This dish came with the Ramune, chicken masala and livers. I cannot tell you what it is, because I don’t know. however, I will attempt to describe the flavours for you.
Kampachi is a popular fish used in Japanese sashimi, just as it is used here. The fish has been thinly sliced and dressed with Daikon radish, flowers, seaweed and celery sago. It’s beautiful.
It isn’t very well described: Mushroom, mushroom, mushroom?
As you guessed from the name, everything is mushroom (apart from the soft-boiled egg resting on top. Wafer thin shaves of chestnut mushroom rest on top of the soft-boiled egg which breaks with the slightest of touches (there’s something about breaking an egg and the yolk running down that just launches me back to my childhood and awakens memories of egg and soldiers on a Sunday morning).
Below, the egg sits on a bed of a finely chopped mushroom which is rich in taste and rich in texture. My one criticism of this dish is that I feel it is missing a crunch. Everything is very soft and I found myself craving a crunch.
The other mushrooms were a delight and they were packed with just as much flavor as the last. The star of this show, for me, is the mushroom soup that encircles the mushrooms within. The soup was salty, it was earthy, it was sweet, it had a strong mushroom taste, it was peppery and I could have quite happily had many more bowls of it, by itself, without the other mushrooms.
6th Course: Burnt cabbage, Cod and Soubise
I love fish, and this dish was just as good as any other fish dish I have ever had.
Shreds of burnt cabbage conceal the wonderfully cooked cod underneath, served in a thick steak form oozing with juices and delicately falling apart at the slightest touch with your fork or knife. The fish is cooked perfectly and goes really well with the crunchy burnt cabbage and the soubise (onion sauce). The dish also had a few little pickled onion skins dotted around which provided the acidic crunch that brings the entire dish to the next level. This was an absolute winner.
I had heard a lot about RAW’s bread, and it did not disappoint. Bread is something that I struggle to live without, and I sometimes feel very frustrated in Taiwan by the lack of readily available salty bread. This bread delivered on saltiness, crunchiness (outside) and softness (inside). Served with a whipped butter dip, with cocoa powder and toasted buckwheat sprinkles It also allowed me to sneak a smear of the soubise onto the bread, and also drank up that mushroom soup beautifully.
7th Course: Granloa and Potato
This was the best dish of all, I feel. The short rib beef steak was cooked medium-rare (sorry I couldn’t get a better picture, but it looked too good and I had waited too long even after taking one picture!), you get 3 slices of the steak and I definitely wanted more but I feel like the portion size worked perfectly with the rest of the dishes and, in fact, any more would have left me too full.
Served on a bed of pulses and topped with tuile (of sorts), the beef appears sheltered and mysterious on the plate. The theater, the taste, the presentation and the execution were all top class, here. I was really impressed by this dish.
When it was put on our table we were told it is a pineapple cake. I looked confused and asked to confirm with another waitress, and she also said pineapple cake, but it wasn’t on the menu. Complimentary, I guess.
Turns out it was a pineapple cake, with a twist. The twist being: The pineapple inside was actually done as an ice cream. The outer remains crusty and the ice cream in the center remains in tact, too.
As for taste: the filling had a nice sweet flavor and the outer added a little flavor but mostly a good crunch. The decoration of gold lead gives it the luxurious feel, too.
9th Course: Chocolate, Mochi and Burnt butter
In my previous experiences in fine dining restaurants, I tend to be wowed and awe-struck by the desserts. However, here I wasn’t so much. At least not on the presentation…
Inside the bowl, the milk chocolate has been aerated to become fluffy in texture and lighter. The mochi (the white marshmallow-like squares you can see) are slightly burnt on the outside and wonderfully soft on the inside and the crunchy biscuits give a great texture. The burnt sugar taste runs throughout and is a great addition.
The ice cream is a light black sesame ice cream which is delicate in flavor. The taste of the mochi more resembles a marshmallow for me, as it is burnt on the outside but a little soft and chewy on the inside. The mochi has a sweet flavor but nothing else of particular note. The chocolate is just ok.
Honestly, I expected a little more from a dessert.
Overall, RAW delivered on style, taste, presentation, theater, service, atmosphere and (most notably I feel) texture. Textures of the dishes played a huge part in this menu with a lot of crunchiness, softness, robustness and class throughout each dish.
I would like to emphasize one more time: This is a place to go on a special occasion. If you want to take your loved one out to eat for a birthday, or your friends are getting married and you want to celebrate with them, for example. This isn’t a place to eat at each weekend.
Let me take this time to talk about their reservation system. I had heard (and also read) a lot of stories about how poor their reservation service is. However, it was remarkably simple for us, once we had taken steps to try and defeat it.
You can only book a maximum of 2 weeks in advance, for example: If you want to book for December 14th, you can only book on December 1st at the earliest. There is also only an online booking service (fortunately, it is all in English!). The only booking link can be found HERE.
If you want to book for December 14th, then you need to be online at December 1st at around 11:55am, as the online booking system comes online at 12 mid-day. Now, I have heard that they will be fully booked in less than 1 minute. So, you need to be quick! Use the calendar to click on the date, and take it from there.
For all of the stories I had read, we achieved the booking quite smoothly and had no problems at all.
Wednesday – Sunday 11:30 – 14:30 is Lunch,
18:00- 22:00 is Dinner
Closed on a Monday and Tuesday
No. 301 LuQun Road, ZhongShan District, Taipei City