A total of 20 restaurants obtained Michelin’s much-coveted stars in its first-ever eating guide to Taipei released on Wednesday.
A posh outlet that serves Cantonese cuisine stands out as the only winner of the highest rating of three stars, Apple Daily reports.
Taipei is the 30th city in the world to join the ratings, Michelin Guide international director Michael Ellis said, adding that the city now can take its rightful place on the playing field among Japan, Italy, France and other nations that are known for their distinct cuisines, the Taipei Times said.
According to the prestigious international restaurant reference guide, 17 of the 20 Taipei restaurants received one star, including L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, which has three stars in Hong Kong, and the others that offer cuisines ranging from European contemporary, Japanese, barbecue and Hangzhou.
Two restaurants were given two stars that stand for “excellent cooking worth a detour”. They are Japanese contemporary restaurant RyuGin and Chinese restaurant The Guest House of Sheraton Grande Taipei Hotel.
The only three-star rating, which denotes “exceptional cuisine worth a journey”, went to Le Palais, the Cantonese restaurant of Palais de Chine Hotel, which is located in Datong District and known for its signature dish, the Cantonese-style crispy roast duck that costs NT$3,880 (HK$1,040 or US$133.30).
Ken Chan, executive chef of Le Palais, said it’s a huge honor, although he admitted feeling great pressure to live up to the accolade, Apple Daily said, citing an interview by the Central News Agency.
Michelin praised Chan and his team for having mastered the art of cooking a variety of Chinese cuisines.
Both Chan and another chef, Matt Chan, who is from Macau, said what made their cuisines special and recognized by Michelin are the sauces, which are shipped from Hong Kong and known for their incomparable saltiness and scent.
However, some food critics in Hong Kong believe that the cuisines of Le Palais are behind the times and properly belong to the 1960s and 1970s.
Some netizens also consider it ironic that a three-star Cantonese restaurant can be found in Taipei.
Despite the praises and criticisms, Eric Lin, secretary of Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau, said he expects the launch of the Michelin Guide Taipei to help boost the island’s tourism sector as delicious foods have been one of its main attractions.
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