As there are currently no locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, the National Museum of Taiwan Literature opened a new restaurant on June 14 ahead of the long-awaited Dragon Boat Festival holidays. Located at the side entrance of the Tainan-based museum, the vegan-friendly "Minimou" restaurant serves a literature-themed menu that appeals to a wide range of palates while offering special sets that resound with the museum's ongoing literary exhibitions.
The minimalism-inspired Minimou adheres to the concept of less is more. The newly opened restaurant provides visitors with handmade meals crafted with carefully selected ingredients. Apart from sliders and sandwiches for meat lovers, Minimou also offers two vegan-friendly options made with meat substitute OmniPork — spicy Mexican tortillas and pasta with tomato sauce.
To echo the current exhibitions "Small Terrace & Garden with a View: Exhibition of Donated Works by Han Liang-lu" and "Memories of Our City: Hong Kong Literature from Yesterday into Tomorrow," the restaurant is also serving a version of the ploughman's sandwich that was much loved by late Taiwanese food writer Han Liang-lu (韓良露), as well as buttered pineapple buns — Hong Kong's ultimate snack that can be found on the café menu of almost every cha chaan teng.
Open from 9am to 6pm, the restaurant hopes to appeal to health-conscious consumers by offering plenty of freshly squeezed juices with silverscreen- or punchline-inspired names, such as "The Devil Wears Prada," "The Incredible Hulk," and "Happy Wife Happy Family." The menu also covers coffee, tea, soft drinks, cocktails, salads, and more. See the full menu here.
Also taking inspiration from literature is the fragrance that greets visitors at the main entrance of the museum. As part of the "Literary Aromas" series, the "Always Osmanthus" spray was named after "Sweet Osmanthus Flowers Falling Like Rain Drops (桂花雨)" by renowned writer-novelist Chi Chun (琦君).
The well-known prose vividly captures how Osmanthus flowers came showering down every August and blanketed the writer’s head and body — it was the happiest memory Chi Chun had when she was a carefree child. At that time, she lived in a mansion surrounded by sweet Osmanthus trees and used to shake those trees to collect baskets of the flowers.