A great choice for summer, the Cold Udon Noodles (NT$160) are Udon noodles with dried bonito flake soup, soy sauce and an unique dipping sauce.

Fish Fillet with Cream Sauce

Rikka Taipei

Words and photos by Eden Lin
Translated by Ann Lee

58, Lane 122, RenAi Rd, Sec 4
Closed 停業

The owner of Rikka Taipei, Mr. Ou, has all the skills he needs to run this Japanese eatery, which is famous throughout New Zealand. For years at culinary school, Ou studied Japanese fine cuisine and French specialties, making him a food guy from head to toe. Fusing international cuisine can be difficult; Japanese cuisine is fastidious about utilizing seasonal ingredients in appropriate dishes, but French cuisine is particular about the visual presentation on the plate. Because the chefs at Rikka are so passionate about food, they merge the two styles successfully and produce outstanding plate arrangements with great taste and smell.

As homage to Rikka in New Zealand, Ou decided to open up his own restaurant in Taipei. In the early morning, while most people are still asleep, the chef purchases his daily ingredients, which allows him to control the freshness and quality he brings to customers. Ou also believes that in order to create the best, most delicious cuisine, a chef must fully understand the qualities and characteristics of the ingredients, to unlock their full potential. One example of this deep understanding is salt—he uses more than 10 different kinds to create what he calls "salt cuisine".

To keep the menu interesting, Rikka promotes new dishes every now and then. This season, try the new Sea Urchin & Sweet Corn Soup (NT$160). The urchins and corn are blended with white sauce and poured into test tubes. Swallowing it quickly brings out the sweetness of sea urchin. Fish Fillet with Cream Sauce (NT$420), another new dish, is fresh, grilled fish accompanied by fried, Spanish-style risotto cakes and creamy sauce made from thinly-sliced lappa. The chef's skill can be tasted in both of these delicious new dishes.

* Sea Urchin & Sweet Corn Soup
* The tender, tangy Fried Chicken Wings (NT$140) are fried twice before being soaked in Rikka's secret sauce.