Modern Taiwanese Cuisine is not a difficult concept to understand, but definitely hard to implement.
It might be harder than serving pure French cuisine in Taiwan because locals have certain stereotypes over certain ingredients. Taiwan already has a good variety of produce and there are top-quality flavour-rich materials ingredients which are less known, and are rarely used in modern cuisines.
Chef Hsiao works and plays the role of a FARMER in his own garden in the morning and that of an innovative CHEF at night.
Together with Chef Lin, they make creative cuisine every night at a Japanese style duplex in downtown Taichung. They strongly believe in the potential of local produce.
There are some fancy restaurants who have taken the initiative to replace imported ingredients with local ones in their classical French or Italian cuisines.
That isn’t the case with Hero Restaurant.
They have taken a more challenging path. They prefer to look deep inside the ingredients, treat them carefully, tune them with auxiliary ingredients and some home grown vegetables to create something which is of a complex nature. Tender, fun and yet, filled with a balanced flavour.
The complexity of treating these ingredients require a lot of time, skills and effort. Failure to deal with one ingredient correctly might ruin the overall texture. After many trials and errors, their efforts paid off. The dishes presented bring about wonders in taste and texture. Many flavours entice our tastebud and breeze pass through gently in our mind, where it gradually converges into one note and lingers as long as we can savour it.
We are here to visit them and taste the autumn menu. Some of the dishes we could not resist trying were:
- Deep-fried baby abalone charmed by pomelo and Hero salad harmonised by salty-egg powder.
These dishes flourished with leaves and flowers. Smoked pigeon in hay was the smell of the season. The blood pigeon comes from the very southern part of the island. The leg is deep-fried and the breast, is smoked. The flavours are beautifully layered, making it sa masterpiece.
- Silky chicken with angelica sauce was the highlight of the day.
Back in the old days when winter was around the corner, every grandmother would somehow prepare angelica silky chicken soup for the dietary supplement of the family. The smell often filled up the house and the taste warmed up the stomach. It’s a common childhood memory, which gets rekindled and brought up again here. They have deconstructed this traditional soup. Now, the silky chicken is grilled and paired with angelica sauce while accompanied by fried vermicelli. The soup is served separately. A tiny piece of black pudding with pepper hint makes all the flavours come alive.
The rice is thickened by the grease from the beef cheek. And the dessert, black tea ice cream is carefully dressed by the texture of oolong tea powder on top.
ABOUT Hektor Tung
As the Regional Head of Sales in a Multinational IT Company since 2008, Hektor has been traveling across Hong Kong, Mainland China, and South East Asian countries quite regularly. This has enabled his understanding and passion for gourmet food, especially the delicate preparations and sophistication used in the Cantonese style cuisines. Gourmet dining experiences have now becoming an essential part of all his trips, business or pleasure, bringing about changes in his palate that are irreversible.