If you ever happen to venture into the deep mountains of Alishan and come to the village of Laiji, make sure to stop by the Village Kitchen and enjoy a great lunch!
This place is ensconced in a fabulous location, up alone in a narrow side valley overlooking the broad Alishan River valley between Inner and Outer Laiji, green all about, a pedestrian suspension bridge long used by locals strung out high above directly ahead, disappearing into the thick forest cover at both ends. This wood-built eatery is a kiosk-style operation fronted by a breezy open deck with long wooden tables and bench seating. It is run by the bright-spirited Hanna, who has come here via a small village in Namibia, then South Africa’s Capetown, then Taiwan’s west coast, marrying into a local family.
Her menu is a mouth-watering tour of local and Western culinary ideas, with an emphasis on Laiji-area ingredients. Be sure to try the rich, aromatic fresh-brewed Laiji coffee, home-crafted cherry and plum wines (based on local recipes Hanna has researched), and red-chili jam. All of these are also available as gift/souvenir purchases. Of the numerous robust entrees tried (we could not resist going back a second time, so we could try everything), best in my books were the stew with red-wine sauce, Italian pizza, and homemade breads with cheese platter.
The Village Kitchen on Facebook: https://goo.gl/3xTXr5