FOUND: Five Dime Driftwood House in Taipei

When I was in Taipei earlier this year, I was able to eat at an exceptionally unique restaurant but it didn’t seem like it at first when the tour guide told us about it.

It was a good hour from where we currently were and I wondered if the food there was any good. It was eleven thirty and I couldn’t stop myself so I asked the tour guide who spoke French more fluently than he did English:

Me: Hi, how’s the food there?
Tour Guide: Fine. The restaurant’s ugly but many people want to come eat there.
Me: What?
Tour Guide: Maybe you younger people, artists, appreciate it more than I do. You’ll see. It looks very different to me. You’ll see.

In my head, I was, “Seriously, where are you taking us?! I am not gonna eat weird food at an “ugly” place :(” but I know I was lying, I absolutely cannot pass the opportunity to try out something new! It’s one of my greatest and worst traits. Heck, it is one of a Slate Team member’s!

An hour passed and the bus finally stopped as rumbles in tummy started. I got off, turned around, and the first thing that popped into my head was, WHAT IS THAT THING?

It was raining, and the gloomy lighting of the skies did not paint a happy color of the place outside but it had a somber beauty. As I went in, the place looked even more interesting! The walls are made of drift wood and textures of what seem like what would happen when you slather white glue on foam and let it dry. The walls had graphic lines painted on them if they can be considered walls. Am I making it a pretty picture for you yet? Haha. Check out the photos I took:

So? What do you think? I think it is definitely far from ugly. Maybe the tour guide didn’t know any words to describe the place better. He was in fact more fluent in French. #excuses

Notice that I wasn’t able to take pictures of the actual food. I was too hungry to be trigger happy at the same time. #excusesagain Hahahaha. But rest assured, the food was fantastic! I particularly loved what looked like gising gising without the gata and much more flavorful. I failed to understand what vegetable it was when the waitress explained. Ahhh! Language barrier.

Anyhoo, the restaurant is called Five Dime Driftwood House. The tour guide says that the name was coined (pun?) after the owner’s experience when she was walking along the beach and found a five dime inserted in a driftwood. The whole restaurant is made up of driftwood! It is by far the most original place I have eaten in. The owner’s artworks are also displayed inside the restaurant. Such a beautiful blend of art and eats! Fantastic! And oh, the restaurant’s exterior is made to look like two girls wearing dresses…so, technically that means we dined under their skirts? Haha. I love this place! It’s so unique. I never thought Taipei was so into arts and culture. I envy their city. How I wish Manila embraced such passion for the arts!

This is definitely moving out of mediocrity, ain’t it?

The Slate Team


Five Dime Driftwood House is one of a chain of Taiwanese restaurants designed by Sigang Artist, Hsieh Li-Shiang, who owns four other such establishments with business partner, Chen Wei-yi. This porpoerty has been the most ambitious, costing 6 million dollars to construct. It may be Hsieh’s last restaurant project. Hsieh grew up on a farm where her parents grew sweet potatoes and peanuts. Living close to nature was a key influence on her artistic principles. Her work is reminiscent of Dali and Gaudi.

Five Dime Driftwood House
No. 8, Lane 32, Sec. 1, Neihu Road, Taipei
Tel #: +886 (02) 8502-5567 

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