TAIWAN - TAIPEI - Bistronomic art at RAW

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image Sakura Ebi Cappellini

First, there’s a striking beautiful interior, wooden, minimalist, all in curves. Then the lovely details like the cutlery hidden inside you’re table’s secret drawer.

This tastefully designed restaurant has the atmosphere of an art gallery while it’s all about gastronomy. Or “bistronomy” more precisely, meaning affordable gastronomic french style cuisine with a Taiwanese twist. No surprise as it’s been conceptualised by famous “born in Taiwan” and “made in France” Chef André Chiang.

Creative and spontaneous, that’s how he and his local team led by Chefs Zor Tang and Alain Huang wanted RAW’s menu to sound like. Highlighting seasonal produce, what comes on your plate carry exciting names like “Uni Hokkaido Peanut Butter Peas”, “Sakura Ebi Cappellini” or “Chocolate Burnt Butter Mochi”.

Their daring mantra “Never be afraid to make mistakes” has worked as they don’t seem to have made any.  Since they first opened a year ago, Raw has become one of the most sought-after restaurants in Taipei.  

Rare are the Chefs you’d follow anywhere they settle a business. André is one of them. Singapore, check, Taipei, check, Paris, next.

image Tiny iced Pineapple Cakes
 

ASK : your way to the restroom, a must-see… Kidding aside, make sure to make your reservation early in advance. If not, you might have a chance on waiting list. Until January 10th they’ll only be serving a “best of the year menu”.

Website

Maps

SINGAPORE - RESTAURANT - ANDRE - Delectable

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André Chiang, born in Taiwan, had worked under French master Chefs such as Pourcel, Robuchon, Troisgros, Gagnaire… before he decided to settle in Singapore and call his restaurant home. This charming heritage house behind a welcoming little olive tree, takes you on a culinary journey and into André’s creative universe based on an “Octaphilosophy”. Unique, pure, texture, memory, salt, south, artisan and terroir.

The result is French, but different. Nouvelle cuisine, but not too much. In this place awarded best restaurant in Singapore, the meat comes from France (4 times a week), and lunch is worth the 100 dollars + you’d spend once in a while (or a lifetime) on a gastronomic restaurant.

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The daring “veal aspic” basically a deconstructed revamped “tête de veau”, would make you surprizingly ask for more brain, tongue, and other kind of offal you thought you’d never eat. Menu changes daily, but his signature dessert the “Snickers” chocolate bar (new creation each year) remains. The 2015 version is to die for.

And when André leaves you a note on a menu sheet saying “Life is about good food, good wine and lots of good friends”, it’s just delectable.

ASK: To be seated downstairs to feel the kitchen vibes.

Website

Maps

 

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TAIWAN - CITY GUIDE - ONE DAY IN CREATIVE TAIPEI

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Taipei is a creative and inspiring city, a city attached to its chinese roots and influenced by japanese lifestyle.Taipei is actually a city anyone longing for energy and tranquillity could live in. After visiting the Museum of Contemporary Art  (MoCA), head to “Si Zhi Tang” for a farm styled lunch. Then walk around the beautiful concrete old factory at Hua Shan Creative Park and have an ice cream at “Café Lumière”. Shop around “VVG”’s charming trendy area before discovering the new upcoming places to be (“Café Showroom”, “Funfuntown”) on Fujin Street. Finish the day and relax  at “Wistaria” Tea House and Gallery.

 

Si Zhi Tang - Farm dining in the city

No MSG guaranteed. This lovely vintage bucolic restaurant is the place to be if you have no time to explore Taipei’s countryside. Well, at least you’ll get a taste of it. Fresh Fig and Chicken salad, stir fried veggie with okra and Taiwanese ham or with cauliflower and Tofu, Chilli pepper stewed chicken with glass noodles. Fresh produce of course. Hearty meal.

ASK: For the green vegetables, Banana and Pineapple fresh juice, never tasted so good

Maps

 

 

 

Café Lumière at Hua Shan 1914 Creative Park

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Imagine a city within the city, a wine factory abandoned and revamped to host Taipei’s primary creative arts center and dozens and dozens of shops and design restaurants. And a cinema, where you could watch french movies (well Ok with chinese subtitles) and a Café where you would daydream and eat home made ice cream. Hua Shan 1914 creative park is the Taiwanese version of parisian “Cour Saint-Emilion”. But better.

ASK: At Café Lumière named after Hou Hsiao Hsien’s movie, to be seated by the window overlooking the park and watch people go by

Website

Maps

 

VVG - Good Living

VVG, which stands for Very Very Good, started what is today a lifestyle empire with a small restaurant fifteen years ago. Today spreading their “Good living” mantra, via their bistro, bakery, shops, (high end) Bed & Breakfast… And creating in a busy city a calm environment with american, european and japanese influence. You could spend hours chilling and visiting VVG’s branches, but I’d recommend you focus on VVG Something, their library (awarded one of the 20th most beautiful in the world), and VVG Chiffon (tableware and lifestyle products, think Merchant Mills, La savonnerie Bruxelloise…), both facing each other next to VVG Bakery and VVG Bistro located in a charmingly trendy area.

 

ASK: For the Miao Chocolate and strawberry marmelade at VVG Chiffon, Made in Taiwan

Website

Maps

 

Cafe Showroom

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This beautiful spot, popular among the taiwanese artists community is as it says a café, and a showroom. After a look at the exhibition (that would be a quick one considering the little space) seat down and enjoy a hazelnut latte before exploring Fujin Street, the new street to be in Taipei. Trendy and chic.

ASK: For the homemade red velvet cake to go with the latte

Website

Maps

 

 

 

Fun Fun Town

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Alert! Coolest homeware shop in town.

ASK: For the lamps from Asian Scandinavian designer “Chen Karlsson”, the “Landscape” organizer from taiwanese brand “Danzo Studio”, wooden pen and stag horn shaped light from Mozidozen. So unique.

Website

Maps

 

 

 

 

 

Wistaria Teahouse - Art of tea

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Built in 1920, this charmingly old wooden house used to be a dormitory in the Japanese-era. Today, it is devided into an art gallery and a traditional Tea House. Of course they are serious about the tea and they have a fine selection of Oolong (among others) with poetic names such as “Cloud Song” and “Winter Warmth”.  But what we tend to forget is that to make good tea you have to pour good water. And here, no disappointment, it’s “sweet and pure” water from the mountains of the Wu Lai area. The beginning of a long story…

ASK : To be seated on the floor to experience 100%

Website

Maps

Taiwan - Taipei - Cafe Showroom

This beautiful spot, popular among the taiwanese artists community is as it says a café, and a showroom. After a look at the exhibition (that would be a quick one considering the little space) seat down and enjoy a hazelnut latte before exploring Fujin Street, the new street to be in Taipei. Trendy and chic.

ASK: For the homemade red velvet cake to go with the latte

Website

Maps

Taiwan - Taipei - Wistaria Teahouse - Art of tea

Built in 1920, this charmingly old wooden house used to be a dormitory in the Japanese-era. Today, it is devided into an art gallery and a traditional Tea House. Of course they are serious about the tea and they have a fine selection of Oolong (among others) with poetic names such as “Cloud Song” and “Winter Warmth”.  But what we tend to forget is that to make good tea you have to pour good water. And here, no disappointment, it’s “sweet and pure” water from the mountains of the Wu Lai area. The beginning of a long story…

ASK : To be seated on the floor to experience 100%

Website

Maps

Taiwan - Taipei - Café Lumière at Hua Shan 1914 Creative Park

image

Imagine a city within the city, a wine factory abandoned and revamped to host Taipei’s primary creative arts center and dozens and dozens of shops and design restaurants. And a cinema, where you could watch french movies (well Ok with chinese subtitles) and a Café where you would daydream and eat home made ice cream. Hua Shan 1914 creative park is the Taiwanese version of parisian “Cour Saint-Emilion”. But better.

ASK: At Café Lumière named after Hou Hsiao Hsien’s movie, to be seated by the window overlooking the park and watch people go by

Website

Maps

Taiwan - Taipei - Si Zhi Tang - Farm dining in the city

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No MSG guaranteed. This lovely vintage bucolic restaurant is the place to be if you have no time to explore Taipei’s countryside. Well, at least you’ll get a taste of it. Fresh Fig and Chicken salad, stir fried veggie with okra and Taiwanese ham or with cauliflower and Tofu, Chilli pepper stewed chicken with glass noodles. Fresh produce of course. Hearty meal.

ASK: For the green vegetables, Banana and Pineapple fresh juice, never tasted so good

Maps

TAIWAN - TAIPEI - VVG - Good Living

image

VVG, which stands for Very Very Good, started what is today a lifestyle empire with a small restaurant fifteen years ago. Today spreading their “Good living” mantra, via their bistro, bakery, shops, (high end) Bed & Breakfast… And creating in a busy city a calm environment with american, european and japanese influence. You could spend hours chilling and visiting VVG’s branches, but I’d recommend you focus on VVG Something, their library (awarded one of the 20th most beautiful in the world), and VVG Chiffon (tableware and lifestyle products, think Merchant Mills, La savonnerie Bruxelloise…), both facing each other next to VVG Bakery and VVG Bistro located in a charmingly trendy area.

ASK: For the Miao Chocolate and strawberry marmelade at VVG Chiffon, Made in Taiwan

Website

Maps