Experience the Best of Taipei's Private Kitchen Scene
3 of our favourite private kitchens, with a bonus!
· 8 min read
Taiwan's capital city, Taipei, is famed for its astounding culinary scene. Yet, there's a side to this city's gastronomic delights that remains under the radar. And that is the private kitchen scene. With a history as rich as the meals they serve and an intimacy that cannot be matched by conventional restaurants, Taipei's private kitchens showcase the best of authentic Taiwanese cuisine.
What is a Private Kitchen?
At the most fundamental level, private kitchens refer to private dining experiences usually hosted in someone's home. These private kitchens are often cloaked in secrecy, accessible only through word of mouth, adding an enigmatic allure to these culinary experiences.
Imagine stepping into a stranger's home, welcomed by the enticing aroma of carefully crafted dishes. The intimate setting creates an atmosphere of exclusivity, making every meal feel like a special occasion. Unlike traditional restaurant kitchens, private kitchens allow chefs to showcase their culinary creativity without the constraints of a menu or commercial expectations.
Now that you've had a glimpse into Taipei's private kitchen phenomenon, it's time to pinpoint some of the leading private kitchens that you must not miss. It is usually not easy to get reservations at private kitchens, but if you are a foodie looking to try out some of the most local and authentic tastes, it is probably worth the effort to try get a table!
Yang Er Lou
If you are visiting Taiwan, you can't possibly miss having a bowl of beef noodles! And if you are going to have beef noodles, why not visit Yang Er Lou, a private kitchen that specialises in none other than beef noodles! You'll only get the exact address of the place after making your reservations, but as a general guideline for your planning, they are located in the Minsheng Community Area.
The beef noodles here is not entirely like the typical braised beef noodles that you will find in Taiwan. What makes them stand out from the rest of the beef noodles is the use of Pu'er tea in their broth, giving it a very unique and fragrant blend of flavours. A meal there is very affordable, at just 320NTD, and comprises a bowl of beef noodles and two appetisers. Yang Er Lou also has a very casual and friendly vibe, so you wouldn't have to worry about feeling stressed at having a meal here.
To have a meal at Yang Er Lou, reservations are required — you can drop them a message on their Instagram or Facebook page to make reservations. They are open from Tuesdays to Saturdays, between 12.30pm to 2.30pm or 6.30pm or 8.30pm. But if you weren't able to make a reservation on your preferred date, you can also keep a look out on their Facebook or Instagram page for announcements of last-minute slots opening up (usually due to no-shows).
⚠️ There's a (really fat) cat in the house, so take note if you have allergies!
Located in the Xinyi District, RP can be considered one of the first few private kitchens in Taipei. Over the past 14 years, they have established a reputation for their tasty food and exquisite plating. RP doesn't have a fixed menu, but their dishes are typically a fusion of Western and Asian tastes. As opposed to the typical communal dining at most Asian restaurants, here at RP, each dish is individually plated.
RP has a very cozy interior, and you will feel right at home there. The set-up includes an open kitchen, so you will be able to see the owners at work while you enjoy your meal — this also makes it easier for you to speak to the owners to learn more about their backgrounds and lifestyles.
Generally, RP only accepts two groups of guests per seating. To make a reservation, you'll need to form a group of at least 4 people. Phone reservations (Phone number: 0961 173 451) are typically the main mode of reservations, though you could also slide into their Instagram DMs to enquire about reservations. If you are unable to make up a group of 4, do check out their Facebook page for opportunities to share tables with other groups - these slots are usually announced at the start of each month. Sharing a table with others also presents a great opportunity for you to get to know other locals or travelers over a meal!
⚠️ There are cats in their premises, so do take note if you have allergies!
Three Meals Four Seasons
Three Meals Four Seasons only opened in Zhongshan District in April 2023, and is one of the newest players in the scene. But in just the few months that it has been around, it has been gaining quite a bit of attention for serving exquisite Chinese-style food in an old residence situated amongst new buildings.
Three Meals Four Seasons provides options for both set meals or a-la-carte dining, and some of the most popular dishes include the Typhoon Shelter Prawns and Crispy skinned chicken. The chef here has worked in many 5-star restaurants previously, and specialises in Cantonese cuisine. The exquisite dishes make you feel like you're having a meal at a high-end Chinese restaurant, all while in the homely and intimate set-up of the dining space.
And one of the best things about Three Meals Four Seasons? Because it is so new, and it accepts more groups per seating, reservations are relatively easier. You can simply make your reservations online. We recommend you take this chance to try it out before Three Meals Four Seasons become too popular and it becomes impossible to make a reservation.
Bonus: OUAH HANCHI
OUAH HANCHI is known to be one of the top three *hard-to-make-reservations *private kitchens in Taipei! Given they don't accept phone reservations, the only way to make a reservation here is to get a regular customer to bring you along — there are house rules though: the regular customer has to be there for the meal, and each regular customer can only make a reservation once a month. It definitely sounds like a lot of rules just to have a meal, but these rules are there as they want to ensure that their visitors are really there to enjoy the food, and that it's fair for everyone.
Ouah Hanchi only serves 2 tables of 10 pax at each seating — and they don't have seatings everyday. So for an opportunity to dine here, you will have to make your reservations anywhere from 3 to 6 months in advance! As with private kitchens, you don't really get to decide what's on the menu for that day. But OUAH HANCHI has more than 100 home cooked dishes that they serve, and their most famous dish — the one that most people hear about when they mention OUAH HANCHI — is their signature braised pork rice! They'll actually keep a record of what their guests had during their previous visit so that they don't repeat the dishes.
Well, so the question is, how do you go about making a reservation here? That's something we wished we could answer too. This has been on our radar for a while, but we have yet to find a friend who is a regular customer.