Yun Jin Chinese Restaurant at the Grand Hyatt Taipei, Taiwan
The Grand Hyatt Taipei, with its 853 rooms, is the largest hotel in the city. It’s also the place for great restaurants, such as the elegant Yun Jin, which I discovered last night during a media visit.
Located in what has been called the Manhattan of Taiwan, the Xinyi District, this is a popular place for both locals and tourists as well. The decor is peaceful, harmonious and soft, with some gold and purple accent colours.
My friend Chelsea and I went there on a Wednesday night in order to try the cuisine. The place is obviously popular. Even though it was quite busy, it’s a perfect place for a soft and calm ambiance. The place is inviting and you feel like you can take your time.
We started the night by trying a specialty of the Yun Jin; the buckwheat tea. Caffeine free, all natural and organic, it’s made from the seed of a fruit closely related to rhubarb (yep, no actual wheat is involved!). This pale gold, gluten free breuvage can thus be enjoyed at any moment of the day or the night.
It has a soft and delicate flavour with a light, malty aroma.
On the menu, you’ll find dishes from four different influences : Szechuan, Northern China, Zhejiang and Taiwan.
We started the meal with the Drunk Chicken. First boiled and then marinated in wine, this chicken is served with tasty (and oh-so good for you) goji berries. The taste of wine is distinctively present and add a twist to the chicken’s flavour, while the berries add a little sweetness to this dish. I would say it’s an acquired taste to develop for us foreigners.
The marinated cucumber salad was a pleasant dish of crispy, pickled cucumber. We loved the freshness of the vegetable and the sweet, yet light sauce that came with it. Even though the portion was generous, we had no problem at all to finish it in no time!
The oyster omelette is a must for anyone travelling to Taiwan. You’ll find it in all the night markets around the city. You might be taking a chance though, as not all versions of it will be pleasant to our foreigners taste buds.
The Chinese style oyster omelette at Yun Jin, served with lots of scallion, is sure to please you. This sweet and salty dish has a generous portion of oysters and greens and we really enjoyed it. It was definitely one of my favorite dish of the night.
The fried asparagus, served with lily bulbs and crispy conpoy, was another success for us. The asparagus were cooked just right : crunchy and delicious. The lily bulbs have a very delicate, soft and fine flavour that I enjoyed a lot.
Perhaps our favorite choice of the night; the boiled cod fish dumplings were great. This was a very nice change from the usual pork dumpling. The fish was delicious, fresh, with a soft texture; they just melted in our mouth.
The spicy sauce that came along was well balanced and deliciously fragrant.
For dessert, we had some fruits and glutinous rice cakes with a salted egg custard inside. The Mochi (that’s how those little balls are called) are served in a fresh date that has a much different texture from the dry dates we are used to.
I have yet to find out why they call it « salted egg custard », because it is in fact pretty sweet! This is a nice dessert to finish the meal with, not too sweet nor heavy. And it goes so well with the buckwheat tea.
Thank you to the Grand Hyatt Tapei for having us that night. We had quite a nice dinning experience at the Yun Jin Chinese Restaurant and I really enjoyed discovering new specialties and flavours.
Yun Jin Chinese Restaurant
Grand Hyatt Taipei
No. 2 Songshou road (on the 2nd floor)