Chairman and Yip

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Roasted duck pancake with shitake mushroom
There was a complex combination of flavours and textures (juicy roast duck pieces, chives, shallots, shitake mushroom, a crispness of the chestnuts, and sweetness of the hoisin sauce). Unfortunately, I felt like the duck was chopped too finely and wished I could taste more of the duck flavour. It could have been San Choy Bao filling in a pancake with hoisin sauce.

 

Grilled field mushrooms with cashew and herb pesto
Delicious pesto sauce, very nutty flavour. The mushroom was cooked just right.
Pan fried Kurobuta Rich River (Vic) pork cake w/ red wine vinaigrette
Looked and tasted like a rissole. Flavours were lacking, all I could taste was pepper. Red wine vinaigrette tasted extremely subtle (read: diluted). It was cooked well, crispy on the outside and not dried out on the inside, but there weren’t any herbs or spices to “accessorise” the pork cake.

Sesame crusted Ocean Trout with cinnamon infused soy

This dish was the highlight of the meal. The fish was cooked to perfection – melt in the mouth. Crust was deliciously crunchy. Absolutely stand out dish.
Pan-seared Chicken with honey pepper and black bean sauce Chicken was a bit tough and very peppery. Could not taste the honey nor distinguish the black bean sauce.

Chocolate fuentille with orange and caramel sauce

Pyramid of mousse – chocolatey, smooth and creamy and light. The biscuit base was also surprisingly light and had a slight crunch to it. It was paired well with the mousse.
Service was prompt and seamless. Could not fault it. They passed the Water Test (water glasses never empty or bottle water promptly replaced) with flying colours.

I’m not sure the quality of the food completely met all my expectations (due to the hype) but it was still a spectacular meal!

Food Avenue rating: 8/10

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The Grand Hotel

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Description from Wikipedia about The Grand Hotel:

The Grand Hotel retains the elements of classic Chinese architecture in its building. It is not only the most splendid landmark of Taipei, but representative of contemporary palatial architecture.

I went to the Grand Hotel this year in March for the Farewell Banquet of a work conference. It was every bit as palatial as it looks in the pictures*. It's not surprising at all that this magnificent establishment has played host to many foreign dignitaries. What was surprising - the quality of food matched the majestic architecture. I wondered if this was the kind of place that relied on the beauty of the interior design and didn't worry too much about putting effort into the food.

I needn't have worried. The pork pies (top left) melted in my mouth when I bit into the pastry, and the selection of cold entrees explored different textures (crispy duck skin, creamy salad, the unique flavour of the fish roe and the crunchiness of the jellyfish). The other dishes were delicious in their own right, but the standout dish for me was the unagi (Japanese eel) with Chinese-style sticky rice. What a perfect fusion dish!

*Pictures of the Grand Hotel were not taken by me, they were sourced from Google images.

Coming soon - my next post will feature a review of Courgette!