The Top? At the top of Yangmingshan? A very aptly named café indeed.
If you want to hike up the mountain, it’s possible if you’re good with directions and like to work up a ravenous appetite before reaching The Top (屋頂上). Us? Not so much. We took the easy way with the 8 of us splitting into 2 cabs. The ride up from Shilin station took about 15 minutes.
And when we reached the doors, or rather gates, of the café, we were told that the place was fully booked. I’m sure you can imagine the horror etched on our faces. But thankfully, we’d come early and the patrons who’d smartly booked their tables were only coming in from 6pm. That gave us slightly less than 2 hours to explore, eat and relax at the café.
We’d already targeted the alfresco seats right in front of the gorgeous board’s eye view of Taipei, and made our way there. Alamak, all booked also? No worries, as we managed to snag a private pavilion for a minimum order of 4,000NTD (S$172.31). Divide that amongst the 8 of us and you’ll realise it’s a sum that’s pretty easy to hit.
We hardly used the pavilion though. With such a beautiful view against the setting sun, nobody wanted to stay cooped up in the shelter (even though it was pretty windy considering it was January). We ordered steamboat, some finger food, fruit punches for the girls and beer for the guys. The food is nothing to write home about, but it’s passable fare and the steamboat was bliss against the cold.
The best thing about The Top café is the scenic views and the atmosphere. As the sky turned dark, the lights came on and you could see a long stretch of Taiwan coming alive at night. Service at the café was awesome too. The staff were all very willing to help us get in even though the place was fully booked, and helped us call cabs when we were leaving.
Would we come back again? Definitely. And the next time we’ll make a reservation first!