Taipei’s Le Palais given three stars in first-ever Michelin guide to Taiwan’s capital
Hong Kong chef’s Cantonese restaurant only one to get top accolade in list celebrating the best of city’s ‘vibrant’ food scene
A total of 20 restaurants in Taipei, including five that serve Japanese food, received accolades in the inaugural edition of the Michelin guide for Taipei released on Wednesday.
Touting the launch of the guide as a “truly historic event,” Michael Ellis, international director of the Michelin Guide, said in Taipei that Taiwanese food could take its rightful place on the international stage.
“The food in Taiwan is vibrant, dynamic and delicious,” he said. “That 20 restaurants obtain Michelin stars means that Taiwanese cuisine has now entered the area of being truly recognised as world class.”
Among the 20 restaurants, only one, Le Palais, gained the top honour of three stars.
Under Michelin’s rating system one star refers to a very good restaurant. Two stars refer to excellent cooking worth a detour, while three stars refer to exceptional cuisine worth a special journey.
Ken Chan, the chef at Le Palais, a Cantonese restaurant, said he felt surprised and honoured to receive the accolade.
Chan, who emigrated from Hong Kong some 30 years ago, said the top rating definitely put him under more pressure, but he would continue to do a good job and provide customers with good food.
Shoun RyuGin, one of the two restaurants that gained two stars, was described as offering “innovative interpretations of Japanese cooking”.
Chef Ryohei Hieda said the two-star status was recognition of his work.
When asked about his future goal, the young chef said that his motto has been to “do a better job tomorrow than yesterday”, so his goal would be to provide customers with better food on a daily basis.
In addition, 17 other restaurants were awarded one star.
Taipei is the 31st city in the world and seventh Asian city to be rated by Michelin, following the Thai capital of Bangkok.
Tokyo was the first Asian city to have a red guide, followed by Hong Kong/Macau, Singapore, Seoul and Shanghai.
As Taiwan is also famous for its street food, Michelin launched last week its Big Gourmand restaurant guide featuring 26 restaurants at moderate prices and 10 street food from night markets.