Friday, October 02, 2020


Very sad news about chef Austin Hu who passed away suddenly yesterday. Taiwanese American Chef Austin was known for being a gifted and generous chef in Shanghai, but he was also one of the partners/ executive chef of Spot Taipei, which closed in 2018. Before the wave of current brunch spots opened, there weren’t a ton of choices in Taipei, and Spot was one of the few legit eateries where we could find delicious, hearty yet sophisticated New American dishes, like fried chicken waffle sandwiches, pancakes, breakfast tacos and Ferraro Rocher French toast. A great loss that will be felt by many.  

Remember the dishes from Spot Taipei 

Chef Austin Hu wrote reflected about mental health for chefs 

News from TimeOut Shanghai 

Chef Austin featured in the WSJ

Tuesday, August 25, 2020


[TAIPEI] ⭐️2020 Michelin Guide finally announced its Taipei & new Taichung stars, adding 4 new restaurants in Taipei and 4 in Taichung to the Michelin starred list, including new two stars for modern Singaporean JL Studio in Taichung and Logy in Taipei.

Street food lovers can look at the Taipei 54 bib gourmands and 170 restaurants featured at

Congrats to all the chefs and restaurants!!!

 Taipei Michelin 1 Star ⭐️ 
 -A Cut (new)
 -Danny’s Steakhouse
 -Golden Formosa
 -Impromptu by Paul Lee
 -Ken Anho
 -L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
 -Ming Fu Taiwanese 明福
 -Molino de Urdanize (new) 
-Mountain & Sea House 山海樓
 -Sushi Akira (new) 
-Sushi Nomura 鮨野村 
-Sushi Ryu 鮨隆 
-Three Coins 
 -Tien Hsiang Lo 天香樓 
-Ya Ge 雅閣 

Taichung Michelin 1 Star  ⭐️(new)
 -Fleur de Sel 
 -Oretachi No Nikuya 

Taipei Michelin 2 Star ⭐️⭐️
 -Logy (new)
-Nihonryori RyuGin 龍吟
-Sushi Amamoto 鮨天本 
-Tairroir 態芮 
-Guest House 請客樓 

 Taichung Michelin 2 star ⭐️⭐️(new) 
-JL Studio 

Taipei Michelin 3 star ⭐️⭐️⭐️
 -Le Palais 

Monday, June 08, 2020

my kitchen: i strongly recommend FLOUR BAKERY BANANA BREAD

Today I made pizza dough from scratch for the first time (thank you Mark Bittman). I don’t know why but for some reason I had been afraid of baking recipes that called for yeast and when I finally made my own focaccia last week I realized that instant yeast is my friend. 

So today after making pizza, the oven was still hot, I had a few very ripe bananas on the counter and coincidentally had creme fraiche in my fridge. So I’m glad I tried this popular banana bread recipe from my favorite Flour Bakery in Boston because it is AMAZING. Moist, caramelized crust and not too dense from whipping the eggs and sugar together first. Definitely worth the effort, though I moved the directions around a bit so that you can just use 1 mixing bowl.

Thank You Joanne Chang!!! I miss Flour Bakery, I want to try to make their breakfast sandwich next!! 



  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • *1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar *(I reduced to 3/4 cup, I might use 1/2 cup next time)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • *3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed *(I used 4)
  •  2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • *2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped *(I used whole pecans on top) 
  • *added a handful of chocolate chips)
  • *(I also added 1 teaspoon baking powder to get the top to rise higher)

Set oven to 350 degrees F (180C). Line the loaf pan with parchment paper.or butter generously 

Beat sugar and 2 eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup oil. Add mashed bananas, 2 tablespoons creme fraiche, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. 

Sift together the 1 2/3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 tsp salt. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts. Pour into a lined loaf pan and *stir in a handful of chocolate chips atop. Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until middle is set and top is golden

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


As we gear up for the 2021 Asia's 50 Best announcement, I wanted to post a recap of the list last year. With most of the world wrecked by coronavirus, the restaurant and travel industry got hit hard. We've been incredibly fortunate in Taiwan, and was even able to have one of the few in person food events, with the International Chef Summit Asia last December. Though I haven't traveled outside of Taiwan, I've had a chance discover more restaurants in other cities. I don't know what this year's list will look like, but hopefully one day we can all travel safely again to our favorite restaurants across Asia. 


In March 2020, Asia’s 50 Best chefs were scheduled to celebrate together in Saga Prefecture in Japan, but it was changed to an online awards ceremony due to increased travel restrictions and safety precautions for coronavirus. 

Four restaurants from Taiwan earned a spot to the Asia's 50 Best - three in Taipei with Mume helmed by Chef Richie Lin at No. 18, RAW headed by Chef Andre Chiang and Alain Huang at No. 36 and chef Hieda Ryohei’s Shoun Ryugin at No. 43, and one in Taichung - JL Studio landing on the list for the first time at No. 26, with the modern Singaporean restaurant and chef Jimmy Lim honored the year before as Asia’s One to Watch in 2019. 

Here’s the full list for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020:

1. Odette — Singapore
2. The Chairman — Hong Kong 
3. Den — Tokyo
4. Belon — Hong Kong 
5. Burnt Ends — Singapore
6. Sühring — Bangkok
7. Florilège — Tokyo
8. Le Du — Bangkok
9. Narisawa — Tokyo
10. La Cime — Osaka, Japan
11. Les Amis — Singapore
12. Vea — Hong Kong
13. Indian Accent — New Delhi
14. Mingles — Seoul
15. Gaa — Bangkok
16. Sorn — Bangkok 
17. Il Ristorante Luca Fantin — Tokyo 
18. Mume — Taipei 
19. Neighborhood — Hong Kong
20. Fu He Hui — Shanghai
21. Jaan by Kirk Westaway — Singapore 
22. Wing Lei Palace — Macau 
23. Sichuan Moon — Macau 
24. Nihonryori RyuGin — Tokyo
25. Seventh Son — Hong Kong
26. JL Studio — Taichung, Taiwan 
27. TocToc — Seoul
28. Zen — Singapore
29. Sazenka— Tokyo
30. Ministry of Crab — Colombo, Sri Lanka
31. Amber — Hong Kong
32. 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana — Hong Kong 
33. Lung King Heen — Hong Kong
34. Hansikgonggan — Seoul
35. Ode — Tokyo
36. Raw — Taipei 
37. Locavore — Bali, Indonesia
38. Paste — Bangkok
39. Bo.Ian —  Bangkok
40. La Maison de La Nature Goh — Fukuoka, Japan
41. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet — Shanghai
42. Corner House — Singapore
43. Shoun RyuGin — Taipei 
44. Toyo Eatery — Manila
45. Bukhara — New Delhi
46. Sushi Saito — Tokyo
47. 80/20 — Bangkok
48. L’Effervescence — Tokyo
49. Inua — Tokyo
50. Nouri — Singapore

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

mexican: i strongly recommend EL SABROSO

No. 107-1, Tingzhou Road, Section 3, Zhongzheng District
(02) 2368-9599

MRT: Taipower Building

Hours: 11AM - 2PM ; 5PM -9PM, Closed Mondays 

$-$$ (under NT$250 per person) cash only 

Kid friendliness: very small shop with counter seating or sidewalk seating only. non-spicy items if your kids don't eat spicy. 

Visit reviewed: 6/12/2018 & 2/5/2020

Sometimes I get asked about "where to find tacos in Taipei" or "where to find the best Mexican food in Taipei" which is understandable since that is one of the first things you end up craving when you have been in Asia a long time. So the last few years, my answer has been El Sabroso, a tiny shop that serves up burritos, quesadillas and nachos. And just in time for taco tuesday, El Sabroso serves tacos ONLY on Tuesdays.  

I actually passed by El Sabroso several times while they were building it because it's not far from Lan Jia Gua Bao and Chen San Ding brown sugar boba (RIP). So when I saw a few posts about it, I had to give it try. 

The colorful signage and murals outside the shop make it hard to miss, and a nice extension of the shop, since most of the seating is outside on the sidewalk. When you step inside the shop, the cashier is right at the front with menus and signage that is pretty well done for a mom and pop shop. The menu introduces the chef/owner Oscar, who is from Toluca Mexico and passionate about cooking Mexican food and bringing authentic flavors to Taipei. 

Every time I have gone, I've spied him there behind the counter in the kitchen. The reason why they only offer tacos on Tuesdays is because he makes all the corn and flour tortillas and meats/salsas in house, and it was mostly just him. It's also why you should expect to wait 10-15 minutes (at least) after ordering since the tortillas are pressed and griddled to order.  The first time I went, I waited about 30 minutes for 3 tacos, a burrito and nachos. Now I usually call ahead and pick up my order to go.

My usual order is the chicken tinga burrito with guacamole on the side. The chicken tinga is definitely spicy, but the pineapple salsa gives it a touch of sweetness to balance it. The burrito is a good size has mexican rice and lettuce and sour cream (which sometimes I ask for no sour cream).

I also enjoyed the tacos, but I was not a fan of the nachos. There's also carnitas (pork), asada (steak), pastor, ground beef, grilled chicken and a few salsas to choose from.

I would advise if you have your heart set on tacos, or a certain meat, then go early at lunch or dinner as things do run out sometimes, or call ahead to order/check, and know that they close in the afternoon and promptly at the end of lunch and dinner hours.

If you're looking for other places for Mexican food in Taipei, I like the fish tacos and chimichanga from Macho Tacos, the tacos from Town by Bryan Nagao. There's also Eddy's Cantina in Tianmu and Twinkeyz Tacos, both which I should revisit as I haven't been in years. Oh and maybe Teotihuacan which I should post about. I know there's also a few newer ones that I've been hearing about, any of you guys still reading have any recommendations? 

Thursday, January 09, 2020

roundup /taipei : best things i ate last week jan 2020

The Best Things Hungry in Taipei Ate Last Week, January 1, 2020

I'm always getting asked about what I've eaten lately that's good and so I'm going to try to revive the weekly round up! Enjoy and let me know if there's anything I should be eating in Taipei!

Fried chicken thighs and legs at FAT DADDY'S CHICKEN

If one of your new year's resolution is to eat healthier this year, then do not watch this video. It was the first time I tried Fat Daddy's Chicken, fried chicken cravings spurred on by a friend's post of the viral KFC rice trend that has been circulating. The chicken is crispy, juicy and ASMR ready, as evidenced by this video of two people crunching and slurping their way through a bucket. (Who knew there was a channel dedicated to ASMR'ing and whisprering about Taiwanese food?) Get the fries and onion rings if you must, but avoid the sweet potato balls. 

Cranberry pineapple cake at CHIA TE

I ended up visiting the Chia Te shop for the very first time last week when my friends from LA wanted to buy boxes to take back home. I tagged along because I had heard about it over the years, but I had never actually eaten one. My friend proclaimed that the cranberry pineapple cake was her favorite and after trying a few of them, she was right. The touch of tartness of cranberry gives this traditional pastry that extra touch I never knew it needed. Be prepared to wait, there was a 50 person or so line looping around the store when we went. Pick up a box of nougat cracker sandwiches too. 

Harvest salad at AVENUE 

Still in love with the beet, apple, green bean, haloumi cheese and candied pecans combo over fresh greens. And right on trend according to the New York Times. If you're really hungry, also order the truffle orzo with egg and mini corn dogs. 

Xiao long baos at WU HU DOUJIANG 五湖豆漿 (Five Lakes Doujiang)

I have been trying to find new (to me) places to grab Taiwanese breakfast because good ones actually do exist outside of Fu Hang and Yonghe Dou Jiang. Met up with Eric Sze from 886 over soy milk, dan bing and xiao long baos which had a thicker skin and a punch of ginger. I like eating outside since it's shaded and the scattered tables are enough to seat the rotating short line in front of the busy kitchen.