The MICHELIN Guide Taipei 2019 launched today, and in this second edition, three new two-starred restaurants and four new one-starred restaurants are added to the selection.
Sushi Amamoto Made its Debut with Two Stars
A total of 24 dining establishments in Taipei receive Michelin stars this year. Making its debut in the guide is Japanese restaurant Sushi Amamoto, which receives two stars. Chef Shogo Amamoto of Sushi Amamoto, who has lived in Taiwan for more than 12 years, is the brother of chef Masamichi Amamoto of the two-starred restaurant Higashiazabu Amamoto in Tokyo.
The restaurant in Da’an District has only 12 seats around the solid cypress counter, and Amamoto offers an omakase menu that includes 12 pieces of nigiri that use seasonal fishes mostly from Kyushu, while the rice is cooked in natural spring water from Nagano.
Foodies must wait for months—to even half a year—to get a seat as there’s always a long waiting list for the restaurant.
Two Restaurants Elevated to Two Stars
Two restaurants have reached two-starred status this year, and both of them have woven Taiwanese elements cleverly with modern touches, bringing happy surprises to the customers as well as giving foreigners a chance to understand more about Taiwanese culture through a palate journey.
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One of them is Taïrroir, which is led by chef Kai Ho, who reinvents Taiwan’s local produce, flavors and memories through modern techniques. Despite the artful presentation or playful dish names, Ho always incorporates familiar elements from Taiwan or his past experiences in his cuisine, which creates surprises on the customers palate.
Another restaurant that has been elevated to two-starred status is Raw. Here, chef Andre Chiang and chef Alain Huang delicately weave and recompose Taiwanese elements with modern presentation, be it texture, local produce, flavor combination, temperatures or even micro-seasons. The result is a cuisine that is not only sophisticated but also fun. Chiang has decided to return to his hometown after spending eight years running the now-defunct Restaurant Andre in Singapore. Raw turns five this year.
“The dining scene in Taipei is evolving at a great pace," says Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the MICHELIN Guides. "Our inspectors were not only impressed by the standard of local Taiwanese cuisine, but also by the global influences being imported by the very talented and innovative local chefs, which together will no doubt entice food lovers from around the world."
Four New One Stars
In addition to the three new two-starred restaurants, four restaurants clinched their first star this year. Chef Paul Lee of Impromptu by Paul Lee, who received training in the United States while working in Michelin-starred restaurants, offers a good mix of Chinese flavors and herbs in his dishes.
Another new one-star recipient is logy, where, Hokkaido-born chef Ryogo Tahara (pictured right) was the sous chef at two-starred restaurant Florilège in Tokyo and assisted chef Hiroyasu Kawate to run the restaurant. After Tahara arrived in Taiwan last year, he has spent a lot of time understanding the local flavor combinations and produce, and re-addresses these combinations with a unique approach. There are even dishes that reinvent the popular spicy hotpot in Taiwan.
Taiwanese cuisine is in the limelight in this year’s guide too—Mountain and Sea House is a newly minted one-starred restaurant that has been offering authentic traditional Taiwanese cuisine, some of which are hardly seen nowadays. Tainan Tai Tsu Mien Seafood, another new one-starred restaurant, is famous for its fresh and diverse seafood and luxurious interiors—a traditional tan tsu mien is also a must-order here.
58 Bib Gourmand Establishments
Besides the starred dining establishments, there are 25 new Bib Gourmand establishments in the 2019 Taipei selection. They include restaurants and street food vendors in night markets, which offer good quality, good value cooking. To qualify for this distinction, establishments must offer a three-course meal for a fixed price not exceeding NT$1,000 (around $30).
The MICHELIN Guide Taipei 2019 selection includes:
One three-starred restaurant
Five two-starred restaurants
18 one-starred restaurants
58 Bib Gourmand establishments, including restaurants and street food vendors
View the full list of selections here.