Friday, July 9, 2010
Tian Cai Refreshment Saloon
Lilly and I recently decided to get some Sushi. We figured we were finally near an ocean (unlike in Chicago) and on the right side of the planet to get some specific sea foods (like Pacific sea urchin). While one might not think of Taiwan as a place to get Japanese food it is actually ideal for it. This is not so suprising given Taiwan's long history with Japan. Taiwan is quite close to Japan's southernmost islands. From 1895 until WWII Taiwan was under the Japanese rule. After the Nationlists took over the island they fostered good relations with Japan (mostly out of mutual distrust of Beijing) and many of the elite of Taiwan would go to Japan for education. This is all a long way of saying that the Japanese influence in Taiwan is very strong and this carries over into the food.
Lilly and I got the name of a sushi place from her family. On it's business card it oddly refers to itself as a refreshment saloon. That translation issue aside it is a real local gem. It is near the centeral train station but off in an alley. A modest place with immodestly wonderful fish. We sat at the bar and chatted up the chef. We let him guide our selection and had a wonderful meal. One we could recommend to anyone visitng Taipei. However be warned the menu is entirely in Chinese and the chef himself doesn't speak English. Luckily his apprentice, a nice young man named "David", spoke excellent English and was a helpful translator. Here here is:
This is their card and a map to get to it.
Here are some highlights from the meal.
Uni and Unagi