Taipei City – RAW

The Best of the Year Menu

Value for money: 8/10
Cleanliness: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Quality of food: 10/10
Overall: 9/10



Raw is in 內湖 nèi hú NeiHu, right near the Miramar department store. Now, I will say right off the bat that this place is expensive. We came here because it was a special occasion, I don’t plan on making this a regular thing… 

Recently, RAW has been receiving huge amounts of press for its Head Chef – Andre. Offering experimental haute cuisine in a ‘New interpretation of Taiwanese Flavor’, RAW has been making waves in the restaurant scene in Taipei, even only being open for just 1 year.




The aesthetics inside the restaurant are really something special, and unique. Most are made from wood, and seem perfectly crafted (although, I am no wood specialist). 



This is the bar area, which resembles something of a spaceship. 






There is ample room for big parties of people.








Inside the table, is your own personal drawer with enough knives, spoons and forks for all of your needs throughout the meal. Also, a little further back, lays a napkin.

Here’s the menu. Recently, they changed the menu (beginning of November) as a celebration of their 1st year anniversary. The menu consists of a select choice of all dishes they have served throughout the previous year. 

$2,680 per person + 10% service charge


The menu reads from left to right, with each dish being on one line. So, you can see that there are 9 dishes on the menu, foodies dream!




This isn’t on the menu, but is more like a palette cleanser to get you set and ready for the first course. 

Pre 1st course: Ice-cold grapes with mint.





1st Course: Ramune, chicken masala and livers


The first dish certainly delivers on presentation, and gets you excited for things to come! 

You are served a pate of livers with Indian masala spices, served on top of a wafer-thin crunchy chip. It’s merely a mouthful, but it kicks you in the mouth with strong flavours, let me tell you that. The masala spices come through really well and mix with the irony rich taste of the livers. Textures contrast well, too, as smooth meets crunchy. 


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.


The archway is created by first baking this thin biscuit/chip-like strip in the oven, then (as it is still warm and pliable) bending it over a cylindrical object such as a rolling pin or even a bowl. It creates an amazing shape and looks very impressive. I’d love to tell you more about this, but I really don’t know what else to say. It was more theatrical than flavourful.  



2nd Course: Campachi, citrus and Daikon


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.


The fish tastes wonderfully fresh and pairs very well with the radish. The flowers were a taste sensation for me here, as they blew up in your mouth with huge kicks of floral mixed with small notes of earthiness. They were remarkable. The sago didn’t add much to the overall taste of the dish, however, it did add something to the texture, alongside the radish, too. A crunch of the radish, a chewiness of the sago, silky smooth fish all brought together by the tiny flowers. I can’t say enough good things about this dish.





3rd Course: Uni, peas and peanut butter


As you may have seen on previous posts, especially the ones from Japanese restaurants that I get very excited about Uni (Sea Urchin). The taste is certainly not for everyone, and neither is the texture. However, it was love at first mouthful, for me. so, naturally, I was over-joyed to be eating some more, here.

In this dish we have grilled asparagus, garden peas, peanut butter and uni.




Yes, peanut butter, you read correctly. Weird. The asparagus was still warm, and made the peanut butter begin to melt into the peas and mix with the uni – winner! The peas served in their pod show a keen attention to detail which has made RAW so unique and popular in its 1st year in Taipei. Peas in the pod also bring back childhood memories of picking these in my grandparents garden and (whilst my grandmother wasn’t watching) my grandfather and I would steal away to eat the peas straight out of the pods – deliciously sweet, crunchy, bursting and popping in your mouth.

As far as flavours go, I am not entirely convinced. Each individual flavour is very, very good. However, if you combine them into one mouthful, it is a little too complex for my palette, perhaps. The smooth uni does go fantastically well with the crunchy peas and peanut butter. However, then comes the warm asparagus. In contrast, the warm asparagus, peas and peanut butter go well together, but then if you add the uni it is a step too far.




4th Course: Cappellini, sakura EBI and C.C.C


Now, let’s face it, we have all felt it (and also said it): “Why is this little thing on such a big plate”. 


Once you have got your head around the fact that the food outsizes the dish, it’s time to turn your attention to the flavors.

These noodles are delicately wrapped into a cocoon-like shape. On top you can see tiny whole shrimp, dressed with corriander and greens. The noodles look (and taste) like they have been cooked in a sauce and then taken out of the sauce to serve. There is a kick of chilli I wasn’t expecting in this dish, which takes the entire meal on a different journey. Previous dishes have been beautifully smooth and delicate, however, this dish kicks you in the tongue and gets you sitting straight in your seat.

The shrimp are left whole, and can be eaten, shells and all. The crunchiness of the shrimp contrast the soft noodles very nicely and the coriander matches up with the kick of chilli like all coriander and chilli should. The dish is clean an fills your carbohydrate gap you may have otherwise been craving.




5th Course: Mushroom, Mushroom, Mushroom


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.


Extra: Bread


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.



*Complimentary Course*

 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.



Opening times: 
Wednesday – Sunday 11:30 – 14:30 is Lunch, 
18:00- 22:00 is Dinner
Closed on a Monday and Tuesday
+886285015800


台北市中山區樂群路301號

No. 301 LuQun Road, ZhongShan District, Taipei City





Happy Eating!
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