Showing posts with label dinner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dinner. Show all posts


Restaurant #60: Saboten, Taipei

(Visited in March, 2011)

Saboten is a Tonkatsu restaurant from Shinjuku, Tokyo. I haven’t heard of this restaurant until I saw in Taipei. In Taiwan, this tonkatsu restaurant (勝博殿) locates in some department stores; SOGO and Mitsukoshi. I tried “Anzu”, which is another Japanese Katsu restaurant in Taipei, and it was OK, so I was not sure if I should have tried this restaurant… Yet, my friend asked me to, so… let me report this.

I chose the branch in ZhongXiao SOGO. It was a long line, so we waited for 30 minutes or so. The waiter guided us to the comfortable table. Our seat was in good place, and I was quite happy about it. The décor was simple, but it looks old. Also, some families with kids and babies were eating dinner, so it was quite noisy.

The other waitress came to us and explained their menu and system since it was a first time for us to visit them. According to them, shredded cabbage, rice, miso soup and appetizer are all refill free. Yes! (^^) Their workers were well trained, and friendly.

Compared to Anzu, Saboten’s items are slightly expensive. I hoped that their katsu taste better. I ordered Negi Oroshi Rosu Katsu (ねぎおろしロースかつ) (NT$ 300), and my friend chose Tender Hire Katsu (やわらかヒレかつ御膳) (NT$300).


Their appetizer was black beans and Japanese radish pickles. This Daikon pickles reminded me of one Japanese restaurant my friend and I always went in the states. Good memories… Black beans were a bit sweet, tasted alright.

Shredded Cabbage

Shredded cabbage (キャベツの千切り) is always served with Katsu. I always eat a lot.


Same as Anzu, sesame was served.

Item was served in front of me.

Negi Oroshi Rosu Katsu

Negi Oroshi Rosu Katsu looked great! Katsu was politely laid on the plate, covered Daikon Oroshi. I thought their Oroshi was a bit dry, but it was still tasty. Katsu was juicy and chewy enough to enjoy the taste of pork. Unfortunately, my rice was already cold. What happened!?!?!? I asked Okawari, and the second bawl was warm enough.

Hire Katsu Set

My friend’s Hirekatsu was, to be honest, so disappointing. I don’t know what happened. Did they serve different item or what? This katsu was quite different than we expected. Meat was thinly sliced, and wrapped to make it katsu shape. I found the similar item on their menu, which was called “Kasane Katsu” (千層錦豬排). But… Hire is usually not Kasane Katsu, right? I really want to know if we ordered it wrong, or they served wrong item… Taste of meat was not bad at all, but still quite different than Hire. Sorry my friend…

Green Tea Ice Cream

Both katsu set included a small dessert. Both dessert items were good: Oshiruko and Green tea Ice cream. We enjoyed it.

Overall, I liked their appetizer and everything but Katsu, such an ironic. I believe Anzu’s Katsu matches more to my taste, and it is close to a real Japanese style, although their sauce and other appetizer are alright. As a Japanese, Katsu in here couldn’t satisfy me.

I would like to visit them again to confirm their Hire katsu... If that was all they have, then I’d rather cook it by myself. It is all about a quality of the meat. I hope I will be satisfied with their food next time.

Total: NT$ 660 (for 2 people + 10% service fee)

Saboten: Japanese Tonkatsu Restaurant


Cooking 03: Temakizushi 手巻き寿司

Temakizushi (手巻き寿司) is a hand rolled sushi, contains of rice and strips of ingredients wrapped in a half sheet of Nori. It is tasty and easy to make, and the most, it is purely fun to make it by yourself. I enjoyed Temakizushi for dinner, so I will teach you how to make it.

Sushi rice was prepared separately; mixed with sushi vinegar. Temperature of the rice must be cool down a bit, otherwise it does not match with sashimi’s warmness.


Hijiki is a healthy kind of seaweed. It looks strange if you have never seen it, but it is very healthy and good nutrition for your hair.


Osuimono is a Japanese soup, served with Shiitake, Fu and Mitsuba. Miso soup is also popular soup in Japanese food, but osuimono is match more with sushi.


Let’s take a look at ingredients. You can prepare all kinds of sashimi and veggie you like for Temakizushi, but this day, we ate Shrimp (Ebi: えび), crab meat (毛がに), salmon roe (いくら), and Yellowtail (ぶり). Don’t forget to add Shiso leaves (green perilla: シソ). Shrimp was simply boiled with water, no MSG or anything, but shrimp must be fresh.

Let’s make one with me.

Prepare a sheet of Nori, and add Shiso on the top of seaweed if you like.

Take a little bit of rice. Not too much.

Then, add ingredients you like. I sometimes dip into soy sauce first, but of course, you can wrap first then dip into soy sauce. If you go to sushi bar, you see more beautiful shaped hand roll sushi, but for us, simply wrap and eat it. Simple and easy, but the most importantly, all ingredients must be fresh. (^^)


Cooking #02: Beef Stew and Izushi

I couldn’t wait to eat my mother’s cooking! That night, she prepared me delicious beef stew and a traditional Japanese dish, Izushi.

I do not think people reading my blog know about Izushi, so let me introduce this delicious dish to you. Izushi (飯寿司) is one of local foods usually in cold, snowing part of Japan, such as in Hokkaido or Tohoku. Rice, fish, vegetable, and Kouji (麹) are used, categorized as a sushi, called “cooked rice sushi”. Because raw fish are used during a process of marinated, Izushi is usually cooked in cold season, and need to be sure that the fish is salted well, otherwise easily get food poisoned.

Each family has different receipt for ingredients. My family’s is from my father’s family: salmon, carrot, cucumber, ginger, rice, red pepper, Japanese radish (Daikon), and salmon roe.

p.s. Rimmed Bowl: Wedgwood Samurai, Small Plate: Tachikichi (Kyoto, Japan)


Cooking #01: Omi Beef Stake, Sapporo

Everytime I go back to my home, my mother prepared delicious foods for me. She is a great chef, and also she is lucky to have a chance to use fresh, delicious materials which are grown in Hokkaido. Let me share some dishes from my kitchen table!

Omi Beef Stake

Simple medium cooked stake, with salt and pepper. Beef was…tender!!! Once I bit, it melted in my mouth. It was amazing. Usually, this level of quality of beef was not easy to buy, but my mother luckily bought this Omi beef in Daimaru department store. Today was a lucky day… I wish I could eat this quality of steak outside… in reasonable price.

Fried Tofu & Bok Choy

This is also a simple dish. Fresh Boc Choy, sprout and special tofu from Niseko area. When I go back to my home, my family visits Niseko. Niseko is blessed with pure water from Mt. Yotei, and many travelers from all over Hokkaido bring empty bottles to pull spring water. There are several small stores where visitors can buy fresh vegetables. One Tofu store called “Wakimizu no Sato” became famous because their tofu was made with natural spring water of Niseko. Not only pure simple tofu, but also their original items, festinate me! We only bought spicy tofu this time, but I personally liked their Grounded soybean curd donuts. It was a bit sweet, and healthy as you can imagine. I definitely want to go back there again and buy more various tofu.

Bonito Sashimi

You can enjoy these gorgeous bonito sashimi ONLY in Hokkaido! No fishy smell, because it was so fresh. Don’t forget to eat with Wakame as well. Slices of green perilla (Shiso: しそ) was enjoyable, but doesn’t kill the fresh taste of sashimi. It was purely fresh.

Hmm… Always, mother’s food is the best in the world, right?


Restaurant #53: Anzu, Taipei

(Visited at Dec 27, 2010)

Anzu, a Japanese Tonkatsu restaurant, opened a new branch at Hankyu department store. It is easy to access from MRT station, and there is always a looooong line waiting for delicious Katsu. Anzu came from Kyushu of Japan. Let’s see how they are doing here in Taiwan.

As usual, it was a long line in front of the restaurant. My friend and I waited for 45 min, which is normal in such a busy and crowded city. Workers welcomed us with “Irasshaimase!” Since I heard their greetings with Japanese, my mind automatically started expecting their service.

My first impression towards them was great; workers were smiling and kindly led us to the table. Décor was beautifully organized, and lighting was appropriate as well. Their menu could be a bit expensive for Taiwanese people, but I think it was reasonable compared with the prices among other Tonkatsu restaurants in Taiwan. Those atmosphere and food quantity must make them satisfied. We ordered Hirekatsu set (腰內豬排套餐) (TW$ 290) and Thick Sliced Rosu Katsu set (厚切里肌肉豬排套餐) (TW$ 330).

Appetizer: Kiriboshi-Daikon

As an appetizer, Kiriboshi Daikon (切り干し大根) was served. A bit salty, but it was acceptable. Yet, an accident happened—hair in the food. Well… no one is perfect, I know. I asked the worker to change the appetizer… To be honest, I was just uncomfortable to pay the service fee…

If you like, add grated sesame.

Shredded cabbage

Shredded cabbage is an important side dish for Tonkatsu. Usually, refill free. I like shredded cabbage, so I refilled several times. They prepared house-made dressing, but I prefer Tonkatsu sauce.

Their sauce was not my taste, because it was too sweet, yet my friend liked it.

Hirekatsu Set

Our dishes were finally served. I was very happy to see my dish, ヒレかつ膳, with golden-colored crispy skin. It was perfect!!! Their Koromo (crispy skin) was really Japanese style and crispy~! Meat was tender and perfectly juicy. I was astonished! I couldn’t even find such a Real Tonkatsu dish in Los Angeles. I am glad that I could enjoy in Taiwan. My choice made my day.

Thick Sliced Rosu Katsu Set

My friend ordered Thick Sliced Rosu Katsu set (厚切りロースかつ膳). When we ordered this item, a worker warned us that it would be oily. When we saw the item, her warning made sense. It came with lots of fatty part. There is another Rosu Katsu set with Kurobuta, which was a bit expensive. I believe Kurobuta Rosu would be better than this. Excluding the fatty part, Rosu was tender, and again, Koromo was perfectly crispy. Katsu, cabbage, siso soup and other appetizer… Those made us full and really satisfied.

Although I prefer lighter-taste Kiriboshi Daikon, their food made me satisfied. Please improve their hygiene, so that I can go back there again.

Total: TW$ 682 (for 2 people + 10% service fee)

Anzu: Japanese Tonkatsu Restaurant


Restaurant #52: 龐太餛飩舖子 Wonton Shop, Taipei

(Visited Dec. 22, 2010)

One of my students likes to visit good restaurants. She taught me several reasonable restaurants, and 龐太餛飩舖子 was one of them. The location is not in convenient area, so it is better to access by car. Coincidentally, I had a chance to go to this area.

It is a small restaurant, and interestingly, the décor was amazingly cool. Out of no where, you find such a fashioned tiny restaurant. You can’t even imagine they are selling wonton. My friend and I entered the store. Only two workers and Jazz as background music welcomed us. Menu was quite simple; wonton soup and noodles. We ordered one appetizer (TW$ 30), small noodle (TW$ 40), pork wonton soup (TW$ 55) and shrimp wonton soup (TW$ 80). Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of shrimp wonton soup... (ToT)


As an appetizer (小菜), we choose pork ear ski & Tofu bean curd. Both are popular appetizer of Taiwanese food, and Okinawa people of Japan sometimes eat those. Their pork ear was a bit sweet, but I liked it.

Pork Wonton Soup

Pork Wonton Soup (鮮肉餛飩湯) was the simplest item from their wonton menu, but simple is best. The soup was pure and light without MSG. Seaweed was inside and it kept the good balance of the taste. Although there were only 6 pieces of wonton, but each piece was big enough to make us lightly full. I thought seafood wonton (such as shrimp or scallop) would give stronger taste.

Small Dry Noodle

They prepared three different kinds of noodle menu, and we tried small dry noodle (乾拌麵). It was a right decision to order one noodle, otherwise only wonton soup didn’t make us completely full. I have eaten some dry noodle since I came to Taiwan, but this noodle was the best so far!!! It was not really dry; enough soup with ground meat. I don’t think I should eat this everyday, but eating this once a month would make my stomach happy.

Overall, this tiny cute wonton restaurant offers a sophisticated wonton menu; it is called professionalism.

Total: TW$ 205 (for 2 people)

龐太餛飩舖子: Wonton Shop
No. 169, Section 5, ShiMin Blvd, Songshan Dist.,
Taipei, TAIWAN
02- 2748-2338


Restaurant #51: Ramen Kagetsu Arashi, Taipei

I thought it was almost impossible to find a real Japanese ramen outside of Japan, but I was wrong. I finally found the one in Taipei! I know pretty good one in Los Angeles, but this is really like modern Japanese ramen. It is called “Ramen Kagetsu Arashi”, originally from Tokyo of Japan. I am a huge fan of Sapporo Ramen and have some bad experience with ramen of other areas, but this Tokyo style has some interesting flavors!

Ramen Kagetsu Arashi has several branches in Taiwan, and one branch is located in a new department store. 統一阪急百貨台北店 is very easy to access from MRT station. Many people are waiting in line everyday, as well as this day. After waiting for 10 min, a waiter led my friend and I to a small table. We ordered Chinese Chive & Egg Fried Rice (鉄板イタめしニラ玉味) and their signature item, Garlic Genkotsu Ramen (ニンニクげんこつらあめん), and an extra small Garlic Pork Rice (ニンニク豚めし).

Chinese Chive & Egg Fried Rice (韭菜玉子鐵板炒飯)

韭菜玉子鐵板炒飯, TW$ 160, was my friend’s choice. It was a great choice for not only taste but also entertainment. On the Teppan plate, beaten egg, rice with some ingredients and Katsuobushi were prepared. A waitress mixed all those in front of us beautifully. Of course, we could do it by ourselves, but first time is better to see how the professional do. (^^)

It was some sort of art that the color of beaten egg slowly changed, and smell of katsuobushi was mouth-watering. After mixed with rice, it was okay to eat right away, or also find to wait for a while to make Okoge.

Garlic Genkotsu Ramen (大蒜拳骨拉麵)

My choice was Garlic Genkotsu Ramen (大蒜拳骨拉麵), TW$ 160. For the first time, I was surprised that taste of the soup was Real. Lots of grated garlic and Seabura (背脂) make the soup strong and a bit salty. Taiwanese friends are all told me that the soup was too salty for them. Then, you can ask the worker to add boiled water to adjust saltiness.

Chashu was beautifully lying on the soup surface. Two slices; juicy and tender. If you like Chashu, you can order Chashu Ramen or add extra slices.

A half of boiled egg was in perfect condition. Bamboo Shoots didn’t have strong taste as other Taiwanese dishes, so that it didn’t kill the good smell from the soup, which was great. Green onion (negi), two slices of Chashu (チャーシュー), and Nori (Seaweed: のり) were all decorated perfectly.

If you like, you can add extra topping. I added Wakame Seaweed (わかめ) with extra TW$ 30.

Garlic Pork Rice (蒜香肉燥飯)

We ordered extra small rice called 蒜香肉燥飯 (ニンニク豚めし) (TW$ 45). This was a bit disappointment. A worker might have forgotten to bring the item right away. Once they served the rice to us, it was already cold and the meat over the rice was dry… If it was a real quality of this item, then they must improve the quality.

Overall, I love their ramen and service. All workers were friendly and energetic. Since this first experience, I frequently visit there and enjoy real Japanese ramen. (^^)

Total: TW$ 435 (for 2 people + 10% service fee)

Ramen Kagetsu Arashi: らあめん花月嵐 (Japan) (Taiwan)
# Please check the closest branch from your location.


Restaurant #50: Yoshimi Kitchen, Sapporo

I visited Yoshimi Kitchen once before, but this time my friend made a reservation for cheese fondue course, including all you can drink. Yoshimi Kitchen is located at Parco building—easy to access, and I especially like their various menus for drinks. I like their simple décor and the lighting color of the restaurant.

Since I don’t drink alcohol, I enjoyed their non-alcohol cocktail menus. Yet, I also enjoyed their delicious course dishes.


Interesting appetizer was served: quiche with cresson, and beef kidney stewed with tomato sauce. Kidney was very juicy, and melted smoothly once I put it in my mouth. Sourness of the tomato sauce and delicately seasoned quiche made my stomach happy.

Green Garden Salad

Fresh veggies were used in the salad. I was pleased with petite broccoli. Fresh!

Cheese Fondu

This became their signature menu. I understand, because their cheese fondu was totally delicious! Cheese was imported from Switzerland, according to the worker. Ingredients were including healthy veggies, especially I liked eggplants were lightly fried.

Kita Akari French Fries

After the main dish, amazing dishes were still served. Kita Akari (北あかり) French fries were rightly salted. The Hokkaido native, “Kita Akari”, was freshly harvested from local farms. The taste was a bit sweet, although it was well-seasoned.

Shrimp & Tuna Spaghetti with Creamy Tomato Sauce

Oops! I accidentally forgot taking a picture before I started… As you can see through the picture, the quantity was not that much, but after all those cheese fondu and other delicious foods, this amount was enough for two people. The shrimp was a bit small, but tomato sauce was flavored well.


I was already satisfied, but I still had extra space for some dessert. What was wrong with my stomach? Pear Pie & Mango Pudding. My friend said a bit sweet, but it was perfect for me.

I went to Yoshimi Kitchen twice so far, but I always satisfied. I think ordering a course is better than ordering a la carte. Don’t forget to try out their drink items! I had a wonderful dinner with my friend.

Total: 6000 yen (for 2 people, free drinks)

Yoshimi Kitchen
8F, Parco
Minami 1-jo Nishi 3-chome, Chuou-ku
Sapporo, JAPAN