April 22, 2012

Another Taiwanese Japanese sushi joint

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The Japanese theme continues… and my guests and I were introduced to Jin Fu (錦富日式料理) by their friend.  I'd actually been to this alley restaurant once many years ago, and was curious to go back and try it again.

From the moment we walked in, it was obvious that this was much more local Taiwanese in style.  It also looked more like a neighborhood restaurant.  We were seated at the counter, and asked the chef for omakase.

Taiwanese abalone (九孔) - not a bad way to start.

Japanese halfbeak (細魚) - very interesting presentation… made into a leaf with strips of nori (のり) in between, and the chef insisted that we eat it all in one go, together with the perilla (しそ) leaf underneath.

Young yellowtail (ハマチ) - apparently this was wild and not farmed.  I wanted to ask the chef whether this was really hamachi, or actually the grown-up buri (鰤)…  Very thick cut.

Swordfish (目梶木) - the chef told us that this would be "like eating ice cream"… Well, it's pretty soft but not quite liquid and melt-in-your-mouth, innit?!

Japanese butterfish (疣鯛) - never had this one before…

Alfonsino (金目鯛)

Mackerel (鯖) - lightly torched on top so the skin was a little crispy.  Very oily and fatty.  Yum.

Scallop (帆立貝) - slightly torched, brushed with soy sauce and a little bit of yuzu (柚子) rind.  Pretty sweet.

Raw shrimp (甘エビ)

Tadpole shrimp (兜海老) - something else exotic that I've never had... these were a little crunchy.

Sea urchin (雲丹) combo - made with Japanese green sea urchin (馬糞雲丹) on top and pretty large Canadian ones underneath.  Not very impressed, honestly… and this is waaay too Taiwanese, who seem to be of the philosophy that "more is better".

Young yellowtail (ハマチ) belly - very fatty yet crunchy.

Rosy seabass (赤鯥) - this was very tender and succulent.  The chef explained that this was air-dried for 8 hours, without which the fish would have fallen apart during cooking as it was so soft.  Yummy.

Deep-fried tuna fat - this is the fatty bit just under the skin of the northern bluefin tuna (黑鮪魚).  I normally don't eat tuna, and had given away my minced tuna belly hand roll (ネギトロ手巻き) earlier.  However this was an interesting piece so I decided I wanted to try it once.  The chef said that it tastes just like deep-fried tonkatsu (とんかつ), and I could kinda see why.  REALLY fatty, and this was when I started to feel really full.

"Minced pork rice (魯肉飯)" - not quite sure why the chef refers to it this way, but this is where he kinda pissed me off.  I had told him earlier that I don't eat tuna for environmental reasons, so his junior replaced the minced tuna belly with minced swordfish.  However, he still placed a slice of seared northern bluefin tuna in my bowl without telling me.  I didn't find out until after I ate it, and I would have been happy to pass it on to my friends.  There was also salmon roe (イクラ) and sea urchin.  The junior chef also took a piece of the fat around the tuna belly, put a torch over it and let the fat drip into the bowls.  I was really full by this point, and started to feel a little nauseous…

Chinese cabbage shoots tempura - these Chinese cabbage shoots (白菜芽) were very sweet, and very tasty when deep-fried.

The chef had stuffed the shrimp heads with rice and grilled them.  I was too full and only took a bite.
The bowl of fruits was very sweet.  The tomato had been marinated and was very ripe; the pineapple was ripe and sweet; the pink guava gave off that distinctive perfume; and the sweet potato was like pure sugar.

A very different dining experience compared to yesterday's lunch, but pretty good value for money.  The chef is very talkative, and would be happy to discuss just about any topic you can think of, not simply restricted to food...


Michelle Chin said...

i feel like i really need to go to taiwan after reading all these japanese related stuff!

Anonymous said...


Laura said...

Awesome sushi photos. I could almost taste them in my mouth! Now I wish I had my own sushi maker at home.

Peech said...



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