U-Ra Cuisine – Enjoy A Fine Dining Experience at The Gaya Hotel’s Fancy Restaurant
June 20, 2018
Featuring a communal area with a couple of VIP rooms, the U-Ra Cuisine restaurant is one of the few fine dining restaurants in Taitung. Locals love to celebrate special occasions at this restaurant, so the chef changes the menu every season to keep things refreshed. He uses seasonal products, and ensures that his creations taste as good as they look. Despite being a fine dining restaurant, the ambience was pleasant and the environment was unpretentious. I was fortunate to be able to try both the set lunch and set dinner menus.
Priced at 400+ TWD, the Gaya set lunch menu features a salad, the soup of the day, a main of your choice, a home-made dessert, and either coffee or tea. The Pan-seared Millet Cake and Shrimp Paste with Light Garlic Sauce is one of the chef’s signatures. Millets are small-grained, warm-weather cereals which are highly tolerant of drought and other extreme weather conditions, and they grow in abundance in Taitung. They have a similar nutrient content like other major cereals. If you find rice too filling, this dish will be great for you. The millet cake was crunchy and charred at the edges, and it went well with the fresh seafood.
The other mains are Braised Beef Cheek with Red Wine, Tandoori Chicken Leg and Turmeric Rice, Fried Rice with XO Sauce and Sausage, and Spaghetti with Asparagus and Mushroom (vegetarian option).
As for the set dinner menu, the price ranges from 780+ TWD to 1,680+ TWD. The set includes breads, an appetizer, a salad, a soup, a main course, a dessert and either coffee or tea. I recommend dipping the breads in the olive oil, black grape vinegar, and the wild rosella butter. Each had its own interesting taste, especially the wild rosella butter. The appetizer served was Wild Tuna Fish Tartar with Vanilla Lemonade. It really whetted my appetite for more food.
For a variety, I shared the Roasted French Lamb with Pistachio Paste, the Sous Vide US Beef Rib Eye Steak (Prime) 10oz with Garlic Sauce, and the Pan-fried Iberico Pork with Hawaii Black Salt with my dining companions. The lamb ribs (1,280+ TWD) were 80% done, and served with organic vegetables. The Pistachio paste tasted very unique. Other than revealing that basil and pine seeds were used, the chef was tight-lipped about the rest of the ingredients. I usually steer clear of lamb due to the gamey taste, but I was surprised that the lamb served here was well executed.
The Sous Vide US Beef Rib Eye Steak (Prime) 10oz with Garlic Sauce (1,480+ TWD) was my favourite dish. The beef was 70% done, and drizzled with a sauce which tasted like wasabi and packed quite a punch. By creating this sauce, the chef hopes to balance out the oiliness of the beef. What a great combination!
The Pan-fried Iberico Pork with Hawaii Black Salt (980+ TWD) boasted Iberico Pork specially imported from Spain. After preparing it by the sous vide method, we got to enjoy the melt-in-your-mouth texture of the highly-marbled, rosy meat. The dish came with organic vegetables and a sauce which consisted of grape vinegar, grape wine and Hawaiian sea salt. Before speaking to the chef, I never knew that Hawaiian sea salts have vastly more minerals and a richer flavour as compared to the usual salts we use at home.
Besides being enticed by the aesthetically pleasing and tasty foods, I was so captivated by the view of Taitung city. The restaurant has floor-to-ceiling windows, and the VIP rooms have their own balconies, so you get to enjoy your meal while admiring the peaceful and scenic city. This is a place I would bring my friends, family, and boyfriend to whenever there’s an occasion to celebrate!
Address: 10th Floor, The Gaya Hotel, No. 169 Xinsheng Road, Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan 950
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 2pm (lunch) and 5.30pm to 10pm (dinner)
Note that this is an invited tasting.