Who’s behind it? Originally set up in 2014 by chef trio Richie Lin, Long Xiong and Kai Ward, Mume is now solely run by Lin. Born in Hong Kong, the chef moved to Sydney and met Ward while working at Quay. He later headed to Copenhagen, where he met Noma stagiaire and future co-founder Xiong.
What’s in a name? The restaurant is named for Taiwan’s national flower, the plum blossom, and its cuisine pays tribute to the diversity of the country’s terroir. ‘Mume’ also shares the same characters as Lin’s mother’s name.
The cuisine: The chef’s philosophy is all about exploring underrated local ingredients and applying modern European techniques to create stunning, colourful dishes such as braised abalone with triple cooked bamboo shoots and Taiwanese caviar.
Signature dish: The quinoa tostada makes an appearance on the menu every single day, but its companion ingredients will vary according to the season. That could be blush prawn with heirloom tomato salad and sugar snap peas, or flowery local crab with sweetcorn puree, spring bamboo and Osmanthus vinaigrette. Also watch out for the summer salad, an assembly of almost 30 different local ferns, herbs and leaves dressed with fermented black beans in grapeseed oil.
Winning streak: For the third year in a row, Mume has been voted as The Best Restaurant in Taiwan.