Prior to the full release of the MICHELIN Guide Taipei & Taichung 2021 on August 25, Michelin is pleased to present the Bib Gourmand selection of this year’s Guide. Highlighted in this selection are 58 eateries in Taipei and 33 in Taichung. Among the selected venues, 19 are new, with 6 located in Taipei and 13 in Taichung.
“Taipei and Taichung have always been known for the diversity of their thriving culinary scenes. Here, foodies can discover, in very good and accessible restaurants, flavours, specialties and international know-how. This year again, and despite the difficulties and challenges, the Bib Gourmand restaurants and the street food stands delighted our teams of inspectors! With no less than 17 styles and cuisines in the spotlight and 91 restaurants, including 6 new ones in Taipei and 13 in Taichung, the 2021 edition enthusiastically demonstrates it,” says Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guides.
Among the 6 newly-selected Bib Gourmand restaurants in Taipei, 3 of them offer Taiwanese cuisine.
Tucked away in the Zhongshan District, Inn’s+ offers re-interpreted Taiwanese classics that exercise a light hand with fat and salt, without compromising flavour and freshness. Must-try dishes are the signature deep-fried homemade baby oyster rolls, braised pork feet with peanuts, and fried rice noodles.
Cosy yet elegant, Jin Shang Hsuan serves refined local classics such as stir-fried beef with coriander and crispy garlic bits, as well as three-cup braised chicken.
Sung Chu Yuan in Yangmingshan is a 30-year-old institution that cultivates its own free-range chickens. Apart from this, the restaurant is also famous for their use of wild vegetables such as betel flowers, Madeira vine, and Okinawa spinach.
The other 3 newly selected Bib Gourmand restaurants in Taipei include Sate House, located at the Da’an District, whose Chinese-Indonesian owner serves authentic Indonesian fare such as beef rendang, satay, ayam goreng Kalasan, and even tempeh.
A famous trading base for Chinese herbs, Dihua Street is home to Shiang Dih Regimen Cuisine. An array of herbal tonics and double-boiled soups dominates its menu, particularly the He Shou Wu soup, which is touted to contain anti-aging properties.
At Talking Heads, Hunan and Jiangzhe delights take centrestage. Come here for the home-style, MSG-free cooking, such as fried hard-boiled eggs tossed with chilli and Wuxi-style pork ribs.
In the West District of Taichung, indigenous Taiwanese restaurant Gulu Gulu has been serving traditional Paiwan cooking for more than 20 years, and is famous for fragrant chargrilled dishes such as spring chicken, maqaw sausage and avay — a steamed millet dumpling with pork filling wrapped in leaves.
For those who have a fondness for sesame oil, Luo Jia Food in the Nantun District offers dishes cooked with the earthy and nutty liquid gold. Locals flock here for their signature tender chicken leg soup that’s simmered all-day in chicken bones and a special-grade sesame oil.
Master of Mushroom, located in Xinshe, boasts popular favourites such as free-range chicken soup, three-cup monkey-head mushrooms and mushroom minced pork rice.
In a restored century-old eye clinic, Moon Pavilion pays tribute to the old-time Taiwanese palate, showcasing delicate tasting dishes to complement its gorgeous atmosphere.
Among the Bib Gourmand Taichung selection, Chen Ming Tung Braised Pork Rice, Fresh Fish Stock, and Taichung Meatball in particular, are newcomers where you can grab a light and delicious bite.
Steeped in history and in the collective memory of generations of Taichung citizens, Chen Ming Tung’s Braised Pork Rice has been the mandatory go-to place for affordable eats. Their signature braised pork rice is slow-cooked in earthenware pots for three hours using a secret soy and sugar cane marinade.
Fresh Fish Stock specialises in Tainan cooking and has been well-known in the Taichung food scene for over 30 years for its milkfish dishes such as soup and braised belly as well as glistening shrimp rice packed with tiny morsels of savoury ham.
Taichung Meatball is a veritable institution that has been around since 1933 with only three items on its humble menu—meatball, fish ball soup, and glass noodle soup.
This year’s Bib Gourmand selection also celebrates classic noodle establishments. Ke Kou Beef Noodles, Mu Gong Noodles, and The Toas to this year’s Bib Gourmand Selection.
Located at Xitun, the signature dish of Ke Kou Beef Noodles is a red braised beef and sinew soup that packs a complex and rich broth that’s simmered for hours with 35 different Chinese herbs. Jiangzhe noodles are the pride of Mu Gong Noodles, which are springy and swim in an aromatic broth that has exceptional depth, while The Toas, formerly a street stall, has been feeding hungry locals with no-frills Fuzhou-style noodles and dumplings at affordable prices for over 20 years.
Other Taichung restaurants that have been selected as Bib Gourmand recommendations include House of Dawn, which serves vegetarian fare, such as its artisanal ramen dressed in a secret chilli and sesame sauce. The unpretentious Küisine in the West District emphasises a home-like cosiness and intimacy. Apart from Taiwanese classics such as plum chicken and braised beef with fried tofu, Southeast Asian and Japanese influences are also evident in curry, shogayaki, and miso dishes. If you’re a fan of or curious about Hakka cuisine, 60-year old Niou Jia Juang prides itself on the traditional Hakkanese way to cook beef, with unmissable offal offerings such as the scallion bone marrow and cold beef tripe dressed in sweet and sour sauce.