© 2003 Ted Su All Rights Reserved.
Work Media ted.su@msa.hinet.net
WIND / 1995

Medium / The China News
Date / 1994.05.13


Wind combines expert Chinese Cuisine with comfy, Western-Style atmosphere

  Ted Su knows his market. The 34-year-old professional interior designer has used his talents and his nose for business to create some of the most successful clubs in Taipei.

  The designer of Roxy, TU/Mambo, Apocalypse Now, Music Kitchen and the New Orleans Jazz Cafe has now turned his sighs in another direction with Wind, a hip new restaurant located across from the New Taipei Metro Mall on Tunhua S. Road.

  I know what you're saying: all Taipei needs is a new restaurant. But Sus restaurant is different-its all based on a deceptively simple concept.

  “Chinese people traditionally go to a restaurant in huge groups, are hurried out directly after meal, and go somewhere else to relax or drink afterwards, Su said one afternoon last week, squinting at the bright sunlight that spilled into the large picture windows that front the restaurant. “My idea is to combine good, home-style Chinese cooking with the atmosphere of a Western restaurant.

  “Do you notice something different about this place? the baby-faced Su says as he runs his fingers across the table top and the windowsill next to it. No grease. You can feel comfortable hanging out here.

  The restaurant does feel a lot more comfortable than typically crowded and raucous Chinese restaurant where speed is the key and cleanliness does not seem a major concern.

  Sitting in Wind and looking across the street to the new mall and the shiny twin skyscrapers that house it, its easy to think that youre not in Taipei at all, but in a swankier area of the World such as Bostons famous Newbury Street.

  The wooden tables at Wind are intimate, yet large enough to contain the savory Chinese cuisine the establishment serves. The same wood spills out over the tables and onto the rich red parquet floor, chairs and walls. Calming ambient music floats through the airy interior formed by the high ceilings.

  Wind's lunch menu is limited to four or five combination plates, but at dinner the restaurant opens up to serve a wider range of dishes.

  Along with standards such as Kung Pao Chicken, Home-style Tofu and kong xin cai (water convolvulus), there are a few more original dishes and a wider-than-average seafood selection featuring oysters, scallops, clams and squid.

  For chicken lovers, there is Boneless Chicken with Pine Nuts and Fried Boneless Chicken Legs. This last dish, though simple, is one of the best: delicate strips of lean chicken, each bordered by a piece of crispy, seasoned skin. For one who dislikes picking bones, tendons and gristle from inside one’s mouth while a dining partner, the dish was a peasant surprise.

  With Wind, So hopes not only to satisfy Taipeis desire for a new type of restaurant, but to forge a new design standard in Taiwan.

  Chinese designers always reach back to include traditional Chinese elements into their designs, Su says. This constant reliance on old designs prevents new design concepts from developing, he says.

  “You can look at Japanese design and see thats its wonderful, but it does not have any of the trapping of traditional Japanese culture, Su said. I want to make something for the China of tomorrow.

  Su also hope his restaurant inspires others to move away from the typical aura of Chinese restaurants and into a more experimental creative stage.

  “Chinese restaurants dont seem to have any atmosphere- I mean, putting pictures of dragons and phoenixes on the walls and staffing the place with xiao jie in low-cut dresses and tiny skirts is not my idea of atmosphere.

Restaurants are rated on a scale of one to five stars by China News critics.


Food: ****

Atmosphere: *****

Service: ***

Address: 126 Tunhua S. Road, Sec 2

Phone: (02)702-4499

Hours: Wind is open from noon to 2:30 am; lunch is served from noon to 2:15 pm, dinner from 5:40 pm to 2:30 am. Price range: Lunch: NT$160 to NT$180 per meal; individual dinner dishes are priced at NT$100 to NT$280.

The lowdown: Tasty home-style Chinese food served in a mellow Western Restaurant/bar setting. 

Reviewed by Michael Wester