Located on the third floor of the Mandarin Oriental, Taipei, a narrow corridor with Asian antiques leads to this classically-styled Cantonese restaurant Ya Ge. The restaurant serves traditional Chinese dishes made from some of the fresh and quality ingredients in the area. Their focus is on choosing local produce to complement their entire selection of dishes. With the culmination of 50 years experience, Chef Tse Man has made this menu very personal including various set menus like hairy crab when in season and an array of Cantonese classics, some with a personal twist added by Chef.
Ya Ge is a popular and famous eatery in Taipei, that Chef Tse proudly led to much coveted Michelin Stars in the Taipei Michelin Guide in 2018 and 2019 editions consecutively.
With semi-private booths on the sides If you are looking for something a little more private, there are also 5 intimate dining rooms which you can book. These accommodate up to 20 people so great for larger scale gatherings.
Dress Code at Ya Ge
Unlike other restaurants, but very common at Michelin Star restaurants, there is a hard dress code that Ya Ge wishes to be respected. It is a smart elegant style so that means guys need collared shirts and covered shoes and for the ladies, smart elegant attire and slippers are not appropriate in the Dining Room.
Our Ya Ge Experience
While staying at the Mandarin Oriental, we hopped down to the 3rd floor and checked out why there was always a waiting list for the restaurant. Upon being greeted by the friendly members of staff, we were ushered to our seats to begin our six course session of goodness.
For drinks, we went for some local beers. If you are the thirsty type, they have an extensive range of alcohol, in particular the wines. They also have a long list of teas to choose from, so there are options for everybody.
- Black Pork, Honey, Barbecued
- Bird’s Nest, Egg White, Assorted Seafood Soup
- Asparagus, Lily Bulbs, Sautéed
- Ya Ge Crispy Chicken
- Crab Meat, Onion, Oven-baked
- Ya Ge Signature Fried Rice
- Ai-Yu Crystal Jelly, Aloe Vera, Lemongrass
The barbecued honey-glazed Kagoshima black pork (NT$980 – US$33) was the perfect start of our culinary journey at Ya Ge. The meat is from three-month-old local Berkshire piglets, served atop a bed of hot stones amplifying the smells and sounds of sizzling lard. It was delicious even thought I usually love it more fatty.
Ya Ge’s crispy chicken is wonderful. our favourite. The perfect caramelized skin skin delighted us, whilst the layer of fat below was savoury sweet. The white meat was juicy and tender, making a bite of this chicken a heaven in a bite. Chef Tse specifically selects only big 2.5kg weight free range birds because they are meatier and have more flavour. It was the best crispy chicken that we’ve tasted. The Crispy roasted chicken is priced at NT$750 (US$25) for a half chicken, NT$1,480 (US$50) for a whole.
Along our set, we were serves the Oven-baked crab meat served in its own custom-made crab-shaped silver ‘shell’ (NT$750 – US$25), which was very unique and inviting. The Japanese blue crab have been meticulously hand-picked, de-boned and shaped into this crisp cutlet minimally seasoned with onions. Another party in a bite and definitely our third favourite dish after the black pork.
Part of our set, we had the Ya Ge Signature Fried Rice (NT$780 – US$26) with Mullet Roe, Sakura Shrimps, Lobster and Seafood. It was very good but the rice was slightly drier than how I usually like my friend rice.
And soon as it started, our dinner journey was over 3 hours, endless laughs and a full belly and we were ready for bed. Our experience at Ya Ge was enjoyable thanks to impeccable service and obviously, tasty food. The flavours were great without the need for any flavour enhancers, just food made with top quality ingredients, and excellent kind service. You can consult the full menu on the website of Ya Ge.
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