In the sixth edition of Michelin Guide Taiwan, announced during a live celebration on August 31, a restaurant that celebrated the top of Taiwanese cuisine and culture was awarded a 3rd Michelin star.

Tairroir, a portmanteau between Taiwan and Terroir, run by chef Kai Ho from Taichung, was opened in 2017 and has received 2 Michelin stars since 2019 (the restaurant was awarded its first star in 2018).

Taiwan’s Zhongshan district is an ideal spot for people looking to taste Ho’s interpretation of Taiwanese ingredients and flavors that are interpreted using classic French cooking techniques.

Like its peers, The restaurant focuses on the local produce grown in the area and can work with the seasons.

Sixty-five degrees C silky egg with Taro “en puree et Kueh,” Yilan “Ya Shang” and the sakura shrimp of Tairroir.

Viota Ho, the general manager of Tairroir, was also awarded for service special thanks to her dedication to hospitality.

Angela Lai, responsible for the restaurant’s desserts, was awarded Asia’s top pastry chef by Asia’s Best Panel of Restaurants in 2021.

Angela Lai is head of pastry at the Taiwanese restaurant Tairroir in Taipei. 

It was the first time a restaurant serving Taiwanese food had been given the coveted three Michelin stars. He was stunned when he took a selfie on stage, sporting his brand new chef’s jacket that is three Michelin stars, and later added that, regardless of the ups and downs, his passion and determination will never change.

The Taichung’s JL Studio, led by head chef Jimmy Lim, who serves contemporary Singaporean cuisine, has also moved from two to three Michelin-star status. The audible roar of cheers was heard from the auditorium before the announcement. Michelin Guide international director Gwendal Poullennec announced that the restaurant, which was promoted to three-star status, “is based in Taichung and is led by a Singaporean chef.”

The chef at JL Studio is Jimmy Lim. JL Studio in Taichung, Taiwan, showcases Singaporean flavors using Taiwanese produce. Photo: JL Studio

JL Studio’s Hainanese chicken rice, which has grouper as a substitute for chicken, is paired with Jicama and Taiwanese bamboo and chili sauce made from the Fushimi pepper. 

“I am not sure the right words to use. I’m so thrilled. A small step forward for Singaporean cuisine.” was the visibly emotional Lim after accepting the award on the stage.

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These two awards signal Le Palais restaurant’s conclusion as the only restaurant in Taiwan with 3 Michelin Stars.

Le Palais, a restaurant offering high-end Cantonese food prepared and created by a Chef from Hong Kong, Ken Chan, retained its three-Michelin-star rating for the sixth year.

The chef Andre Chiang, who established two Michelin-starred Restaurant RAW in Taipei and posted a black and white image on his Instagram account with no caption during the time following the ceremony.

The article sparked a wave of people asking why this French-inflected Taiwanese restaurant hasn’t been awarded three Michelin stars.

Ban Bo is a new restaurant with a Michelin star rating, focusing on local Taiwanese ingredients. Photo: instagram@banbo_restaurant

The Michelin Young Chef Prize is given to anyone younger than 36 who impressed inspectors with their culinary talents. The winner was Steven Su of Ban Bo, who also earned it’s initial Michelin award in the latest guide.

The restaurant, located in Zhongshan, Taipei, has taken the variety of regional cuisine into a contemporary Taiwanese menu.

“Over the past year, our inspectors have been impressed with how [the] Taiwan food scene has bounced back, showing a resilience rarely seen worldwide,” said Poullennec in a recorded video message before the ceremony.

He spoke of the growing fine-dining scene in Taiwan, which he blamed on investment “committed to renovate or launch high-end restaurants, and ambitious projects by a new breed of young and talented chefs … or by experienced foreign chefs choosing to settle in Taiwan”.

Poullennec stated Poullennec said that Michelin inspectors have observed “how the farm-to-table movement and the importance of locally produced ingredients are gaining ground” and that sustainability is not simply a euphemism.

The cuisine of Taiwan inspires Ban Bo. 

“Thirty years ago, the best restaurants in Taiwan specialised in ethereal Chinese banquet food – think dishes like shark fin soup and Peking duck,” says Clarissa Wei, food writer and creator of the forthcoming book Made by Taiwan.

“There was a clear shift in the 2000s, starting with the inauguration banquets of then-president Chen Shui-bian, who was the first president to prioritise locally produced ingredients on his menu.”

Wei says that, increasingly, chefs from Taiwan are looking for ways to reflect their culture through their food that are paying off.

“Fine-dining menus are created to tell stories, and nowadays the stories told from Taiwanese eateries reflect the island’s incredibly subtropical Terroir. There are more and more chefs focused on the unique ingredients that make Taiwan distinct.”

The recipients from the Michelin Guide Taiwan 2023. Photo: Michelin Guide Taiwan 2023

The complete listing of Michelin stars for Taiwan 2023 (asterisk indicates a new entry or a promotion):

One Michelin star

  1. A Cut, Taipei *
  2. Ad Astra, Taipei *
  3. Ban Bo, Taipei *
  4. Danny’s Steakhouse, Taipei
  5. De Nuit, Taipei
  6. Fleur de Sel Restaurant, Taichung
  7. Forchetta, Taichung
  8. Fujin Tree Taiwanese Cuisine & Champagne, Taipei
  9. Haili, Kaohsiung *
  10. Holt, Taipei
  11. Impromptu by Paul Lee, Taipei
  12. Inita, Taipei *
  13. Ken Anho, Taipei
  14. Kitcho, Taipei
  15. La Maison de Win, Taichung *
  16. Longtail, Taipei
  17. Mingfu Restaurant, Taipei
  18. Mipon, Taipei
  19. Mountain & Sea House Restaurant, Taipei
  20. Oretachi no Nikuya, Taichung
  21. Paris 1930 de Hideki Takayama, Taipei
  22. Shin Yeh Taiwanese Signature, Taipei
  23. Sho, Kaohsiung
  24. Sur, Taichung
  25. Sushi Akira, Taipei
  26. Sushi Nomura, Taipei