Michael

Daylight gradually decreases with the footsteps of the approaching autumn. Accompanied by the occasional breeze, the temperature is just right for a leisurely stroll around the city. The climate enticed Julia and Michael, who moved here two years ago, and they have fallen in love with Taitung since. Putting in a lot of heart and soul, they run a German restaurant, which provides customers an opportunity to enjoy some exquisite and traditional German cuisine.

“Michael and I were previously both office drones in Taipei. A friend who runs a hotel in Taitung encouraged us to come and open our restaurant. Upon his invitation, we resigned and moved to Taitung!” Julia said with a smile.

Conveying her story with a powerful voice, she shared about deciding to move to Taitung with Michael two years ago. The move was super risky!

“I knew little about Taitung prior to moving but had traveled to Taitung a long time ago with Michael on a family trip. My impression was that transportation was inconvenient, and there were a lot of small restaurants, but few were special.”

After an unimpressive first impression of Taitung, they didn’t expect Taitung would be their new home. The German-style restaurant they operate is passed on by word of mouth. The aromatic restaurant draws a full house daily. They’re busy but happy.

Michael comes from Stuttgart, Germany. It is the sixth-largest industrial city in Germany and is renowned as the birthplace of Mercedes-Benz. Although it has picturesque scenery, it also has long, cold winters. Michael prefers the mild climate of Taitung. The mountains, coast, and excellent air quality are things that aren’t available in Taipei.

“We would drive County Road 197, go swimming, and drink coffee on the coast prior to business hours when our restaurant was still in Luye. Now that we’ve moved to Taitung City, the coast is even closer. The beautiful environment here allows Michael, who likes mountain climbing and swimming, to relax after work and enjoy his leisure time. I usually head to the restaurant at 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon to prepare pork feet. German cuisine is very time-consuming and labor-intensive and utilizes a lot of spices.” Julia said.

During the interview, I saw Michael rushing in and out of the kitchen, and it didn’t take long for the aroma to seep out. The preparatory work of cooking is essential. It allows for an explosion of flavors upon each bite to light up the taste buds. Apart from cultivating cooking techniques and fundamentals from an early age, sensitivity and inherent talent are also vital.

“It is not necessarily only German cuisine that interests me. Sometimes after trying a special dish while traveling, I will try to replicate it when I get home.” Michael said.

Michael speaks Chinese fluently, which is also admirable.

Julia & Michael

There is a certain degree of difficulty in mimicking traditional German cuisine in different places – particularly with the remoteness of Taitung.

“Many kinds of cheese and spices are not available here. There are a few suppliers in Taipei to source ingredients. However, seeing the satisfied smiles on the faces of each client makes all the hard work worth it. Food is the gateway to the heart, and a pleasant night will leave a lasting imprint. We hope to bring a piece of German to Taitung and add a little diversify to Taitung. In addition to the beautiful scenery, tourists who come to Taitung can also enjoy some wonderful food.” said Julia.

This is Julia and Michael’s dream, and also their motivation moving forward.