[Taipei] Taïrroir 態芮 - Farm to Table Dining in Taiwan

Rating: ❤❤❤1/2 (3.5/5)

The name Taïrroir is a combination of Taiwan and terroir, and as its name suggests, the restaurant focuses on local ingredients grown in Taiwan. The chef is Kai Ho who had worked at Guy Savoy and under Chef Julian Royer at Jaan in Singapore before returning back to his roots in Taiwan. Tairroir's concept is to showcase local Taiwanese ingredients and flavors but with French techniques and presentations which reminds me of our very own Chinese x French VEA Restaurant in Hong Kong. Aside from one dish, I wasn't wholly impressed with the flavors here though but I was thoroughly impressed by the service - the staff were very knowledgeable and every single dish was explained to us in great details. 

The restaurant offers two menu - the shorter "Yang Chun" menu at NT$1650 with wine pairing for NT$800 and the longer "Pong Pai" menu at NT$2500 with wine pairing for NT$1200. While they encourage everyone at the table to share the same menu, you don't actually have to do that but J and I both went for the shorter Yang Chun menu since we were not that hungry anyways. One side note: when you are looking at the menu, while the English names may sound normal, the Chinese version is more whimsical and witty. 

The first of our three wine pairings for our menu. 

"YuShiMo" Pacific Pomfret with Avocado, Lemon, Cucamelon, "Collections Granola" - the flavor of the fish was quite bland but I did enjoy the various textures from the granola and the refreshing flavors from the lemon and avocado. 

Yellow Fruit Corn Veloute with Sanxing Township Scallion, Salted Yolk and Comte Polenta - the polenta biscuit (scone?) was really hard and dry while I expected more layers of flavors from the corn veloute. J thought that it tasted like those corn powder soup you can buy at Japanese supermarkets. 

65°C Silkie Egg with Taro "en Puree et Kueh", Yilan "Ya Shang", Sakura Shrimp - inspired by the classic Chinese dish Eight Treasure Duck, this was the one dish that we were truly impressed with. Instead of the duck, the creamy taro puree was the main star of the dish here. We mixed all of the ingredients together and every bite was heavenly. This was exactly what I was looking for - being able to taste Chinese dishes that had been elevated to the next level and may possibly be even better than the original version. 

Poissons du Jour, Zucchini Blossoms, Baba Ganoush "Dumpling", Rouge Capsicum Jus - while we were still riding on our high from the previous dish, the mains turned out to be a little bit disappointing. J chose the fish which he thought was a bit overcooked. 

Sasso Poulet, Peanut Variations, Pickled Summer Young Ginger, "Kung Pao" Sauce - mine was supposed to be inspired by Kung Pao Chicken. The dish is a favorite of mine and I was looking forward to trying Tairroir's version but it left me just wanting the original thing. They made a big deal about leaving the chicken in one piece instead of being chopped but the chicken was dry and not that flavorful to begin with. The sauce was probably the weakest element here as it wasn't spicy enough and quite frankly didn't really taste like "kung pao" to me. 

Cucumber and Hendrick's Gin Sorbet, Lemon Foam, Rose Water Jelly - I quite like this palate cleanser which tasted like a gin and tonic. 

Homemade Brioche, Coffee, Soy Milk - the dessert was a lovely end for the meal (although I did wish that the coffee flavor could have been stronger). 

Taïrroir 態芮
6F, No.299, Lequn 3rd Rd, Zhongshan Dist, Taipei City 104, Taiwan
Tel: +886 2 85015500

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