taiwanese idol dramas hehe. The cafe gave me a very “dilapidated” feel but oh well, guess the trend for cafe decor nowadays is like that?
The 2 cafe staff were quite strict & didn’t want us to take any photos, so we resorted to removing the flash. 😛 The interiors of the cafe is very simple, grey “pavement” flooring, hard wooden tables and chairs. Seemed like most customers went there alone to study or read a book……
I only ordered a hot Hazelnut Chocolate drink (NTD180, about S$7.60) while my friend had a hot Caramel Macchiato & a slice of cake (sorry can’t remember what cake it was). My drink was quite average, *heartache* for the price I paid, & the simple decor wasn’t exactly to my liking as well… I couldn’t really taste any hazelnut in the drink -_-” I also sampled the cake, which I thought was quite dry & tough. Would I visit this cafe again if I go to Yongkang Street next time? Well, I guess you know the answer too = “no”. 😛
We stayed there for 1 hour plus before we made a move to explore other parts of Yongkang Street. There is this shop selling products made with ginger (my friend’s love), e.g. ginger bath, skincare etc. She had a little shopping spree there while I looked on (since I wasn’t interested in ginger products keke).
I wonder where are all the famous restaurants that the online community is raving about as we didn’t seem to spot any the whole afternoon, except for Din Tai Fung which is located near the start of the street. Maybe next time if I visit Yongkang Street, I will do my homework on the famous restaurant locations first. 🙂