Taiwan’s culinary ‘capital’ has no Michelin stars

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One local thanked the publication for giving Tainan a break. Otherwise, if there is a queue outside a hot spot, “it will be long enough to reach Pingtung County.”

  • Sherry Shan / Staff Reporter

Despite its reputation as the capital of traditional Taiwanese cuisine, Tainan’s restaurants received no stars by the Michelin Guide this year.

The French-based gourmet publication began evaluating restaurants in Taipei in 2018 and included restaurants in Taichung in 2020.

Michelin Guide investigators broadened their culinary search this year by also evaluating restaurants in Tainan and Kaohsiung.

Photo: Luo Pei De, Taipei Times

Michelin announced this year’s list of Taiwan’s 38 starred restaurants at the Mandarin Hotel in Taipei yesterday morning. Tainan was the only one of the four cities without a starred restaurant.

Far from being disappointed, some people in Tainan even said they were relieved that the outcome didn’t matter.

“It wouldn’t be a gastronomic capital of Taiwan without taste buds that can scrutinize food quality better than a Michelin food inspector. No,” wrote a resident surnamed Zhao on Tainan Style’s Facebook page.

Graphics: TT

“Thanks to the Michelin Guide for giving us a break, otherwise the queues outside the popular restaurants here would have been long enough to reach Pingtung County. Let’s go,” wrote another named Ye (Leaf).

Others say that while Tainan’s food is delicious, the city still has a long way to go when it comes to overall quality.

Minister of Transport and Communications Wang Guoqi (王国品) said he respects the Michelin Guide’s use of consistent criteria to evaluate restaurants around the world.

The inclusion of many restaurants serving traditional Taiwanese cuisine in Tainan on the guide’s Bib Gourmand list shows that Tainan’s cuisine is recognized by the publication, Wang said. .

Many cities use the Michelin Guide as a means of attracting tourists, and restaurants seeking star ratings must work hard to achieve them.

This isn’t the first time Michelin food inspectors’ tastes and locals’ tastes have collided. Many people say that Din Tai Fung should get a star.

This year, seven restaurants have been added to the one-star restaurant list, including Holt, Paris 1930 de Hideki Takayama, Shin Yeh Taiwanese Signature, Sushiyoshi and Yu Kapo in Taipei, Sho and Liberte in Kaohsiung.

Restaurants that have maintained one star are Danny’s Steakhouse, De Nuit, Feng Shinju Taiwanese Cuisine and Champagne (Songshan), Golden Formosa, Impromptu by Paul Lee, Ken Anhe, Kitcho, Longtail, Ming Fu Seafood Restaurant, Mipon, Molino de Urdaniz, Mountain and Sea House, Mudan, Sushi Akira, Sushi Nomura, Sushi Ryu, T+T, Tien Hsiang Lo and Ya Ge are in Taipei, and Fleur de Sel, Forchetta, Ortachi No Nikuya and Sur are in Taichung.

In Taipei, Da-Wan Yakiniku Dining Restaurant and A Cut failed to maintain their one-star rating this year.

Seven of last year’s eight two-star restaurants maintained their status: JL Studio in Taichung, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Taipei, Logy, RAW, Shoun Ryugin, Tairroir and The Guest House.

Sushi Amamoto was not on the list of 2 star restaurants. No new 2-star restaurants were awarded.

Le Palais at the Palais des Chine Hotel is the only 3-star restaurant in Taiwan. It has been in this state since 2018.

Taipei’s Mountain and Sea House, Yangmingquan (Shilin), Embers and Little Tree Food (Daan Road) have been awarded Green Stars for their sustainable management.

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