Taiwan is famous for its cafes and bakeries. I wanted to have a piece of good cake, so under the recommendation of a guide book which I bought 2 years ago, I visited “Piece of Cake” bakery.
It was actually quite an experience. The cafes and bakeries change very fast. If you are good, you will stay. But if you are really lousy, the business will not last more than 3 months. When I tried to look for “Piece of Cake” bakery, I wasn’t sure if it is still operating. And being a tourist, it was definitely not easy to find the place. I took nearly 30 minutes to find it.
The owner of “Piece of Cake’, Nick, used to be a holding a high rank engineer job in a big company. But he suddenly realizes he is no longer enjoying life and merely running after time everyday. One autumn, while he was eating a cake in Kyoto, he felt it was the most delicious cake he ever tasted. So he decided to gave it all up and spent 2 years in Kyoto learning baking and perfecting the skills.
The essence of a good piece of cake is the good quality ingredients being used. The cake here uses local country eggs (which are smaller) and healthier butter. He insists on using his hands to work on the dough, instead of relying machines, which really brings “life” to the cake. Every time, Nick can only bake 2 rolls within 2 hours, hence the quantity is limited here.
“Piece of Cake” sells only 7 cake flavours. Because they make and sell within a day, if you visit the shop later, most of the flavours are probably sold out. On the day I went, there was only left with 4 flavours.
Now, I can fully understand why people feel touched when they eat a good piece of cake. I ordered their signature Fruit Roll (水果原味捲, NT$80) which comes with very fresh cream, strawberries and kiwi. This is the softest roll that I have ever tasted and every mouthful just touched my heart. The cake literally has that “melt in your mouth” feel. It is no wonder the Taiwanese said they have the best cake rolls in Taipei. And I think Nick has fully portrayed the notion of enjoying life with a piece of good cake.
Other flavours available include Plain Chocolate Roll, Cheese Roll, Plain Yoghurt Roll, Tiramisu Roll etc. The cake rolls are baked daily and, if you take one home, it is suggested that they be consumed within two days. Flower teas, coffees and other light meals are also available. You can also order a tea set which includes a cake and a cup of drink at NT$180.
Finding this quaint little cake shop is definitely an adventure. It is only 2 minutes walk from Zhong Shan Station Exit 1, but because it is deep in the alleys, it is definitely not easy to find. Even though it is so ulu, its business is still so good and this shows something. I got lost along the way, met a friendly high school teacher and a retired old man who guided me, and the helpful cake shop owner who is on the phone to give me directions. I guess this is the charm of travelling alone – exploring the beauty of the city with my footsteps.
Directions: From ZhongShan MRT Station’s Exit 1, walk to the alley behind Milk King Store (台北牛乳大王). Turn left, then right, and the bright-red shop facade should appear. You can find the directions from the shop’s website too.
Piece of Cake
Address: 台北市南京西路64巷9弄19號1樓 (19, Alley 9, Lane 64, NanJing West Road)
Tel: (02) 2559-7981
Opening hours: 10am – 6pm