Taiwan Life in Brief – April 2018

FÉLICITATIONS — With the launch of the Michelin Guide Taipei, happy chefs celebrated winning their stars. Photo: CNA

Michelin Guide Comes to Taipei

The Michelin Co. formally launched its Michelin Guide Taipei on March 14, awarding stars to 20 restaurants. Only one, the Cantonese restaurant Le Palais in the Palais de Chine Hotel, received the coveted three-stars rating, signifying “exceptional cuisine worth a journey,” according to the Michelin standard.

Two restaurants – Japanese contemporary restaurant RyuGin and Chinese restaurant The Guest House – received two-star ratings, denoting “excellent cooking worth a detour.”

A further 17 restaurants received one-star ratings, still a considerable honor in the world of fine-dining. They included RAW, owned by renowned Taiwanese chef André Chiang who closed his Singaporean Restaurant André (which had received two Michelin stars) to return to Taiwan.

The government confirmed that it had financially supported publication of the guide, as it is expected to give a boost to Taiwan’s tourism sector.

Dealing With a Run On Toilet Paper

TOILET PAPER PANIC — Rumors of imminent price hikes sparked panic buying and sudden shortages of the vital commodity. Photo: CNA

Panic buying sparked by rumors of imminent price hikes led to shortages in Taiwan’s toilet paper supplies at the end of February and into March. Forest fires in Canada and production disruptions in Brazil have sent raw material prices soaring, and manufacturers warned that prices could rise 10-30%. Taiwan’s toilet paper industry also uses almost no recycled materials, making it more susceptible to fluctuations in the global market.

Convenience stores and hypermarts alike were cleaned out of inventories, and consumers fueled the fire by widely sharing images of empty store shelves through social media. The panic grew so intense that Premier Lai Ching-te had to step in and assure consumers that supplies would be forthcoming and that the government would strictly monitor local retailers for any possibilities of price gouging or collusion.