The best restaurant in Taipei?
Raw is a restaurant with a big reputation, opened by one of the most respected Asian chefs in the world, in the name of André Chiang. His restaurant Andre in Singapore was rated as one of the best restaurants in Asia by The World 50 Best Guide, it was also a holder of 2 Michelin stars. Since then, Andre was closed down which allow Andre Chiang to fully develop Raw and turning it into the hottest dining destination in Taiwan. The way to book a table is like trying to book a ticket for Glastonbury, you will need to book within 5 mins once your desired day is opened for booking and you will need to pay the food cost in advance. It only serves a tasting menu. Our waiter on the day informed us the tasting menu that was on offered at our visit is best of the past, taken all the greatest dishes from the last few years.
|Prawn, mioga, peas|
|Porridge, tofu, sea urchin|
|Scallop, basil, enoki|
|Bamboo, asparagus, egg|
|Serving the tofu|
The risk of a tasting menu is there is a high chance you will encounter dishes that you won't enjoy and that happened to me. The broken egg dish with bamboo and asparagus was fairly average, while the cooking of the vegetables was fine and had great seasoning, it lacked any excitement and felt like a side dish idea. The black truffle tofu was also a puzzling dish, it offered a great theater element on the serving, but the actual taste of the tofu was bland and the garnish of the mushroom was cold. As a contrast, Raw is capable to deliver some amazing dishes. The cobia was cooked to perfection, I really enjoyed the unusual of satay and caviar which somehow worked wonderfully with the dish. The main of dirty chicken was simply amazing, the smoky aroma, combining with the richness of the octopus and crispiness of the radish, turn this dish into a worldbeater.
|Tofu, truffle, maitake|
|Cobia, aubergine, furikake|
|Chicken, octopus, black radish|
|Red bean, mont blanc|
To sum it up, Raw has its hits and misses. There were some very forgettable dishes, as well as some true showstoppers. The kitchen is more than capable to deliver Michelin quality dishes but I felt some of the concepts has been taken too far which resulted in some dishes that sounded amazing on paper, and looked visually great, but failed to deliver in taste. Before of the reputation of Raw, I was expecting a touch more, but based on my experience, I think the Michelin 1 star rating is as good as it can be, anything more would be an injustice.
What I paid:
£125 per head with cocktails
Average cost without drinks and services :
301, Lequn 3rd Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10491