The Sherwood Taipei, one of Taiwan’s very first luxury hotels, this year celebrates 30 years of outstanding service and top-tier accommodations in the island’s capital. Since its founding in 1990, The Sherwood has boasted an impressive roster of distinguished guests, a beautiful collection of artworks from around the world, and consistent innovation in the culinary arts. The hotel is a must-stay for any traveler who values refined surroundings, a superior level of comfort and prestige, and one-of-a-kind upscale dining.
Over the years, The Sherwood has been honored to host many visiting dignitaries, including the former Prime Minister of the UK Margaret Thatcher in 1992 and 1996, and former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara in 1993. Those historic visits were significant milestones for the then newly democratized Taiwan, and inspired The Sherwood to offer the Baroness Lady Thatcher and President George H.W. Bush Set Menus, meals that were custom-made for these honored guests. Each set – a blend of traditional Chinese cooking with a modern twist – is available at the hotel’s Yi Yuan Chinese Restaurant for an affordable NT$3,000, plus 10% service charge.
The Sherwood has made a name for itself in terms of its Chinese cuisine, serving up several award-winning, Michelin star-worthy dishes. Its expertise in this area was on display at one of its most memorable events, the Legend of the Condor Heroes Banquet in 1998, held in honor of wuxia writer Jin Yong’s visit to Taiwan that year. Guests at the banquet included future Taiwan presidents Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-jeou, and the event was eagerly reported on by media in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China.
Besides its high-end Chinese food, The Sherwood is similarly well-known for its Western-style fine dining. The hotel was the first in Taiwan to host Michelin 3-star guest chefs, beginning in 1998 with Alain Ducasse, the “godfather” of French cuisine. His weeklong stay at the hotel was followed the next year by twin-brother celebrity chefs Jacques and Laurent Pourcel.
In 2009, the hotel began an enduring partnership with Chef Hiroyuki Kanda, whose Tokyo restaurant Kanda has been awarded Michelin 3-star certification 13 years in a row – a feat unmatched in a city renowned for its cuisine. In 2015, Chef Kanda was invited as guest chef for one week as part of The Sherwood’s 25th anniversary celebration. While there, he partnered with the head chef of the hotel’s KOUMA Japanese restaurant to create an authentic Michelin 3-star experience – the first of its kind in Taiwan.
The Sherwood’s dedication to innovative cuisine has made it a trailblazer in the realm of culinary arts in Taiwan. All dishes at the Sherwood’s restaurants are crafted with the utmost care and precision, and a select few have gained the distinction of being must-try dishes due to their unique background and special place in the history of the hotel.
No visit to The Sherwood is complete without trying the Barolo Barrel Smoked Dry-aged U.S. Prime Bone-in 24 oz. Ribeye Steak, priced at NT$3,888 and served only at the hotel’s TOSCANA Italian Restaurant. In 2006, when Taiwan began easing restrictions on imports of U.S. beef, The Sherwood, with the help of the U.S. government, sent TOSCANA’s then-head chef Hans Aeschbacher to Chicago to study the dry-aging technique for beef. The next year, The Sherwood became the first in Taiwan to introduce this technique, which enhances the flavor and tenderness of the top-grade U.S. beef used for its steak dishes.
In addition to the delectable steaks, guests are encouraged to sample TOSCANA’s Homemade Tagliolini with Boston Lobster, a personal favorite of Hong Kong film star and regular Sherwood guest Chow Yun-fat. This delicate dish nestles wonderfully fresh lobster meat alongside long, flat strips of pasta in a rich, creamy sauce.
Meanwhile, Yi Yuan Chinese Restaurant’s Double-boiled Fo Tiao Qiang with Abalone – an old standby in traditional Chinese banquet dinners – has won the gold medal award for the Apple Daily’s Chinese New Year takeout competition for several years running.
In addition to The Sherwood’s wonderful food, guests at the hotel are treated to one of the most stunning collections of fine art in the city outside of its museums. This collection includes paintings from multiple centuries by artists from around the world. Of particular note is the bronze sculpture “Large Interior Form” by English artist Henry Moore, which sits in the hotel’s lobby.
Beyond the elegant décor and wonderful culinary delights on offer at The Sherwood Taipei, the hotel’s staff and amenities provide a level of comfort and service that have earned it the reputation as the hotel of choice for discerning local and international travelers alike for three decades.