If I have anything surprising to recommend people to try in Taiwan besides food at the night market and street stands, that would be: French Food & Bread. When many different countries’ cuisine come and go in Taiwan like seasonal fashion trends with at most 1 year lifespan, French food is the only cuisine that survived the gruesome, competitive food arena for at least 5 years now.
Taiwanese’ passion for French food and bread is gaining attention across Asia and Europe. In 2008 Bread World Cup, Taiwan’s baking team won silver medal in the overall competition. In 2010 Paris Bread World Cup, Taiwanese baker Wu Pao Chun won the title Master Baker in the individual bread category. Pao Chun’s 25 years old assistant, Wu Tzu-Ching, won the award for sweet bread category in the 2011 World of Bread (Mondial du Pain) Contest held in Saint Etienne/Southern France.
In The Miele Guide where top restaurants in Asia are rated, French restaurants in Taiwan like La Cocotte ,by French chef Fabien Verge, and Le Moût, by a 30 years old lady chef named Chen Lanshu who worked with French Laundry restaurant in Napa before, made it into the guide book.
French restaurants in Taiwan offer preset menu with 6 or 12 courses, and only cost around $50 to $150 USD (a LOT cheaper than the ones in USA). Many French restaurants in Taiwan combines spices, food materials, even cooking equipments imported from France with Taiwan/Chinese cooking style and local food supply.
It is a tradition between my dad and I to visit different French/Fusion restaurants in Taiwan one-two times every year. This year we went to a new French/fusion restaurant in Taichung City called La Fete. Although the restaurant is new to me, the team of chef in this restaurant is quite experienced. The most notable award that one of their chef has won was the 2010 Singapore FHA World Culinary Challenge Gold Medal in Individual Cooking for meat category. I knew I was gonna get some good meat based main dishes. So here are the photos!:
Then there is the sorbet in the middle to clear our taste buds and get ready for the main course!
The servers at La Fete will explain and introduce each dish when serving. Many French/Fusion restaurants in Taiwan also have English Website and Menus. Reservations are recommended – especially on weekends.
La Fete English Website: http://www.lafete.com.tw/ENG/index.html
La Fete Address: No.587 HuiWen Rd, Taichung City, Taiwan/台中市南屯區惠文路587號.
La Fete Reservation Phone: (04) 2252-1680
Other Popular French/ and Fusion restaurants in Taiwan:
1. Le Moût ( English Website: http://www.lemout.com/en/index.php) in TaiChung City/台中市西區存中街59號.
2. LaCocote ( Reservation Email: email@example.com/ Phone: (02)3322-3289) in Taipei City /Near MRT Chain Kai Shek Memorial Station/台北市金山南路2段13巷20號.
3. Top of ONE/ A Restaurant in Hotel ONE on 46Floor (English Website: http://taichung.hotelone.com.tw/ Reservation Phone: (04)2303-1234) in TaiChung City/No. 532, Yīngcái Road, West District, Taichung City
4. La Petite Cuisine Brasserie by JQ/ Evergreen Laurel Tapei Hotel 2F (Website: http://www.justinquek.com/ Reservation Phone: (02) 2509-0332/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) in Taipei City/ 台北市松江路63號2樓(長榮桂冠飯店台北)
.5. La Anzel French Cusine (Reservation Phone:03-215-0091/ Website: http://la-anzel.emmm.tw/?ptype=info ) In TaoYuang City/桃園市大興西路二段61號.