Developing My Aquatic Addiction At Aquatic Addiction Development 三井 上引水產

aad

One of the things that I missed the most while in Paris was good, affordable, fresh sushi. Unfortunately, you have one of three options: 1) pseudo-Japanese restaurants 2) chain store sushi places and 3) super expensive Japanese owned sushi restaurants that will easily cost you over 100 euros for two.
Luckily, France is well-known for some of the world’s best seafood so I was able to quench my cravings at places like Bar à iode.

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However, nothing beats Taipei’s Fish Market in terms of affordability and taste. As a veteran, I have tried all four restaurants and feel sufficiently informed to give an opinion.
Legend has it that they were going to demolish the building when it was bought and turned into the seafood paradise we have now; a bit like La Felicità in Paris. The entire space has been divided into the Supermarket, the Sushi Bar, the Seafood Bar, the Charcoal Grilled, the Hot Pot and Trésors de la Mer.

Now, there are a few ways you could go about eating your seafood. You could simply grab a couple goodies from the supermarket where they provide everything from miso soup, salmon rice, mentaiko grilled salmon, nigiri, sashimi and grilled meats – which is what I did today as I was short on time – or you could sit yourself down at one of the many restaurants in the Fish Market, except for the Seafood and Sushi Bar where they were going for more of a standing sushi bar/sushi on the go concept.

oyster bar

Trésors de la Mer has got to be my favourite as they do everything from seafood platters to hot pot. It is a three floor restaurant on the far end of the Fish Market that overlooks the Charcoal Grilled. The Charcoal Grilled comes in at a close second because having a mini barbecue on your table in an open space amidst all the fairy lights with a huge screen showing old, black and white movies makes for a beautiful summer moment and scores high on the originality scale but lacks the appeal of raw seafood. The Hot Pot rates even lower on my list because hot pot places in Taipei are as numerous as the stars in the sky. However, it needs to be said that both the Hot Pot and the Charcoal Grilled provide quality ingredients and excellent service.

Regardless of whether you end up munching on a skewer stick or swallowing French imported Gillardeau oysters whole, a trip to Taipei is not complete without visiting its Fish Market.

Aquatic Addiction Development 三井 上引水產
Address: No. 18, Alley 2, Lane 410, Minzu East Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10491
Official Website: http://www.addiction.com.tw/

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The Epitome of Instagram-worthy: Drunk Café

drunk cafe

After a meticulous search across the worldwide web, Wendy came up with this gorgeous location. My phone vibrated continuously as the pictures came in; it looked perfect!
“Wonderful! See you on Sunday!!” I typed back.

interior

Sunday night and I was the first to arrive. The café was gorgeous with its fairy lights hanging from the black ceiling like a thousand stars, throw pillows adorning every sofa and armchair. The feathered ceiling lamps were like something from an interior design magazine and the whole effect was completed with neon signs.

bar

I was rather surprised that the place seemed much smaller than in the pictures but it turned out that half the café was closed due to renovations…

The food is standard with prices that are quite affordable (NT$320 for the spaghetti, NT$200 for a glass of white wine) but I’m sure the majority of clients come back mainly for the decor and perhaps the cocktails on their lengthy and impressive list but I have yet to try those.

All in all, it is the perfect place to catch up with the girls over a drink and to take a few (or a couple) Instagram photos. Wink*
Sadly, I wouldn’t recommend Drunk Café for dinner as the tables are quite low which makes it impractical for eating but mainly because it really is more of a beverages and snacks establishment than a proper, full-on restaurant.

Regardless, it is definitely worth a visit.

love

Drunk Café
Address: No. 9, Lane 116, Guangfu South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106
Telephone: 02 2731 8787

 

A Michelin Star Experience in Taipei – Longtail

decor

Quite frankly, many people would be surprised to know we have a couple Michelin star restaurants in this island city. After all, we’re not as renowned as the French for our cuisine, neither are we as international as other cities, like Hong Kong, for example.

This year, Longtail was awarded one Michelin star along with 17 other restaurants in Taipei so imagine my excitement after a year abroad! Sadly, I was too busy catching up and focusing on the food to take photos of the decor which was simple, chic and straightforward. Nothing too fancy or fussy.

So why is it called Longtail?

When I was asking for the WIFI password which was “blue magpie”, I misheard it as “blue may pie” at first and had asked the waitress in a joking manner, “Why blue may pie? Does the owner like to eat it?”
She smiled and responded professionally, “I have no idea but I will ask for you.” And off she went.
A few minutes later she explained that as the national bird of Taiwan is the blue magpie and due to the length of its tail, the restaurant was therefore named: LONGTAIL. I thought it was an adorable detail so I thought I might add it in here.

Walking into the restaurant, you are met with the bar which looks refined and upscale with its standard wall of whiskeys, gins, liqueurs and bartenders in uniform. Longtail has a lovely selection of wine from almost everywhere, not just France, which often tends to be the case in Taipei. I was pleased to see they had a lovely, affordable bottle of Nero d’Avola from Sicily as well.

The meal consisted of six starters due to my friend’s suggestion; he’d been here a couple times so I thought it wise to just follow his advice. Apparently their starters are far more superior to their mains…

kanpachi

We started with the kanpachi sashimi whose light, fresh flavours made it the perfect début and a beautiful introduction for the stronger flavours of the uni and crispy nori rice entrée which were pungent and present.

uni

Next was the fig toast with ricotta cheese. This was the dish that introduced me to ‘lemon balm’. How did it take me 24 years of life to discover this gorgeous grass?!

fig

Then came a delicate plate of charred foie gras dumplings with sweet corn sauce which was definitely an interesting pairing and a memorable dish! Who would’ve thought?! Foie gras, a Christmas favourite and a fairly expensive, luxury food item with everyday, ordinary sweet corn. Genius.

dumplings

After that innovative piece were the shrimp sliders. This is probably the most sophisticated burger I have ever eaten in my life. So much hard work and care had been put into every layer that it was almost a pity to finish it off!

sliders

Last but not least, the crunchy soft shell crab with its spectacular salted egg yolk sauce. What a twist the sauce was! It certainly brought the dish together and was definitely something I had never tried before. I particularly appreciated the greens that accompanied the crab bringing with it a lightness that counteracted the greasiness often associated with anything fried.

softshell crab

Conclusion: divine; both the service and the food.
I read someone else’s blog post about their experience at Longtail and they had complained about the service, but apparently that was when the restaurant had first opened so perhaps there was some tweaking to be done. I can testify that the service is currently top notch! What a wonderful re-introduction to the gastronomic scene of Taipei!

Click here to check out the Longtail menu
For reservations: +886 2 2732 6616
Address: No. 174, Sec. 2, Dunhua S. Road, Da’an District, Taipei

 

 

 

Wengu Cafe

Tiny raindrops start falling from the heavens and get progressively larger with each step that I take towards the cafe. A few moments after being greeted and seated by the waiter, the skies open up completely to release a tremendous thunderstorm it had been holding in for days.

wengumenu

I had walked past this cafe several times while wandering Dong Qu (the Eastern District or the East Side of Taipei; popular for its clubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and boutiques.) What personally attracted me to this cafe were the hammock chairs hanging from the ceiling. I’m sure it was the case for most passers-by! Several months after the first sighting, I was finally here for a coffee date with a girl friend. Wengu cafe is a cosy spot, also perfect for studying as the music is soft and not intrusive. You are allowed to sit for as long as you want which is somewhat of a rare phenomenon in Taipei since many cafes and restaurants tend to have a 1.5 hour time limit. The service is fast and friendly!

wengudecor

Address: No. 16, Lane 160, Section 1, Dunhua South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City

Food & Drinks: 9/10

Service: 9/10

Environment: 10/10

Pricing: 9/10

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OVERALL: 9.25/10

 

I ordered a coffee latte and my friend had a blueberry dream from their “Pot Plant” series. As I had recently gotten my wisdom teeth removed, I couldn’t opt for any of their cold drinks and only had the tiniest taste of the blueberry drink but it was delicious! The coffee latte was pleasing and the taste, smooth. 

My friend ordered banana chocolate waffles with cream and ice-cream. It looked absolutely divine but I only had a tid bit as well. From what I could tell, the waffles were soft and fluffy! She finished everything so that’s two thumbs up from her.

As for the french fries, we ordered some to nibble on. The sauce was so good that I had to ask the waiter what it was. Apparently, it was a homemade Caesar salad sauce that made ALL the difference!

N.B.: Wengu Cafe has a minimum charge of one drink per person. Their drinks average
around NTD130-NTD160.

wengucat