André Chiang (pictured) with head chef Alain Huang
What makes it special: Chef André Chiang wowed diners for eight years at Restaurant André in Singapore before closing it in February 2018, so it was only a matter of time before he brought his special touch to his birth country, Taiwan. Since its opening in late 2014, Raw has become one of the hottest spots in Taipei, with its striking interior design and innovative menu.
About the chefs: Chiang is joined at Raw by fellow head chef Alain Huang, who holds a dual degree in both western culinary arts and baking technology and management. Born and raised in Taiwan, he has also worked at Yanniko Alleno’s S.T.A.Y restaurant and Jonas Lundgren’s Restaurant Jonas. He is dedicated to executing ideas centred around Taiwanese flavour.
The interior: Passers-by can’t miss the striking dining room, seen through floor-to-ceiling glass windows, with its enormous, undulating wooden sculpture assembled from blocks of Taiwanese pine. The theme continues with stone features and dramatic flower displays, making the dining room just as impactful as the food.
What to eat: All of Raw’s dishes are based on a few simple ingredients, carefully selected according to the island’s 24 ‘micro-seasons,’ so courses may include crispy noodle, wasabi peas and spicy soy bean; mahogany, sumo miso and water lotus, or the single-themed pig ear, pig cheek and pig tail.
And to drink? Raw boasts a selection of French biodynamic wine handpicked by chef Chiang to pair with his dishes, while the hot drinks offering includes hand-brewed coffee from local Taiwanese roasters and the finest Taiwanese tea from the island’s local gardens.