Check-In Tapei

Check-In Tapei

5 May, 2014
Fresh Taiwanese Fare
Hot new Hollywood Rd Taiwanese resto serves up innovative cuisine using all natural ingredients
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The former art space at 27 Hollywood Rd, Central, has at last been reopened following extensive renovations, and the Ecozine team were delighted to find the space is now home to Check-in Tapei – an innovative Taiwanese restaurant that aims to ‘redefine’ Taiwanese food.
 
We were lucky enough to attend the soft opening, where we tasted a wide range of the dishes on the menu – most featuring fresh, locally-sourced ingredients as well as a few imported specialty products intended to give it that ‘Taiwanese flair’.
 
We were impressed to hear that Check-in Tapei’s ‘drinks architect’ Shin Chiu was among the world’s best and had represented Taiwan in several international cocktail competitions. We were incredibly excited to be able to try his drinks, which were extremely avant-garde and fused tea, alcohol, pearls, egg pudding and ai-yu jelly – all handcrafted and made with completely natural ingredients. We started with the In House Signature & Exclusive Tea ($48), made of Taiwan Jade Green tea, lemon juice, homemade pure cane sugar, and ai-yu jelly. The perfect balance of sweet and sour, this drink was refreshing, delicious and disappeared within a matter of minutes.
 
We tried the Oyster Duet ($138), which was incredibly unique in its flavor and consisted of an arancini-like oyster croquette with a side shot of rich, salty oyster soup. A Spanish take on the traditional oyster pancake - you can really see in this particular dish that the restaurant is truly trying to elevate Taiwanese cuisine to a new level. This was our favourite dish!
 
Next, Beef Tacos ($118). In these tiny, bite-sized pancakes, we could taste a hundred flavours at once – Sichuan pepper, Chinese Anise, cinnamon, licorice root, caramelized leeks, spiced pesto…what a brilliant combination. The tacos themselves consisted of pieces of marinated beef shank with quail eggs on green onion pancakes. Very tasty. We then tasted Ping Pong ($98), Taiwanese sweet potato balls served rather creatively on a ping pong racket, and the Mushroom Forest ($138) a delicious bowl of a variety of truffle-infused mushrooms served with 63-degree organic egg.  The Chicken and Waffless ($128) was an interesting, unique dish – salty crispy chicken, maple glaze, pineapple chutney, sesame oil and homemade waffle combine to give you a sweet, bite-sized bundle of flavours.
 
All in all, the service is friendly, the food is tasty – and not at all what we would have expected of a Taiwanese restaurant. We highly recommend the cocktails; Tofu of An-ping was our choice, a rich dessert-like affair served in several dishes, consisting of soybean milk, high-mountain tea liqeur, winter melon syrup, almond tofu, Baileys Irish Cream and Oolong Tea. Exta points for presentation.
 
Check-In Tapei is located at G/F, 27 Hollywood Road, Central (intersection of Cochrane Road), Hong Kong. Tel  +852-2351-2622. 

By: Lauren Cameron
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