Beryl’s sweet cafe | A Western-style cafe reminding home

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You would never think that on top of the building which already contains two of our favorite places in a quiet little lane of Donghai area – the Jiégouting’s Japanese rice ball and the Fish cafe – you can find a quiet and cozy cafe which will take you back to Europe. Don’t be shy, take the stairs, and open this inviting door, you’ll have a wonderful time here!

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When entering the cafe, you’ll be amazed by the decoration. The entire place is like an English library : wooden furniture, Chesterfield sofas and green lamps on tables inviting you to work or read a book from the shelves. But unlike a true English library, you can hear soft English folk music and enjoy the warm atmosphere. You’ll want to stay in this cafe all afternoon, away from the uproar of the urban town.

And if the weather is good, you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee under the sun on the beautiful terrace decorated with lots of plants and flowers. This is something that you rarely find in Taiwan, it reminded us a lot of French culture!

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Time to order… the choice is really difficult! They have classic Western desserts such as chocolate cake, cheesecake and lemon tart, but also original desserts like matcha tart and different cakes of the day. We decided to begin with classic cakes because we had the feeling that we would come back very soon to try the specials…

We started with chocolate cake. Such an incredible cake… rich and melt in your mouth, but with low sugar content so we could savor the taste of the chocolate, like in France. We were so surprised because it was the first time in Taiwan we could find a chocolate cake this close to the cakes of our home country, and so different from those of classic Taiwanese bakeries.

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It was the same with the cheese cake: the bitterness of the lemon zest goes perfectly with the creamy but light texture of the cake, and not too sweet. It tricks you into thinking you are not swallowing too many calories…

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About the drinks, the cafe offers a large selection of tea, milk tea, alcohol, coffee and most of all… chocolat chaud! French hot chocolate! We had to order it… and we weren’t disappointed: like the chocolate cake, the sugar and chocolate were well balanced, and with a thin layer of milk froth, it tasted exactly like French chocolat chaud. The owner told she deliberately doesn’t use much sugar, like in western countries, despite the local student’s sweet tooth!

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I really appreciated the large choice of teas as I am a tea-person more than a coffee-person, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Ceylon, fruit teas, from all around the world, such as India, Sri Lanka, Ireland, and of course Taiwan. I chose a fruit tea without caffeine because the name intrigued me, “Amazing Forest Fruit tea”. I asked the owner what it meant and she told me that it is a combination of different dried fruits and peels, flowers and plants. The color was a beautiful red Bordeaux, the taste was actually pretty good, a little bit acidic with a strong fruity flavour, which goes perfectly with the chocolate cake I ordered.

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If you are a coffee-person, you will also find a large choice of coffees, which are actually hand-brewed by the owner of Fish cafe downstairs!

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The owner preparing cakes

After having the cake, we decided to relax a little bit more in the cafe by reading some books from the shelves. The owner told us that some of the books are from their personal collection, and some from the customers of the cafe themselves. Once or twice a year, customers can give one of their own books to the cafe in exchange for a free lemon tart!

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We couldn’t leave the cafe without trying something else… I was actually obsessed with the “light bites” part of the menu. It had three choices of quiche – it has been three months since we had quiche! So we ordered the one with broccoli, mushrooms and onion, and it was so good! The cafe made the effort to warm it in the oven and not in a microwave, which we appreciated because it helped keep the puff pastry nice and crisp. This one was thick, crispy on the outside, melting on the inside, and it went really well with the garnish. The taste was terrific and we were scoffing it down like pigs, one bite after another…

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After leaving the cafe we had this strange feeling that we had been back to Europe for an afternoon.

Beryl’s Sweet Cafe