Miyahara is a popular dessert shop and restaurant in Taichung’s Central District. They are known for their artisanal sweets and desserts, such as ice cream, cakes, and cookies, made using only the finest ingredients.
Miyahara is located in a refurbished, century-old red-brick building, which used to be an eye clinic, hence its Chinese name 宮原眼科.
The story of Miyahara
The Miyahara Eye Clinic was founded by Takekuma Miyahara in 1927 along the banks of Luchuan (Green River), and was in operation until the end of Japan’s occupation in 1945. After that, the building saw use by the Taichung City Health Bureau and various other companies until it was damaged in the 1999 earthquake and 2008 typhoon.
In 2010, the damaged building was purchased by Dawncake, a Taichung-based pastry brand, and underwent renovation. It was transformed into Miyahara Ice Cream and opened its doors in 2012.
Level One: Ice Cream Parlour & Retail Store
Upon entering Miyahara, I was struck by the grand and enchanting atmosphere, which gave the illusion of stepping into Hogwarts. The interior is perfect for photo-taking and boasts an Instagram-worthy design.
The space is designed like a high-end luxury store, with a diverse selection of food and snacks on display, all presented in beautiful packaging that makes them great gifts for friends and family. The offerings at Miyahara include an assortment of flavored cookies, pineapple cakes, cheesecakes, brownies, egg rolls, sun cakes, palmiers, nougats, chocolate bark, tea leaves, and more. To view the full list of products, you can visit the Dawncake website at https://www.dawncake.com.tw/.
The first floor also houses the ice cream parlour, where visitors can grab a cone or cup to go. The extensive range of ice cream flavors are categorized into Chocolate, Fruit, Tea, Coffee, and Yogurt, with over 60 different options available. As I was perusing the menu, I was amused by the names of some of the flavours, which are actually the titles of Chinese songs from the 80s and 90s, such as “閃亮的日子 Shining Days,” “跟往事乾杯 Cheers to the Past,” “恰似你的溫柔 Just Like Your Tenderness,” “明天會更好 Tomorrow Will Be Better,” and more. It seems that the proprietor chose these names based on his/her favorite songs, haha.
Level Two: Moon Pavilion Restaurant 醉月楼
Tel: +886 4 2227 1926
Moon Pavilion primarily specialises in Taiwanese cuisine. You can view their menu here.
Please note that there is a minimum spend requirement of NT$380 per person when dining at Moon Pavilion. This is not a major issue, as it is easy to reach the minimum spend due to the relatively high prices of the menu items.
As we had already had a substantial meal earlier, we decided to only try the ice cream and have some tea at Miyahara. We heard that the dining experience at the Moon Pavilion was unique and chose to dine here for table service rather than waiting in the ice cream line on the ground floor. Check out the tea menu here.
Here’s what we ended up ordering:
French fries with gravy and melted gouda cheese. We ordered this dish to meet the minimum spend requirement, but were pleasantly surprised. The fries were made using freshly cut potatoes, not pre-packaged, and fried in duck fat. The result was a crispy exterior with a fluffy interior, and they were delicious with both the cheese and meat sauces. No regrets at all!
Moon Pavilion Sundae 醉月聖代
For the sundae, we had the option to choose four scoops of ice cream and five toppings. We went for the following flavours:
- Uganda 80% Smoked Chocolate 80%烟熏乌干达
- Raisins Mascarpone 马斯卡邦葡萄
- Kyoho Grape 巨峰葡萄
- Heiye Lychee 黑葉荔枝
We were impressed when a staff member brought over a trolley filled with various toppings. The level of personalisation they provided, just for an ice cream dessert, was incredible. The staff member explained the different available toppings and asked us to choose 5 items. Honestly, we were blown away by the variety that was presented to us because they weren’t ordinary toppings like rainbow sprinkles, marshmallows, chocolate chips or the like.
We went for the Pineapple Cake, Tea Cookie, Cheese Cake, Almond Biscuits and a Bear with Almond Butter Biscuit. Each of these toppings elevated the overall taste of the sundae.
All the ice cream flavours were outstanding! And they were not overly sweet too. I particularly loved the Lychee one because it had a natural lychee taste. The Kyoho Grape was rich, sweet and tasted like real grapes. The Mascarpone one was also delicious and had a creamy, rich taste.
The wafer cone, which was chocolate-flavoured, provided a crunchy texture. This was a dessert that left us thoroughly satisfied!
Pineapple Black Tea 鳳梨紅茶
We ordered a pot, which was good for two persons to share. It came with warm pineapple slices on the side. Sweet and tangy with a lovely tea aroma. Quite refreshing!
When finishing your meal, you can check out the exhibits outside to learn more about the history of Miyahara.
It may seem weird to talk about the restroom in a food post, but I was impressed with the hand lotions provided and the electronic bidet toilet seats that had massage functions! What a luxurious experience.
In conclusion, the meal was pricier compared to local standards, but the dining experience was worth it, which explains why Moon Pavilion earned a place on the Michelin Bib Gourmand list. The service was excellent and although we did not have a full meal, we enjoyed everything we ordered. I look forward to coming back to try the Taiwanese cuisine!