Tag Archives: Japanese cuisine

Kushi Bar

5 Apr

Kushi Bar: Izakaya

photo_3locationdesNearest MRT Station: Kushi Bar is located between Zhongxiao Fuxing Station and Zhongxiao Dunhua Station. Click on ‘location’ to see the exact address or check their website to find out about their other locations.

Information: Kushi bar is a popular Japanese izakaya (sort of bar that also sells tasty food) in Taipei so it is recommended to make a reservation, especially if you are planning to go there on a Friday or Saturday. Although we had made a reservation it turned out we had gone to the wrong restaurant from this chain. One of the waiters hailed a taxi for us, explained the driver where it was and he also paid the taxi fare for us. Great service!
The restaurant was really cozy and has long wooden tables and bar seats. We were seated at the bar and had a good view of the kitchen. There are a lot of dishes on the menu and many grilled meat options also have a more luxurious option in the form of better quality meat. There is no need to order all your food in one go. So we picked a few dishes that looked appealing, while keeping an eye on the grill in front of us to see if anything else looked good. The first round consisted of a yakitori assortment (literally grilled chicken); chicken breast, chicken neck, wings and heart. In addition, we had some grilled beef and kimchi. All of the meat was incredibly tender and really tasty; just what one would expect of a grill restaurant. We noticed that the service wasn’t as great after ordering again. The dishes took way longer to arrive; most likely due to it being really busy. We had some fish and vegetables (fried) that were both nice, but when we were about to leave some more dishes we had ordered suddenly arrived. I guess we had just totally forgotten about them as it is sometimes quite difficult to keep track of all the small dishes you’ve ordered. Overall, I would say that it is really authentic and it really felt like I was back in Japan.

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Rating: Delicious, but also very pricy. Expect to spend at least 800 dollars per person and this only includes one not too expensive drink. If you don’t order one of the bigger dishes (yakisoba or a donburi) your stomach might not be too satisfied. Best thing of the night for me was the foie gras with beef on a stick.

Categories: Restaurants

Maru Sushi

11 Sep

Upscale Sushi Restaurant photo (2)locationdes

The nearest MRT station is Taipei Main Station. Follow M8 until you are in the station hall. There are two locations; one on the ground floor and one upstairs in the food court.

Information: For me, sushi is one of those things that I all of a sudden get a real craving for. Today was one of those days and then I immediately start looking for a sushi bar. We happened to be around Taipei Main Station and decided to go to a more upscale sushi bar. Maru Sushi has two branches around the food court there. We went to the one that only had the conveyor belt along the counter. But don’t be fooled by its appearance, it is not really the same as Sushi Express. Most of the sushi has to be ordered; only a few different kinds of pieces are actually on the belt. Every seat had a menu as a placemat on which all the different sushi was being shown with their prices. At Maru Sushi it is not the usual two or three different types of plate that point out the price, but there were a total of seven. Some colors fairly similar to one each other. Many of the pieces can be found at every sushi shop and most of the standard ones were around NTD 60-100 per two pieces. The quality was, as one might expect of these prices, a lot better than at Sushi Express. There were also unusual pieces, which we had not seen before. We had salt roasted tuna sushi that was tasty, but for me not as good as raw fatty tuna (which they unfortunately did not have). The dried scallop sushi was NTD 150, but the flavors were weak and the texture was too soft. The most interesting piece was a sushi, which at first glance looked somewhat like poo, but was actually crab meat (the black parts that can be found in the shell of the crab) with miso and topped of with roe. The taste was somewhat interesting; the texture combined with the rice was good, but the aftertaste was way too strong and did not go away. In addition, we ordered a donburi (bowl with rice on the bottom and a topping on it) with tuna that was so-so and somewhat expensive.

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Rating: The quality of the sushi was good, but some of the sushi was too expensive. I don’t think the extra money is worth visiting this shop, but if you stick to the standard (cheaper) ones it won’t hurt your wallet too much. Expect to spend around NTD 800 a person.

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Duo Yakiniku: Japanese Barbecue

25 Aug
Duo1locationdesNearest MRT station: Taipei Main Station

Information: There is an amazing food court at Taipei Main Station with lots of different options. We decided to go to a Japanese barbecue restaurant. I think barbecuing your own meat is one of the best things in the world. Grilling the meat while it is slowly becoming edible, wonderful. In Japan my heart would start beating faster every time I went to eat there. I was really excited when I saw this place, because it really reminded me of Japan. The menu is in Chinese, Japanese and English; so it is really easy to order here if you don’t know any Chinese. I decided to go for beef tongue, ribs, thinly sliced steak, chicken, and an assortment of vegetables (just to eat a little healthy). We were able to choose from different quality meats from ‘normal’ steak to premium Japanese steak (wagyu). Usually at the cheaper places in Japan they don’t use real charcoal, but they did here. The meat tends to be grilled a little slower than at restaurants that use a heating element. Obviously getting the real deal is a lot cooler. Every platter of meat had 4 to 7 pieces on it depending on the meat you pick. It was really nice, even though I had picked the cheaper option. The meat had been marinated in some semisweet sauce, which added a lot of flavor, but wasn’t overwhelming. The vegetables were so-so, but who goes to a barbecue to eat veggies, right?

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Rating: Expect to spend at least 500 NTD a person, but it was really tasty. I don’t know if it is worth it, as I don’t know the prices of other yakiniku places. Service is fast and the atmosphere Japanese.

Japanese fast food chain: Yoshinoya

29 Jul

YOSH

Located at the Xindian District.  Qizhang七張  station (see map)

Information: Still avoiding KFC and Pizza hut? Well fine, here’s an alternative. The Japanese fast-food chain Yoshinoya serves fast and easy food for a small price. This chain is located pretty much all over Asia and even in some parts of the United States. They are located all over Taipei as well. There are a couple of main dishes, all of which contain meat or fish, rice and the occasional vegetable. These are set meals, for which the characters are 丼套餐. (These characters are used for pretty much any Japanese set meal). A lot of dishes came with a poached egg on top, which you had to mix into your meal. I chose a Korean style set meal (yeah, I like to be multicultural). The ingredients for the Korean style dish were rice, beef strips, kimchi and a poached egg. As a side salad I also got Kimchi (Kimchi is fermented cabbage/vegetables, by the way). The poached egg really adds to the flavor, as it leaves a very creamy aftertaste. Beef was well cooked and tender. Kimchi may have been spicy, but the softness and creaminess of the egg sort of took the intense kimchi flavor away. The salad was alright though. I enjoyed the food, it was exactly the right amount of food I needed for a quick lunch. You can also choose between a number of side dishes, such as soup, soy beans, tempura (fried vegetables), raw eggs and extra meat. In my opinion, this chain definitely succeeded in creating a good, savory and not too greasy alternative to regular fast food. I heard the chain was slightly better in Japan though. Then again, it’s Japanese food.  Enjoy!

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Rating: Good food, easy food, fast food.  The beef/rice ratio wasn’t too bad either. Oh yeah, no English (what a surprise), but as I said before, it’s basically just beef, pork, chicken or fish + rice and usually a poached egg on top. Nothing to be afraid of (I’ll review ”scarier” food in the future). Plus, they have pictures. Click below for the Taiwanese website and prices.

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