Michelin Guide picks 30 starred restaurants in Taiwan

08/24/2020 07:52 PM
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A chef at Le Palais/ Photo courtesy of a member of the public
A chef at Le Palais/ Photo courtesy of a member of the public

Taichung, Aug. 24 (CNA) Michelin's 2020 gourmet food guide on Taiwan has named 26 starred restaurants in Taipei and four in Taichung, which the guide explored for the first time this year after limiting its ratings to restaurants in Taipei the past two years.

"With the vibrant selection of Taipei restaurants, which is improving year after year, this enriched edition aims to show the world the richness and diversity of Taiwanese culinary scene," said Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guides.

Of the 26 winners in Taipei announced on Monday, there was one three-starred restaurant, Cantonese restaurant Le Palais, which maintained its top rating for a third year in a row.

There were six two-star restaurants, with five of them -- Shoun Ryugin, Sushi Amamoto, Taïrroir and The Guest House -- holdovers from last year and one new addition -- logy.

Logy received one star for the first time last year, and was promoted to two stars in the 2020 selection.

Of the 19 one-star restaurants in Taipei, three were new -- A Cut steakhouse, Molino de Urdániz, and Sushi Akira -- according to the guide.

In Taichung, one two-starred restaurant and three one-star restaurants were selected.

Directly debuting in the guide with two stars was JL Studio, led by Singaporean chef Jimmy Lim (林恬耀), who earned his culinary chops in renowned global restaurants.

The three one-starred restaurants were Fleur de Sel, Forchetta and Oretachi No Nikuya.

Oretachi No Nikuya's chef-owner Sam Chung (鍾佳憲) also received the inaugural Michelin Young Chef Award this year, with the guide praising him "for his passion for ingredients, skillful techniques, and personal interaction with diners, making the dining experience all the more convivial and enjoyable."

The award is given to a chef who is under 36 years old and working in one of the Michelin Star restaurants in the year's selection.

Michelin's efforts to discover fine dishes in Taichung started two years ago, Poullennec said in a virtual press conference as he could not travel to Taiwan due to tight border restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

All the Michelin star restaurants were chosen based on more than one visit, including pre- and post-COVID-19, Poullennec said, adding that to maintain a consistent standard during the pandemic, the guide used locally trained inspectors to complete the mission.

"Luckily we have the local people and local inspectors fully trained able to carry on and share the consistency of all our ratings," he said.

A Michelin three-star rating denotes "exceptional cuisine worth a journey," while the two-star and one-star categories recommend excellent cooking worth a detour and high quality cooking worth a stop, respectively.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)

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