Date visited: 2016.6.30
On a hot and humid afternoon in the heart of Taipei city, I was out seeking the perfect brunch café. "Somewhere not too mainstream, not too crowded..." I mumbled.
My criteria checklist included the following:
1. Good vegetarian and/or seafood choices
2. No minimum charge requirement
3. Clean, fresh foods
4. Good dessert options excluding the basic waffles found in every other café in Taipei
After walking in and out of many potential brunch spots, I was sweaty and lost in the alleys behind Ren Ai Traffic Circle. As I turned my head to look for more eateries, a little gold sign from faraway caught my eyes.
"Yoga café!" I gasped.
I briefly flipped through the display menu and knew immediately I found "the spot".
What I loved about this café was the refreshing atmosphere. At a very reasonable price point (100-300nt), I felt like I was sitting in the secret garden of a palace.
So here's what I ordered for brunch:
1) Chocolate brownies & ice cream
Dessert before the big meal! What a lovely mistake. For once, since I didn't have to teach aerial yoga after brunch, I went ahead and stuffed my face with brownies and ice cream. Loved the combination of warm, moist dark chocolate brownies and the guilty-but-oh-so-good Mövenpick vanilla ice cream. Highly recommended after three days of hard core training! ;)
2) Vegetarian tortilla pizza
One fun fact about me, I love pizza crusts! This delightful homemade veggie pizza was the perfect cheat meal I was looking for, since the last time I had pizza was probably over two months ago. Watch out for the big slice of tomato hidden underneath the soft, melty cheese! The pizza was a great appetizer—it definitely left me wanting more. Small portion; perfect for sharing and snacking with a couple friends.
3) Pineapple tortilla roll
If you love garlic and spices, this roll is perfect for you! The sweetness of lettuce and tomato blended with strong spices is a daring combination that will make you absolutely love it or hate it and never order it again. P.S. I hate garlic.
While waiting for my food, I read this really interesting book called Suicide by Sugar. There was a chapter on the unhealthy consequences of combining raw chocolates and refined sugar . Basically, refined sugar messes up the pH of your body, causing your body to lose necessary minerals such as calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium, in order to neutralize the body pH. Ironically, my brownies were served just when I got really into my reading. I still ended up enjoying my brownies and ice cream the most. (Hey, yoga teachers are humans too!)
The big takeaway from my brunch reading was to read your food labels thoroughly, ask yourself if there is a healthier alternative that will satisfy your cravings, and be selective about what you put inside your body. It's perfectly okay to occasionally splurge on your favorite dessert or "cheat meal", but make sure you drink lots of water and eat even cleaner afterwards. There's no meal that makes you immediately "fat" or "skinny". After all, a healthy lifestyle comes from making mindful, balanced choices. Don't skip meals, choose high quality ingredients of big portions of mediocre-quality food, and most importantly, keep your healthy meals and favorite meals in balance. Stay disciplined, but don't over-deprive yourself. :)
I am definitely planning to come back to Yoga café for more brownies over the summer. If you do decide to visit this gorgeous café, make sure you take a couple fun photos in front of the stunning fountain and the super-tall palm tree!
Address: No. 5, Lane 175, Section 1, Da'an Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106
Phone: 02 2700 0799
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11:30AM–9PM : Sun. 11:30AM-6PM