Meat lovers listen up: GQ magazine has launched Taiwan’s first-ever GQ Meat Festival, highlighting the best meat dishes and restaurants across Taipei. From Wednesday 29 May, the month-long festival will feature 23 eateries covering nine different themes, with a total of 45 limited-edition meat-focused menus on offer. A major theme of the festival is “這些好肉都是台灣之光” and will be highlighting restaurants that use locally-sourced ingredients. Not sure where to start? Fear not! Taiwan Scene have selected five restaurants, as well as a special menu pick from each, for you to try at Taiwan’s GQ Meat Festival.
Read on to find out about our picks and download the FunNow app to reserve your table.
Taiwanese and Japanese fusion at TORIJO (鳥丈爐端燒)
Working with local Taiwanese farms and utilizing the country’s finest agricultural products, TORIJO use the freshest seafood, meats and vegetables in their ingredients; ranging from beef and bamboo from Yunlin, to fish from Penghu. They grill using charcoal to ensure even heating and to guarantee their meats are fully cooked inside to out.
Taiwan Scene recommendation: SASSO chicken skewers platter (SASSO雞燒烤拼盤)
There are few simpler pleasures than meat on a stick. Using free-range birds from Taiwan, this platter is a must-try for all you chicken fans. Sweet and salty thanks to being soaked in Japanese soy sauce, it includes chicken breast, wings and heart, as well as chicken legs with scallion from Yilan. There’s also jī pìgu, which literally translates to chicken ass. While it may not sound super appetizing, this part of the chicken is actually pretty succulent and tasty. We thoroughly recommend you get some ass… (Read more: 8 Taiwanese foods that you don’t even know you need to try (yet)!)Book Now
Eat like a local at 肉大人Mr. Meat
Not just your average hotpot restaurant, Mr. Meat’s menu sources meats from all over the world; from the Netherlands to the USA. A real traditional Taiwanese hotpot experience, their broth is homemade from tomato, sour cabbage and Shaoxing wine, in the belief that the sourness enhances the taste of the meat. And we’re not arguing. (Read more: Five unique twists on Taiwanese hot pot)
Taiwan Scene recommendation: Taiwan Good! one-person hotpot (台灣好！一人套餐)
While hotpots are traditionally for sharing, single-person pots are getting more and more popular. Using a traditional Taiwanese stone pot, Mr. Meat’s Taiwan Good! one-person hotpot is a bubbling tomato and Shaoxing wine broth with sautéed aromatic garlic, onion and black pepper, accompanied by a mouthwatering meat platter including Yilan duck, grain-fed Taiwanese chicken and Kinmen beef. Dinner for one never looked more appetizing.Book Now
Taiwan meets Europe at In Between
With an emphasis on casual fine dining, new chef Darren Lin is combining Taiwan’s local elements with European and American cooking techniques to create something modern and unique at In Between. Located on the second floor of Eslite Travel, guests can marvel at the lights of Taipei 101 through floor-to-ceiling windows while they dine. An ideal venue for banquets and family gatherings. (Read more: 7 Taipei Eateries Beloved by Homesick Western Expats)
Taiwan Scene recommendation: low-temperature barbecue red wine pork ribs with mulberry sauce (低溫燒烤紅酒豬肋排佐桑椹汁)
Capable of feeding four people, this huge dish is made from pigs from Tianwei that were raised on a diet of odorless vegetables. Marinated in red pepper powder for up to six hours and basted with red wine gravy, the meat is cooked until it has reached a wonderful melt-in-your-mouth texture and served with a mulberry sauce that compliments the other flavors perfectly.Book Now
Five-star hotel dining at TasteLab
Found on the second floor of the luxurious Jinghua Hotel, TasteLab has redesigned its space and created a new menu especially for the GQ Meat Festival. Open yet intimate – it has room to seat ten diners – the dining area, combined with the bar, allows guests to witness the chef in action up close and personal. The festival menu includes tomahawk steak, whole grilled chicken, Japanese hamburgers and more.
Taiwan Scene recommendation: grilled spring chicken (爐烤春雞)
400g of grilled Taiwanese spring chicken. Soaked overnight in citronella brine to enhance both flavor and tenderness, the bird is then packed with lemon grass and herb stuffing and slow-grilled for four hours. Repeatedly and regularly brushed with Thai-style fish sauce to further amplify flavor during the cooking process, it is served with the chef’s special Shaoxing sauce to give a twist on the dish’s traditional European-style flavor.(Read more: An insider’s guide to Taipei: Afternoon Tea in 5 Unlikely Places)Book Now
A taste of Taiwanese agriculture at Katsu Masa (靜岡勝政日式豬排)
Originating from Japan’s Mie Prefecture, Katsu Masa (靜岡勝政日式豬排) is known especially for its deep-fried porkchops. Cooperating with Taiwanese farmers, they source their ingredients from several of the country’s rural regions, such as rice grown in Yunlin and cabbage from the mountains of the Xinyi Township in Nantou. (Read more: From Classic to Fusion: Five Taipei Restaurants Worth Visiting)
Taiwan Scene recommendation: tomahawk pork chops
From Yunlin, this 300g chop is made from one of the most renowned, tasty porks in Taiwan. Served with rice to balance out the meat, this dish is truly a sight to behold and you better believe it tastes as good as it looks. If not better! Hopefully your eyes aren’t bigger than your belly… (Read more: Taiwan Culture and Cuisine Shine on New Netflix Series “Street Food”)Book Now
Special offer for Taiwan Scene readers: Use the promo code “TSGQMEAT19“ to get NT$100 off !
Get NT$100 off when you spend more than NT$1000 at FunNow GQ Meat Festival restaurants. Please note that the promotion code can only be used one time per person.