This was not my first visit at the S Hotel in Taipei, Taiwan. In fact, it’s one of my favourite place to hang out and drink champagne or to taste a good wine. See this article about my stay there. Recently, the menu (as well as the restaurant name, to S Restaurant) as changed, and I was happy to receive an invitation so that I can try the new menu.
The new menu is more oriented towards French cuisine (his chef, Pierrick Maire, is from Marseille), with a touch of asian influence as well, since we are, after all, in Taiwan!
I love the dramatic decor, all designed by the famous Philippe Stark. The wood and the warm tones create a welcoming environment that quickly makes you feel at home.
We started the night with champagne, because if you did not know it, here it is : champagne makes me very happy!
I often find that details can make all the difference in the world. The bread here is SO delicious, and always comes with some delicious flavoured butter. This one was bell pepper and it was simply scrumptious.
I went ahead with the chef tasting menu, while Ethan chose some à la carte appetizers and a main of Australian Wagyu beef.
The service was again impeccable, from the beginning to the end, with just the perfect level of friendliness to make you feel totally at ease, and top notch professionalism. The staff is attentive and obviously want you to have the best experience.
My tasting menu’s first course was a scallop carpaccio served with pickled kohlrabi (a kind of cabbage), served with caviar. The caviar added a perfect saltiness to the dish, while the pickled kohlrabi added a bit of acidity. The seed on top were a little bit too hard to my personal taste, but overall, if you like scallop, you should really appreciate this.
The next dish was the sea urchin, served in a burned grapefruit skin and covered with a delicious fennel foam. This was perhaps my favourite course of the whole menu. It was heavenly!
I adore burrata and Ethan had never tried it, so when I saw it on the menu, we had to order it! It is served with cute little pickled onions and a beautiful arugula salad. You’ll find it in the Appetizers section of the menu. The portion is generous and perfect for sharing. I was very happy with this choice!
By then, it was time for a new glass of wine. We both enjoyed this Pinot Grigio. Fresh and crispy, with some beautiful notes of apple pie aromas.
Ethan is not a big fan of fish unless it is fried, so he was pretty happy to see this on the menu. The fish (the grouper, in the same family as the sea basses) and the fries were both delicious. And I love when they serve the lemon in a little net; fancy!
Next course of my set menu was the pan fried foie gras, served with a roasted fig and maple syrup. No need to say that it was decadent. The portion was, in my opinion, very well balanced, as well as the flavours. Well done!
After the foie gras came the lobster! What a beautiful plate that was. Half a tail, a whole pince and a few more delicious pieces of meat were hiding under this mini beetroot and berries salad. Just wonderful.
You would think it would be over, but NO, there was two more courses to come! This one was the Steamed Threadfin, served with a razor clam stew (poured at the table) and daikon.
The fish, a nice portion hiding under the daikon, almost had a creamy texture and was melting in my mouth. I loved it.
As for the meat, Ethan and I had the same; the Australian grilled Wagyu beef flank.
This beef cut has quite a strong taste and was pretty fat, which made it also very decadent. Since I already had so much food, I could not eat most of it, but I was not gonna waste such a beautiful piece of steak, so I brought it back home with me and it was worth it!
There was THREE plates of desert included in my tasting menu. The first one was cucumber and raspberry, preserved in syrup, served with a flowered melba cream and dill. Dill and cucumber in a desert? Well, why not! It was light and fresh.
The mignardise plate had a cute little lemon-meringue pie that we shared (a little bite each, perfect!) and two home made adorable marshmallow.
Last but not least came the chocolate soufflé, with it truffle ice cream on top. The inside was more caky than chocolaty, but the delicious ice cream made it up by melting in the cake and making it more scrumptious!
We ended this decadent evening with a drink that might now become one of my favorite: a Rusty Nail. For those of you who don’t know it: it’s made by mixing 3/4 oz of Drambuie (a honey liquor) with 1 1/2 of Scotch Whisky or Bourbon in my case.
We left our things at the table and had our drinks in the cosy and comfortable, old school cigar lounge. I enjoyed it a lot. The comfy leather chairs, the light smell of cigars, the fire place and even the big cristal ashtrays ; all if this was really pleasant and comforting. Homy.
A special thanks to Yves Godard, the S Hotel Director, for his hospitality. We had a great time and I am looking forward to coming back, again and again (well, for as long as I am in Taipei – 6 more weeks before coming back to Montreal).
Until next time!
S Restaurant and S Hotel
No. 150 Dunhua N. Road