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TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE, August, 2006.

FIVE CENT DRIFTWOOD HOUSE

8, Lane 32, NeiHu Road,
Sec. 1, Taipei; (02) 8501-1472
Hours:Lunch 11 am-2 pm
Dinner 5-9 pm

You can't help but notice this massive restaurant made out of scraps of iron, driftwood, clay and stone, and an abstract sculpture of two Tao Aborigine girls dancing. The exterior is daunting, but the interior has a comfortable and earthy ambiance. The Five Cent Driftwood House is the fifth creation of Hsieh Li-Shian who, amazingly, doesn't use a blueprint for her restaurants; instead, she relies on daily constant communication with the builders and contractors. The restaurant is popular and seats over 800, but there was still a 15-minute wait. Prices aren't cheap (entrees NT$300 to NT$500), but they're reasonable for the tasty Taiwanese country cuisine on offer. Five Cent Driftwood is famous for their pudding-like mochi, with many buying boxes to take home. Vegetable dishes are NT$200 each, but are big enough to share with several people. Groups can try the banquet menu, priced at NT$800 for 11 courses. A vegetarian six-course meal is also offered. Plan to spend at least NT$300 a person, but you'll walk away full. And take your camera with you---the interior here is definitely worthy of a photograph or two!

--By Rebekah Godfrey, translated by Liu Fang Through

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