October 16, 2009

Opening day bomb

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I met up with some friends for dinner at Suzufuji (鈴籐), a Japanese sushi joint near my old office in Taipei.  This was recommended by a friend who used to frequent the joint when it was an izakaya (居酒屋).  Unfortunately for us, the owners decided to remake this place into a sushi joint, and tonight was their opening night!

The menu consisted of 1 page on their lunch specials, 2 pages on dinner sets and à la carte items, and about twice as many pages on their alcohol selection.  I suppose this is in line with the Taiwanese practice of having omakase sets at sushi joints.  I chose the most expensive set menu to see whether this place can deliver.  They couldn't.

Yamaimo (山芋)"noodles" - this was very nice.  Fresh yamaimo cut into very thin strands resembling noodles, with the typical sticky, viscous "juice" as a lubricant.  This was garnished with a dab of wasabi, thin strands of nori seaweed (のり), and chopped okra.  Very refreshing and a good way to start dinner on a warm day.

Sashimi platter of seared yellow tail (炙りはまち), sweet shrimp (甘エビ) and red snapper (鯛).  Not used to having seared yellow tail but I guess it was OK.

Grilled red king crab legs (鱈場蟹) - pretty decent and juicy.

A series of nigiri sushi : tuna (鮪), salmon (鮭), red horsehead (赤甘鯛), scallop (帆立), squid (イカ) sprinkled with salt, seared flounder (炙り鰈) with yuzu salt.

Tempura platter with shrimp, some white fish, shiitake mushroom, pumpkin and eggplant.  This was OK.

Tiger prawn (車海老) sushi with a bit of sweetened cooked egg yolk spread around it.  Somehow it just didn't feel right.

Mini omelette filled with eel - I really liked this one.  While many other places would make this savory, here they added plenty of sugar to make the egg sweet, just the way I like it.  They also made the egg a little watery and creamy.

Dobin mushi (土瓶蒸し) - with cubes of chicken, clams and some fish fillets.

Another set of premium nigiri sushi - salmon roe (イクラ), chopped raw tiger prawn, sea urchin (雲丹),  toro with scallions (葱トロ).

We ordered a 300ml bottle of Dassai Junmai Daiginjo 23% (獺祭「純米大吟醸」磨き二割三分).  This has always been easy to drink since it's on the sweet side (甘口), but tonight I felt it was lacking a bit of complexity, as there wasn't anything very prominent in the nose other than banana...

There was a decent amount of food to fill me up, but honestly the dishes were a bit hit-or-miss.  Being a sushi bar, the quality of the sushi was actually not great.  And service was terrible.  Our waitress could not remember the correct set menu each of us had ordered, and basically sent the dishes to the wrong person at each round.  They also annoyed me with the inflexibility of how to split our bill at the end of the meal.  Basically they had useless staff.  I normally don't visit a restaurant in the first couple of months of operation, and I would normally never dream of going there on opening night!  Oh well... With mediocre food and poor service, guess I'm not going back...


Beef No Guy said...

What is the best sushi you've had in Taipei?

Peech said...

Been to a few decent ones in Taipei but never wowed by any. 同壽司,錦富,山花, 牛壽司...


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