Mon, Mar 19, 2018 - Page 15 News List

Travel agencies plan Michelin eatery tours

Staff writer, with CNA

Tourism Bureau Chief Secretary Lin Kun-yuan, left, and Michelin Guide international director Michael Ellis, center, pose during the launch of the first Michelin Guide Taipei at a news conference in Taipei on Wednesday.

Photo: EPA-EFE / Michelin Guide handout

Local travel agencies are planning to tap the Michelin Guide Taipei with package tours for foreigners who closely follow starred restaurants in the renowned guides and want to experience gourmet dining in the nation’s capital.

Lion Travel Service Co (雄獅旅行社) president Andy Yu (游國珍) on Thursday said his company had been arranging itineraries for foreign visitors who wanted to sample Taiwan’s culinary excellence even before the guidebook was released.

With the naming of Michelin-starred restaurants, Yu said upcoming tours would likely focus on Taiwanese and Cantonese cuisine to help visitors gain a better understanding of Chinese culinary culture.

Michelin Guide’s international director Michael Ellis on Wednesday announced a selection of 20 restaurants in the Taipei guide at a news conference in Taipei with Tourism Bureau officials.

Le Palais (頤宮), known for its Cantonese-style crispy roast duck, lobster and tofu, was the only one in Taipei to receive a three-star rating, which denotes “exceptional cuisine worth a journey.”

In the two-star category, which recommends “excellent cooking worth a detour,” it listed Japanese contemporary restaurant Shoun RyuGin (祥雲龍吟) and Chinese restaurant Guest House (請客樓).

It gave a one-star rating, which represents “very good cooking,” to 17 restaurants covering a wide range of cuisines.

Le Palais and Guest House would be excellent options for Lion Travel to include in its gourmet programs, Yu said.

Le Palais said Lion Travel has expressed an interest in working with it, but nothing has been confirmed.

Guest House said it has not held talks with any travel agencies about gourmet tours.

Lion Travel would likely launch its Michelin-centered tours for parties of two, which would make it easier for starred restaurants with limited seating to organize tables, Yu said.

For group tours, Lion Travel could arrange a visit to the two-star and one-star restaurants since there would be fewer restrictions on seating, he said.

Such tours are expected to carry a price tag 10 to 20 percent more than current tour packages for Taipei, he said.

Ezfly International Travel Agency Co (易飛網國際旅行社) on Thursday said it was planning to sell Michelin meal vouchers to allow foreign visitors to arrange their own itineraries for trips to Taipei.

However, Le Palais and Guest House said they do not offer vouchers and have no plans to do so.

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