Exquisite Italian Farm to Table Dining
In sequel to my stay at Hotel ProverbsTaipei in Taiwan, we dined at the exclusive TK Seafood & Steak restaurant housed in the hotel that evening.
Helmed by Culinary Director and Chef Fudy Chen, TK Seafood & Steak is inspired from his childhood memory of what a perfect barbeque would be. The pride and joy of the restaurant is a result from Chef Chen’s effort in having his own organic farm located at the foot of Yangmingshan, where he pays tribute to his organically grown ingredients nurtured by Mother Nature. He aged his own premium quality beef and duck while utilizing sustainable fresh seafood, caught barely hours from the local fishing wharfs.
Going back to his roots, Chef Chen returns to Taiwan after his experience at a three Michelin star restaurant in New York. The passionate chef decided to fulfill his dreams of farm to table dining concept to city dwellers and foodies and thus TK Seafood & Steak was born.
TK Seafood & Steak’s gorgeous interior is also designed by renowned architect and designer Ray Chen. In theme throughout the hotel, the swanky restaurant oozes with glitz and glam through its high ceiling architecture flanked by elaborate crystal chandeliers, mirror panels for kaleidoscope reflections, subdue dark table setting and earthy tones of surrounding ambiance.
TK Seafood & Steak commands a sense of class in modern day luxury dining and yet it pretty hip to be seen here, dining like you are on top of the world.
Open kitchen concept, there’s nothing to escape the glance of the diners. Chefs are meticulously at work in the kitchen, focusing on the highlight flagship of the restaurant, a Spanish Josper oven for the grill. Nothing but the very best for Chef Chen as he goes all out in churning meat and seafood cooked in the best grill cum oven before finishing it with an aroma of an oak wood smoke from 1866 JACK DANIEL’s barrels. TK’s steaks will leave diners in satiable senses with its signature whiskey aroma lingering on the premium beef.
While one can opt for lunch on ala carte menu, the dinner Tasting menu is more value-for-money. It also offers flexibility for diners who can then select how many courses they wish to enjoy. Tasting menu is listed in Italian courses – Antipasti, Zuppa, Primi, Secondi, Contorni, Dolci
Amuse Bouche of Terrine of Cured Meat with Pickles and Seeded Mustard and Radish
House bread from L’idiot Bakery served with Balsamic Vinegar and EVOO
An Antipasti (+NTD280) course featuring Zucchini Burrata Cheese Cannoli, Arugula, Cherry Tomato Salad with Truffle Dressing. Sheer simplicity highlighting some of the best fresh Italian ingredients in this dish. The burrata cheese was a sinful bite of creamy lush with sweet vegetables and heady scent of truffles.
The next course of Zuppa (+NTD1800) was Sicilia Style Fishermen’s Soup. King prawn and fish in a tomato based broth pumped with robust seafood essence, soothes the tummy warmly after a day’s travel. The subtle sweetness of the seafood broth whets the appetite along with the fresh seafood.
The Italians love their primi course of pasta. There are several choices of pasta but the two we had came highly recommended as signatures of TK. For Primi (+NTD1800), we tucked into Shrimp and Truffle Ravioli with Foie Gras Veloute and Grilled Spicy Octopus with Squid Ink Capellini.
The Shrimp and Truffle Ravioli with Foie Gras Veloute looked deceptively simple with a minimalist presentation. However, the ravioli is simply marvelous. Beautiful thin pasta filled with sweet prawn and truffle filling and blanketed with a luscious thick goose liver veloute. Each bite of the ravioli was exquisite on the palate, heady with truffle aroma and flavours of buttery richness follows upon contact with the veloute.
The moreish flavours of the next dish was a complete opposite to the ravioli. The Grilled Spicy Octopus with Squid Ink Capellini was a delightful dish. Smoky with hints of heat and bold salty notes from chargrilled octopus, chilies, capers and sundried tomatoes elevated the squid ink capellini well. Pasta cooked well and the octopus was tender, rendering a nearly perfect plate of pasta.
For the Secondi course, this is where all the barbeque comes into play. The Grilled Market Fish, Grapefruit, Pickled Chili, Pine Nut Salad (NTD1380) uses the freshest catch of the day. That evening, it was a fish named ‘Wu Zai’, similar to a mullet of sort. Chargrilled to lovely doneness and topped with lots of citrusy flavours and pine nuts, the fish has a fine and silky-smooth flesh. The grapefruit and chili worked so well with the fish, enchancing its sweetness.
Chef Chen uses a wet-aging process for his beef and the Texas: A Bar N Ranch Wagyu Strip Loin (NTD2780) looked might fine at sight. A marbling grade of A8, this wagyu is brashly well-marbled with superb beefy flavours. The charred smoky notes coupled with juicy meat is a revelation piece of wagyu steak. Served simply with slow roasted garlic cloves, fresh watercress, wholegrain mustard and a tiny dollop herb sauce sealed the deal for this majestic plate of wagyu.
For more primal indulgence, the USDA Prime Sirloin 15oz (NTD2180) fared well too. Cooked medium rare, the sirloin had a solid charred on the outside. Chef Chen likes to leave the fatty bits to the sirloin to give it an extra ommph of flavours as well as juiciness. Generously seasoned with just sea salt and served with slow roasted garlic bulbs and watercress, the sirloin is another great choice of steak.
The 14 Day-Aged Yilan Duck Breast with Braised Endive, Roasted Tangerine and Watercress (NTD1680) highlight Taiwan’s local produce of Yilan Sakura duck. The aging process enhances the duck meat texture and flavour. Its then cooked till medium pink and served with a citrusy sweet and savory sauce before finished with caramelized endive, juicy roasted tangerine segments and watercress. Tender and juicy duck meat is ravishingly addictive, each bite seemed to taste better than before…
With all the main courses of meat and seafood, we also savored some Contorni. From creamy Mashed Potato to delicious cheese Truffled Mac&Cheese, Sweet Potato Leaves with pine nuts and sweet Purple Carrots.
Dinner ended with Dolci (+NTD120), a classic one of Tiramisu. Decadent, smooth and good hit of coffee, the tiramisu completed our lovely Italian journey at TK.
Every little detail is meticulously thought through by Chef Chen from the moment one steps into the restaurant to the finale of the dining experience. Food and service is excellent. Quality is an obvious focus from the culinary team as all the meat, seafood and vegetables are prepared with minimalist and paired with much thoughts of flavours and textures. If you’re ever hankering for an awesome piece of beef, TK Seafood & Steak would be the place to go for in Taipei!
TK SEAFOOD & STEAK
Hotel Proverbs Taipei
56, Sec.1, Da'an Road, Da'an Dist.,
Taipei City 106, Taiwan
TEL： +886 903 393 008
Breakfast 6,30am to 10am
Lunch 12noon to 3pm
Dinner 5.30pm to 10pm
*This trip was made possible by Taiwan Tourism together with First Class Magazine and Eva Air. However, all stories and comments in my posts are purely derived from my own experiences through the trip.
Taiwan Travel Series