Written and translated by Diva
Photos by Andy Lin
8, Lane 20, AnHe Rd, Sec 2 (opposite Dong Fang Vocational High School)
Hours: 12-2 pm, 6-10 pm
Credit cards accepted. 10% service charge.
The cooking legacy of Master Huang started in 1973, when the chef worked for the Hilton, Grand, and Ritz Landis hotels in Taipei, learning everything about French cuisine. Over the last 30 years, Huang has cultivated his cooking gifts and has become a true master. In 1991 the experienced food-smith decided to open his own business, which would provide affordable French cuisine to the general public. Chateau Lisa, the fruit of his labor, is a wonderful option among Taipei's myriad restaurants.
Currently, you can enjoy Chateau Lisa at four locations--three in Taipei and one in Taichung. Many regular patrons frequented the restaurant as children with their parents and never stopped returning. When they grew up, they introduced their friends to the place. Eventually, they started families of their own and soon three generations were sharing tables and the quality French cuisine that have made Chateau Lisa famous.
Master Huang confessed that he rarely spends money on advertising. His business grew rapidly simply through word of mouth, even though some of the locations are hidden away in alleys. However, the AnHo branch is situated in the heart of Taipei's affluent district. As a result it attracts many of Taiwan's elite. Matchmaking between the rich and famous often takes place in Chateau Lisa and the success rate is extremely high. After a former president's daughter met her prince charming during a dinner here, the restaurant is constantly under the media spotlight. As famous and prestigious as Chateau Lisa may be, their service is top-notch; their goal is to make every customer feel as if he or she is the most important person on earth.
Chateau Lisa's main selling point is quality food for down-to-earth prices. Master Huang said he aimed to change most people's perceptions of French restaurants, promising that no customer would shy away from the restaurant after browsing through the prices. The best deal is the Banquet Menu, also a reason that many companies choose to have meetings or luncheons at Chateau Lisa. The Banquet Menu offers exquisite all-French dishes cuisine and satisfies in many ways.
Apart from appetizers and the main course, the Banquet Menu (NT$999/person, minimum five people) includes a salad bar that provides over 30 choices of vegetables and fruit, soups, desserts and drinks. Four appetizers include Escargot, Goose Liver Pate, Sauteed Tuna with Herbs, and Marseillaise Seafood Soup. Entrees include Chateau Lisa's signature German Pig's Knuckle with Sauerkraut, French Lamb Chops in Herbs, and Sauteed U.S. Ribeye Steak. In the last 18 months, U.S. beef prices have doubled and many restaurants have switched to Australian beef to keep their prices down. Huang, however, insists on quality over higher prices and keeps on serving U.S. beef. It's this kind of attention to quality that has kept him in business for over two decades.