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July 7, 2023updated Dec 20, 2023

The Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Taipei

A total of 30 Taiwanese restaurants have earned one or more Michelin stars.

By Silvia Pellegrino

In 2018, the Michelin Guide touched down in Taiwan, putting a well-deserved spotlight on the country’s best restaurants.

Taiwan’s striking geography produces equally striking flavors. With soaring peaks and a strong seafaring culture, great seafood and livestock are readily available – and the best restaurants take full advantage of the local produce. The capital Taipei, in particular, has a lot to offer in terms of haute cuisine: from sushi to traditional Chinese, and from classic French techniques to inventive American influences, the most noteworthy establishments have it all.

Since a return to normality post-pandemic, a total of 30 restaurants have been awarded one or more Michelin stars. This is due to the presence of innovative chefs from across Taiwan and the globe, deciding to move to the capital for access to its distinctive, high-quality ingredients.

According to the Michelin Guide, these are seven of the best restaurants in Taipei.

Tairroir

Taipei’s Tairroir is a two-Michelin-starred restaurant captained by Chef Kai Ho, whose seamless fusion of classic Taiwanese dishes with ambitious gourmet techniques has revolutionized the capital’s culinary landscape. The name itself is a blend of ‘Taiwan’ in English and ‘Terroir’ – ‘land’ in French, expressing a new definition of Taiwanese cuisine that is “Locally-Global”.

Inspired by Taiwan’s characteristic mountains and surrounding seas, the restaurant’s interior reflects its local roots. The decor is illuminated by 1,876 hanging copper tiles reflecting the light to create a warm atmosphere. Guests participate in every step of the process thanks to the see-through glass kitchen – the only one in Taiwan. 

Tairroir’s nine-course menu revisits French classics with a Taiwanese twist and changes seasonally. A recent menu featured a Dutch veal filet mignon accompanied by  a dried flying fish jus, prepared with juices from the meat. It’ll set you back $200 per person, but you’ll be taken on a true culinary journey. 

Sushi Nomura

 A dark, simple, yet compelling aesthetic awaits you at Taipei’s Michelin-starred Sushi Nomura. Diners enjoy Nomura’s curated menu (ranging from $100 to $230 per person) from a bamboo-adorned, elevated sushi bar, or amongst black marble walls seated on elegant wooden furnishings.

All menus are omakase, meaning diners entrust their meal to the chef. Surprisingly, the highlight of most dishes is the rice,with Head Chef Nomura attentively cooking two varieties: Koshihikari from Kakomachi and Nanatsuboshi from Hokkaido, creating the perfect blend of grain and texture, before steaming it in Mount Fuji spring water and seasoning with akazu and sushi vinegar to give it that sweet aftertaste. 

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Mountain and Sea House

Located in a Japanese Meiji Taisho Period mansion, Mountain and Sea House provide a traditional Taiwanese fine-dining experience, surrounded by romantically styled furniture of Japan’s noble families.

Through consulting with retired chefs, the restaurant has pioneered new techniques to craft a classic, yet sustainable menu – not only awarded a Michelin Star, the restaurant is a proud recipient of an additional green Michelin star thanks to its innovative farm-to-table concept

The restaurant’s own organic farm, Nan’ao Fengyuan, produces livestock and vegetables for its dishes, with other elements of the menu like pork and chicken also obtained sustainably. Mountain and Sea House offers both a la carte dining and a set menu, the latter featuring nine courses – including a delicate white asparagus salad and a not-to-be-missed, slow-cooked sea cucumber with peas – one of their most popular dishes. 

RAW

Chef-owner Andre Chiang opened RAW in 2014. Chiang is the only Chinese chef to hold both Michelin stars and a place on the ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. He is renowned for his thorough research on French cuisine, allowing him to master a contemporary, innovative cooking style that earned RAW two Michelin stars.

After conducting research into how humans’ capacity to taste food is influenced by memories and personal experiences, Chiang developed an original culinary philosophy: Octaphilosophy. Its eight main elements: salt, texture, memory, purity, terroir, south, artisan and uniqueness, are incorporated into both the restaurant’s menu and interior design. 

With a characteristic cloud design traditionally carved into Taiwanese pine, Chiang collaborated with Dutch architect Camiel Weijenberg to curate a dramatic, yet welcoming atmosphere. The perfect setting, no doubt, to RAW’s pioneering French ‘bistronomy’ style cooking, with its blending of fine dining experiences with a relaxed setting making it a Taipeinian must-try.  

Le Palais

Taipei’s only three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Palais provides Cantonese indulgence within the elegant art hotel, Palais de Chine. 

Diners enjoy modern reinventions of quintessential Chinese dishes amongst bronze mirrors, latticed windows, mythic tapestries and ornate furniture, reminiscent of a historic Yangtze Palace Boat. Centrepiece is the ‘Corals of Light’, an enchanting sculpture that casts a unique art shadow across the floor and walls. 

Since the restaurant exclusively uses fresh, hand-picked ingredients, orders must be placed at least two days in advance, as some dishes take longer to source and prepare. In particular,, the nine-course  Michelin Set Menu must be requested three days in advance. 

It is well worth the wait (and the $800 price tag). Featuring stir-fried garlic Wagyu beef, and white gourd stuffed with shrimp and crab meat, Le Palais provides Cantonese cuisine with a fresh, inspired flourish that earned it its place at the centre of the Taiwanese Mitchellin map.   

Longtail

Longtail’s bricked counters, open kitchen space, and detailings of leather and wood provide a refined, elegant backdrop to its balancing of the sophisticated and relaxed dual culinary cores of Taiwan.

With decades of experience in some of the world’s best kitchens (Hong Kong’s Vong, New York’s Jean Georges and Paris’s Apicius). Chef Lam Ming Kin provides an inspired local menu. He presents both an a la carte list, and a set seasonal menu which changes every three months to center regionally available ingredients. 

From bottarga and white asparagus with salted egg yolk, to dry-aged duck breast with bell peppers, quinoa and eggplant, Longtail gives diners a taste of the most exciting new developments in Taiwanese cuisine, with prices ranging from $100 to $150 per person

Impromptu by Paul Lee

Born in Taiwan and raised in the US, Paul Lee’s innovative cross-cultural brainchild is his restaurant Impromptu, one of the best in Taipei. Having earned a Michelin star,  an eatery that sets “itself apart from traditional high-class dining”, and “instead builds a brand-new experience of casual fine dining”, as described by the chef himself. 

French cooking techniques form the basis of each dish, fusing classic European cuisine with the multicultural flavors of the USA. The kitchen is already a melting pot of cultures, the restaurant interior adds Japanese influence to the mix: counter dining, an open kitchen and neutral wooden furniture with atmospheric lighting, create a seamless blend of aesthetics to form Impromptu’s ‘casual fine dining’ personality.

The menu is regularly reinvented to better compliment Taiwan’s seasonal produce,, and based around a  ‘testing philosophy’: small portions, with great flavor., Starting at $115 per person, previous stars of the menu include a mud-crab and ginger taco; and a chocolate, parfait and peach coulis ‘snowman’ – the kind of spontaneous, innovative genius which won the restaurant a Michellin star just eights months after opening.

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