Prior to the presentation of the full restaurant selection of the MICHELIN Guide Taiwan 2023, Michelin is pleased to unveil today the food establishments which have been distinguished with a Bib Gourmand by the famously anonymous and independent MICHELIN Guide inspectors.
Among the four cities – Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung – which are highlighted in the MICHELIN Guide Taiwan 2023, the total number of restaurants and street food offering exceptional value-for-money gourmet experiences is 139 - 45 restaurants and street food in Taipei, 31 in Taichung, 36 in Tainan, and 27 in Kaohsiung.
Of these, there are a total of 26 newly awarded Bib Gourmand establishments, with many restaurants offering Taiwanese cuisine specialties and local small eats. This is also the first time western-styled dessert establishments are added to the MICHELIN Guide Taiwan Bib Gourmand selection, with one in Taipei and Taichung respectively.
There is also one newly awarded Bib Gourmand in Taipei serving vegetarian cuisine, bringing the total number of vegetarian Bib Gourmand establishments in the entire selection up to 4.
“With 139 Bib Gourmand establishments, representing more than over 20 cuisine types, this 6th edition of the MICHELIN Guide in Taiwan clearly celebrated the diversity and maturity of the destination, as well as its ability to embrace both innovation and tradition.”, says Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guide.
“Our inspectors have been impressed to witness how Taiwan food scene has bounced back, and it is outstanding to note that the restaurant industry in Taiwan is flourishing again. Our inspectors are impressed by the variety of Taiwanese small eats and traditional dishes in cities such as Tainan and Kaohsiung, which are 2 cities newly added to the MICHELIN Guide selection since 2022. It is for sure an exciting time to visit this destination, and to encourage local and international foodies to discover or rediscover its culinary wonders.”
3 new Bib Gourmand establishments in Taipei
In Taipei, 3 new establishments have been recognized with a Bib Gourmand distinction, including one new vegetarian restaurant Monsoon, where the chef shares captivating culinary creations with refined vegan neo-Hakkanese cooking; and the first western-styled dessert dining establishment newly added to the selection - HUGH dessert dining. It presents a 6- to 7- course dessert dining menu, showcasing the best sweets in the season exquisitely plated.
The other new Bib Gourmand in Taipei goes to Hsiao Cho Chih Chia, which excels with its simple but delicious Taiwanese dishes with the freshest catch from the sea. Its abalone silkie chicken soup, doubled-boiled with Chinese herbs for two hours, never fails to attract regulars.
4 new Bib Gourmand additions in Taichung
Of the 4 new additions in Taichung, Saka, a Taiwanese cuisine eatery with over 40 years of history, prides itself on its signature dish – chicken braised in rice wine with Chinese herbs. The broth bursts with deep umami, and the chicken tastes especially good when dipped in chilli soy sauce and ground pepper.
MINIMAL is the other western-styled dessert establishment newly added to this year’s selection. This dessert spot makes a gustatory and visual splash with its complex layering of flavours and textures, featuring a 7-course seasonal menu with frozen treats like gelato and granita.
Lao Shih Kuan Noodles serves hand-rolled noodles made like they were decades ago, where the owner’s father, a sergeant major, learnt to make hand-rolled noodles in a village for military back then. The noodles retain a lovely chew and is dressed in sesame sauce with braised ground pork.
Night School Braised Pork Rice boasts braised pork rice as its must-try specialty – slow-cooked pork belly in an amber sauce, both melty and bouncy, topped with pickles or dried radish with chilli to cut through the richness.
Tainan boasts the most newly awarded Bib Gourmand establishments
A total of 36 establishments in Tainan were included in the Bib Gourmand selection, with 10 newly awarded, making it the city with the most new additions among the four cities.
Of these, 7 were chosen for their small eats specialties:
A Wen Rice Cake won the hearts of many with their rice cake made from scratch – rice milk mixed with three sweet potato starches for the right consistency before steaming. Sliced and fried till golden, try it with their bamboo shoot pork sauce, and douse it with their house-made chilli sauce.
With unrivalled access to the best oysters in town, Cigu Yang Ke Yuan Chia specializes in made-to-order oyster dishes, such as their signature deep-fried oysters, oyster fritter with shredded cabbage and chives, and oyster broth with fish-based stock.
Hao Nung Chia Migao is a hit with the locals with its moist and chewy migao topped with braised pork sauce, fish floss, cucumber, and peanuts.
Hsi Lo Tien Beef Soup boasts its hallmark beef soup simmered with beef bones, brisket, fat and onion, with thin slices of lean beef added just before serving. Pour a dash of rice wine for extra fragrance or dip the beef in the fiery home-made chilli sauce for a kick.
Huang Chia Shrimp Roll has over 60 years of legacy, serving a classic Taiwanese snack – shrimp roll. Their version is stuffed with shrimp and cabbage, dipped into a potato starch batter before being deep-fried to order, resulting in a fluffy airy crust.
San Hao Yi Kung Tao Angelica Duck is a family business, currently run by its second-generation owner. It attracts a loyal fanbase thanks to its duck noodle soup made with the Chinese herb – dang gui (Chinese angelica root).
Xie Shopkeeper made a name for itself thanks to fresh seafood cooked to order. Its renowned milkfish and assorted seafood congee is lavishly topped with fish skin, fish balls, fish meat, shrimps, clams and cuttlefish, imparting deep seafood umami.
Another seafood specialized establishment newly added in Tainan is the Black-faced Spoonbill Canteen, which is named as such as it is one of the best places to see the endangered, black-faced spoonbills in Taiwan during September to May. The menu boasts seafood classics, including sustainably farmed milkfish and clams straight from the owner’s fish farm.
Another two recognized with a Bib Gourmand distinction in Tainan specializes in noodles: Cheng Shi, serving all-natural egg noodle with light clear broth made with kombu, generously topped with clams; and Jai Mi Ba, serving Taiwanese noodles cooked with French techniques, such as seared ox tongue with noodles in truffle sauce.
9 new Bib Gourmand eateries in Kaohsiung
This year, Kaohsiung adds 9 new Bib Gourmand eateries in its selection, making it a total of 27 Bib Gourmand establishments.
Of these, 3 are newly added Taiwanese eateries: Chao Ming, well-known for Taiwanese home-style cooking, features hallmark dishes like stir-fried pork belly with garlic sprouts and stir-fried clams with mung bean sprouts; Erge Shih Tang features Taiwanese home-style cooking that is lightly seasoned, with their signature grilled Pacific saury in honey sauce is braised until the bones are tender and edible; and Ibu Kitchen that specializes in Aboriginal Taiwanese cuisine made with produce from the Bunun owner-chef’s hometown in Mount Tengzhi. Ibu Kitchen is also the second restaurant in the Taiwan selection serving aboriginal cuisine, with the other restaurant being Gulu Gulu, a Bib Gourmand establishment in Taichung.
5 Kaohsiung eateries have also been selected for their famous casual fare: signature braised pork rice from Cianjin Braised Pork Rice; nourishing dang gui herbal duck soup and signature duck rice from Hou Chi Duck Rice; smoked duck glazed in cane sugar and pan-fried pork belly with lemongrass from Lao Ye Mei Shi Guan (Fengshan); migao drizzled with braised pork sauce, topped with pork floss and pickled cucumber from Liao Chi Migao; and boneless duck sticky rice from Mi Yuan Tzu Steamed Glutinous Rice.
The final new addition to the Kaohsiung Bib Gourmand selection is Apis Grill, in which meat, fish and vegetables are grilled over a wood fire.
The full restaurant selection of the MICHELIN Guide Taiwan 2023 will be released on 31 August 2023, during a physical MICHELIN Guide Ceremony event. It will be published only in digital format on the MICHELIN Guide’s official website and the MICHELIN Guide mobile app (iOS and Android) on the same day. Prior to 31 August 2023, the entire restaurant selection (including Bib Gourmand addresses) shown on the website and app are from the 2022 edition.
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Hero image: Lao Shih Kuan Noodles (©MICHELIN)