IN the age of digital technology, pocket guides seem futile, but one name will live on forever in the travel guide sphere – Michelin.
Being featured in a Michelin guide can increase sales and put your once local restaurant on a global map – which is exactly what is about to happen in Taiwan’s capital, Taipei.
As of Spring 2018, travelers will be able to navigate around the most delicious street vendors, serving up fresh, vibrant, zingy delicacies, as well as discovering the capital’s best-loved restaurants, admired for the diverse array of scrumptious dishes, with an ambrosial status.
The magnetic allure of Taipei’s gastronomy scene has never been short of tourists and locals swinging by for a quick treat or meandering the narrow lanes for hours, being directed only by their noses.
“You don’t need to be in a wonderful place to have extreme quality of ingredients and to have real personalities of the chef,” Bruno de Feraudy, a Michelin spokesman told South China Morning Post. “Exceptional for us is what’s happening on the plate and purely on the plate.”
From its beginnings over a century ago, Michelin has been viewed as the guide to posh restaurants, giving diners an insight into what they can expect to get for their dollar. Yet, to keep up with demanding travelers, wishing to experience the depths of a country’s history, traditions, and tastes, Michelin is now recognizing budget eats as well.
This recognition is set to have a momentous positive impact on smaller eateries. In 2010, Tim Ho Wan, a hole-in-the-wall Dim Sum vendor in Hong Kong gained a Michelin Star, which saw the small-time street stall, transform into a successful chain of restaurants across much of Southeast Asia.
However, not all restaurateurs are besotted with the potential of being featured in Taipei’s Michelin Guide. Shop manager at Wu Su-yan, a small vendor that is best known for its low priced bowls of rice, topped with braised pork, claims she doesn’t need a write up to assure customers that the food is excellent.
“Having customers is confirmation enough. We don’t need it to be written on a piece of paper to know our lu rou fan is good,” the manager of the restaurant told South China Morning Post.
Through the Michelin inspectors exploration of the colorful cuisine scene in Taipei, street vendors, alley-way snack shacks, and fancier restaurants will all be featured. This first-of-its-kind guide to Taipei hopes to rediscover the regions forgotten delicacies, that are currently considered passé by the younger Taiwanese generation, and allow locals, travelers and business people to feast on the finest flavors the country has to offer.
“The diversity and quality of the city’s culinary scene, combined with its strong potential for development in the years to come, convinced us in our choice to set up in Taipei as from next year. Our inspectors have already started working on-site and are delighted to be getting acquainted with the local cuisine, rich in so many influences from all around Asia,” Claire Dorland-Clauzel, member of the Group Executive Committee, and director of Sustainable Development at Michelin said in a press release.
We’ve got our guide, have you got yours?