Taiwan's Top Restaurants is the first guide of its kind in the country, according to its publisher. (Photo/CNA)
A guidebook that reviews and rates Taiwan's top 385 restaurants out of some 110,000 nationwide has hit store shelves, the publisher said Wednesday.
The 255-page Chinese-language book titled Taiwan's Top Restaurants uses one to five stars to rate the eateries, Jiao Tong, founder of Fish & Fish International, said at a press briefing.
"Even restaurants that are given only one star should be considered very good," Jiao said, adding that the selection criteria was very demanding.
Rating items included dishes (worth 50% of the rating), service (20%), ambiance (15%), cost-performance ratio (10%) and beverages (5%), according to the publisher.
"Hygiene is a must," he said. Restaurants were immediately eliminated from the list for food safety issues, no matter how delicious their food, he added.
It took a team of 15 culinary experts and three years of field research to finish the book, the publisher said, adding that the names of the reviewers were not revealed in order to retain full impartiality.
Jiao described the book as the first of its kind in Taiwan's history, adding that the country's culinary culture has become the nation's "soft power" and an attraction for foreign visitors.
Asked what makes his guidebook stand out, Jiao said his team has expert knowledge about Taiwanese food and reviewed the restaurants according to a global standard instead of comparing local cities.
"Those that have been given five stars can be considered the world's best Chinese restaurants," he said. Only two of the restaurants reviewed received five stars in the guidebook.
The publisher said the book will be updated every two to three years and added that an English-language edition is being planned to further promote Taiwanese food worldwide.
In early September, the publisher also released a guidebook focusing on Taiwan's beef noodle restaurants and stalls.