By Stephanie Chao, the Eye on Taiwan staff writer
Michelin has handed out stars to 20 restaurants in its inaugural red guide for Taipei, but only one restaurant has been awarded the top honor — three stars.
Le Palais (頤宮) at the PALAIS de CHINE HOTEL in Datong, Taipei, which serves fine Cantonese dishes, is the only restaurant to nab three stars in Taipei this year, according to the Michelin Guide website.
Speaking at a Wednesday’s news conference in launching Michelin Guide Taipei 2018, Michael Ellis, international director of the MICHELIN Guides, praised Le Palais’s chef, Chan Wai-keung — who moved to Taiwan from Macau almost 20 years ago — and his team for having “mastered the art of cooking a variety of Chinese cuisines, and the dining experience here is truly outstanding.”
“The Cantonese-style crispy roast duck, lobster, tofu and other dishes are remarkable, and baked egg custard tarts are sublime. All of the chef’s creations have won inspectors over,” Ellis said.
The coveted three Michelin star rating means “an exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey,” usually given as a mark of a chefs’ peak in their profession, boasting exemplary ingredients, cooking style elevated to the art form and destined to become classics.
Two restaurants were granted two stars: one of them is “RyuGin” (祥雲龍吟), a Japanese cuisine sister restaurant to the renowned RyuGin in Tokyo. Michelin Guide praised the venue’s offering of creative Japanese modern cuisine with a twist of Taiwanese ingredients infused into the elements of each dish.
The other is “The Guest House” (請客樓) at Sheraton Grande Taipei Hotel, offering Hunan and Sichuan dishes that are created to present its tasteful textures and taste. These restaurants were chosen due to their showing of the personality and talent of the chefs and their team, as evidently presented in the refined, expertly crafted dishes, according to the Michelin Guide.
Seventeen restaurants received one star, showcasing a variety of diverse cuisines ranging from European Contemporary and Japanese to Barbecue and Hangzhou.
The list includes Da-Wan (大腕), Danny’s Steakhouse (教父牛排), Golden Formosa (金蓬萊遵古台菜 ), Ken An Ho (謙安和), Kitcho (吉兆割烹壽司), L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (侯布雄法式餐廳), La Cocotte by Fabien Vergé Longtail, Ming Fu (明福台菜海產), MUME, RAW, Sushi Nomura (鮨野村), Sushi Ryu (鮨隆), Taïrroir, Three Coins (大三元), Tien Hsiang Lo (天香樓) and YaGe (雅閣).
These selections exhibit the usage of high-quality ingredients and carefully prepared dishes with distinct flavors.
Ellis lauded the amazing availability of Taipei’s “incredibly rich gastronomic history and the variety of cuisines.”
“Taipei has also given birth to a truly dynamic and innovative dining scene—much to the delight of a local clientele that is ever more curious to discover new flavors and different experiences,” he said.]
A total of 110 dining establishments spanning 33 cuisines were listed in the MICHELIN GUIDE Taipei 2018. This includes 36 establishments in the Bib Gourmand category that was unveiled on March 6. Of the Bib Gourmand eateries, 10 are street food vendors in night markets.
The world’s first Michelin Guide was published in 1900, making it a publication in print for over a century and the world’s oldest tourism and fine dining guide. In 2007, the guide expanded its scope to Asia and began publishing versions of Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai and Bangkok guides. Taiwan is among the 30 countries and regions around the world that has its own Michelin Guide.
Find the complete MICHELIN Guide Taipei 2018 selection here.