A recent trip to Taipei not only enabled me to partake of genuine Taiwanese cuisine, it also helped open my eyes to the fact that Taiwanese food can be perfectly combined with French dishes.
One day, after my friends and I visited the famous National Palace Museum in Wai Shuang Hsi, we went to Toh-A’, a famous Taiwanese-French fusion restaurant, for lunch.
Located on Heping East Road in Taipei city, Toh-A’ is in fact run by a Hongkonger, known as Abu, who has been in Taiwan for 20 years and has married a local woman.
After I tasted the food, I realized immediately why Abu has been so successful.
The first dish of the set meal we had was a mix of fried scallops from Hokkaido, fresh abalone from Australia and dried abalone from Taiwan. The creativity in it was really impressive.
Then we were served with grouper soup accompanied by rice. Very delicious!
A steamed Boston lobster with black truffle cream was so French, but chef Abu used a rooster-shaped plate to dish it out, giving it some kind of Taiwanese flavor.
The main dish, Iberian pork belly with Hungarian pork loin, provided us with two kinds of taste at the same time, that is, crispness and softness.
As for deserts, which included sesame balls, chocolate rice krispie and honey cakes, they were all served on oriental lacquerware.
I have to say that chef Abu really has superb skills of mixing different kinds of food materials as well as making the most of utensils to dish out the food.
By the way, what’s also worth mentioning is the decor of Toh-A’ is as pleasing to the eye as the setting of its food. Outside there is a round gate that evokes Zen atmosphere, while on the inside there is an elegant garden.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 26
Translation by Taka Liu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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