May 3, 2012

The old standard

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I was invited to dinner by some friends at the last minute, and joined them at the original location of Mitsui (三井).  This was the original restaurant to take Japanese dining upmarket in Taipei, offering something more refined than what we were used to before.  Over the years, though, the quality hasn't kept up with the rest of the market, and there are now many other choices in town.

I decided against ordering one of the usual set dinners, since I wanted to control my intake.  So I picked a few items from the menu to try to achieve a "balanced" meal…

Sea urchin and salmon roe on rice (雲丹いくら丼) - this was originally meant to have Japanese green sea urchin (馬糞雲丹), but as it's not the right season, I had Canadian sea urchin instead.  They were pretty decent.  Of course I just looove salmon roe, and I can never have enough.

Stir-fried burdock (きんぴらごぼう) - very nice.  Very fine shreds, nicely stir-fried with a little bit of chili oil.  My veggie intake for the meal.

Deep-fried durian - I was surprised that this was on the menu, and ordered it out of curiosity.  The durian filling was coated with a layer of finely shredded taro, then deep-fried until the shell was crispy.

But honestly, this really wasn't that good.  The durian filling wasn't really ripe and had lots of grainy, mushy bits.  The whole thing just seemed to have soaked up a ton of oil.  I felt a little nauseous after finishing it…

Grilled rosy seabass (烤紅喉) - this seems to show up at Japanese restaurants all around town, but it's pretty good.  We had a whole fish for the four of us to share.  The flesh is tender and pretty succulent.

I was very full by now, but was happy to have some fruit and dessert.  Interesting to see a few osmanthus flowers in the red bean soup.

It was good be back here, and the result was kinda what I expected.  It was decent, but there are plenty of other places in town I'd rather be.

1 comment:

Michelle Chin said...

durian in japanese restaurant? this is the first time i heard something like that!


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