June 18, 2012

Yogurt Art

Address: No. 14, Alley 8, Lane 216, Section 4, Zhōngxiào East Rd, Daan District
Telephone: (02) 8771-5366
Hours: 11:30am to 10pm
Price: $ (depending on size and weight)

Delicious, cold, nonfat, calcium packed, and just a third the calories of normal ice cream, frozen yogurt is the perfect summer treat. I've visited several "froyo" joints in Taipei, but there aren't many good DIY places with reasonable prices. A friend suggested Yogurt Art and now, I'm hooked.

There are a variety of different flavors at Yogurt Art (40 to be exact), though there are only eight available at any one time. The flavors change with the season and when I visited a couple days ago, the choices were country vanilla, cable car chocolate, ripe strawberry, Oreo, cinnamon apple pie, summer fruit, berry tart, and plain tart. Because you're paying by weight ($56 NT per 100 grams), there are no rules or stipulations concerning mixing and matching yogurt flavors. How about equal parts Oreo, chocolate, and strawberry? Sounds like a delicious twist on a Neapolitan to me!
Every froyo machine has two different flavors, and there's a middle lever that will swirl the two flavors together, making your job of creating the perfect dessert even easier. After thinking about it, I decided I really needed some cinnamon apple pie in my life (sorry Neapolitan). Filling my cup a little more than I should have, I headed over to the toppings.
 There are over 20 toppings and I'm not going to name them all, but some memorable ones are kiwi, mango, granola, gummy bears, Oreo pieces, waffle cone pieces, chocolate chips, sprinkles, strawberries, mochi balls, marshmallows, M&Ms, and Fruit Loops. I sprinkled some Oreo pieces, chocolate chips, and granola onto my cinnamon apple pie and went to weight and pay. 
Yikes! Almost 300 grams! My total came to $134 NT; not bad, but I couldn't believe how quickly all those grams added up! Digging in, I was reminded of Mixx in Boston. The yogurt is really flavorful without being overly sweet. There's no hint of tartness, but you're not going into a sugar coma either. The toppings actually went together quite well (I was a little surprised). The Oreos and chocolate chips were as mouth-watering as I imagined, and the granola really brought out the cinnamon apple pie flavor. It was a little like eating a chocolate apple crumble. 

My only complaint concerns the raisins in the granola. They were rock solid. I definitely thought I might need dental work after that first twinge-inducing bite. Afterwards, I was careful to sift through the granola and pick out the offending raisins. 
With delicious yogurt, varied toppings, DIY freedom, no service charge, and a rewards card, Yogurt Art will certainly become a fixture in my life. The reward card lasts for four months and, within that time limit, you must purchase nine cups of yogurt to reap the reward. Reward: the tenth cup is discounted ($100 NT off the price of the tenth one). What with the money saved and the calories a third of ice cream, walk over to Uniqlo and go crazy! Visit their website for more info and other locations.

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