Wining and Dining in Luxury at the Sherwood Taipei
Traveling through Asia, when it came to accommodations, I was no stranger to variety. One night, I’d be in a bustling backpacker hostel, the next a $3 per night shack with no electricity, and the next a luxurious five-star hotel. Reflecting on the trip now, I can safely say that getting a taste of all types of travel was one of my favorite aspects of the journey.
Needless to say, however, the “treat yo self” nights stood out quite a bit. And, of those nights, the Sherwood Taipei was particularly unforgettable. I recently wrote about my experience at the five-star hotel in Taiwan’s capital, but the wining and dining there was so memorable it deserved a post of its own.
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and you can’t go wrong starting your morning at the B-One Buffet on the Sherwood’s basement floor. The restaurant is gorgeously decorated, and the food selection was truly astounding. With both Taiwanese and Western options, the buffet has everything you could desire for breakfast: breads, fruits, omelets, meats, stir fry, potatoes…you name it! Quite a step up from the usual toast and butter fare at hostels.
B-One Buffet also serves lunch, dinner, and afternoon tea. Though I didn’t get a chance to check those out, if the breakfast is anything to go off of, I’m sure they’re equally impressive.
The Wine Cellar
I’d like to think my wine knowledge has increased exponentially in recent years. Gone are the days of Two Buck Chuck and boxed wine, and I can now successfully detect and explain the differences between varieties of grapes. But I quickly realized just how much I have left to learn when I was introduced to the Sherwood’s magnificent wine cellar.
With wines from just about every corner of the world and bottles dating back even seventy years, the hotel’s wine selection was nothing to sneeze at. Asia isn’t generally known as a hotspot for wine aficionados, but if fine wines are what you’re looking for, the Sherwood Taipei is the place for you.
The Sherwood’s sommelier presented wines from just about every corner of the world and bottles dating back through the decades — he even found a bottle from my birth year just for me. It’s clear that you’ll never be left thirsty when staying at the Sherwood.
Yi Yuan Chinese Restaurant
The Sherwood’s renowned guests over the years have included both UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and U.S. President George H. W. Bush. Both were wowed by the hotel during their stays, and, in particular, both delighted in dining at the hotel’s Yi Yuan Chinese Restaurant. Today, guests can choose from several fixed menus, including two named after these politicians. All personal opinions of Bush Sr. aside, I couldn’t help but feel a bit patriotic sitting down to enjoy his eight-course meal.
As former Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office (unofficial ambassador) to China, Bush fell hard for Peking duck, so his eponymous menu revolves around the Sherwood’s own take on his beloved dish, a sliced duck in orange sauce. It was topped with shark fin soup, braised abalone, baked lobster with caviar, crispy chicken, fish fillet, steamed glutinous rice with Chinese sausage, and fruit with a red date pancake. Being an unadventurous eater, I only nibbled at some of these dishes, but my host recommended a few other options off their dim sum menu, including fantastic pork and dumplings.
No meal is complete without a nightcap, and there was no better place to go for this nightcap than Henry’s Bar at the Sherwood. This sleek bar reflects the style of a refined British lounge, complete with a fireplace, leather couches, and rosewood furniture. There, you can choose from 300 varieties from the Sherwood’s wine cellar or opt for a cocktail. If you’re looking for a casual meal, the bar menu includes sandwiches, burgers, and more.
2015 marked the Sherwood’s 25th anniversary, so I tasted the sweet yet potent cocktail specially crafted to celebrate this milestone. Cheers to that!
Whether you’re a hotel guest or just want to stop by for a meal, it’s hard to go wrong dining at the Sherwood. On top of these options, the hotel also offers a Japanese restaurant, Kouma, and an Italian restaurant, Toscana. Dining at B-One Buffet and Yi Yuan Chinese Restaurant, checking out the wine cellar, and topping off the night with a cocktail at Henry’s Bar all made my stay at the Sherwood an even more special experience.
One important note: if you’re paying a visit to Taipei, whatever you do, do not miss out on the city’s amazing street food, particularly at the many night markets! It’s one of Taipei’s absolute highlights. But for something more upscale in between the pork buns, stinky tofu (really!), and bubble tea, the Sherwood is divine.