Taipei: Addictive Aquatic Development

I love the name of this place; so contrived. In fact, everything about Addictive Aquatic Development seems deliberate and ¬†purpose-driven. Its location, for example, is brilliantly chosen. It’s located behind a commercial fruit marketplace and a commercial vegetable market. It is surrounded by butchers and fishmongers and loads of other traditional open-air meat and produce vendors. It is boxed between a highway and the the runway of the second-busiest airport in the city. It is physically located in a building that housed a wholesale seafood marketplace. Addictive Aquatic Development itself serves as a stylized seafood market with tanks and pools … Continue reading Taipei: Addictive Aquatic Development

Homestyle Japanese: Aotoya Blue Door

As a food-crazed man, I’m a firm believer in fostering a strong curiosity of food in my offsprings. I want to accustom them to the multitude of flavour and textural profiles present in various cuisines so that I can nurture their inner bon vivant. I encourage them to be adventurous with regards to meal choices and to always opt for unfamiliar and possibly eye-opening dining experiences whenever possible. If the opportunity presents itself, I allow them to personally choose the dining adventure that they wish to embark on. …That’s actually bending the truth just a little bit. I got a … Continue reading Homestyle Japanese: Aotoya Blue Door

Tokyo: Kyubei

I was going through my email trying to find the notes I took of the exemplary meal my wife and I had a Kyubei but I couldn’t find them…I don’t know what happened to them. I distinctly remembered typing the names of each individual piece of fish we were served along with their tasting notes on my phone, and I distinctly remembered emailing the rather lengthy note to myself. But nothing. I can’t believe it! The one time that I was able to take notes in a well-regarded sushi restaurant in Tokyo because I was being served by the rare … Continue reading Tokyo: Kyubei

Awful service, Hot room, and Fresh Yummy Fish: Sushi by Yuji

Until a week ago, I never realized why most respectable sushi restaurants did not have clear, floor-to-ceiling windows. Heat. Direct sunlight produces heat. Combine that with a sushi restaurant bare ready for lunch service with a bucket full of just-mixed sushi rice emitting vinegar in the form of steam and you get…A veritable sauna hot-circulating rancid, sour air through the respiratory systems of everyone in it. Sitting in Yuji’s at 12:01 P.M. on a weekday with weak service blasted by solar-generated heat and a vinegar-generated stench, my wife and I almost gave up on the place before our first pieces … Continue reading Awful service, Hot room, and Fresh Yummy Fish: Sushi by Yuji

Taipei: Better than Tojo’s, at a 43% discount.

Up until now, the most expensive sushi meal that I’ve had (by a longshot) was at Tojo’s. My wife and I ended up paying $700 after tax for an omakase meal with two beers at the sushi bar. Neither me nor my wife thought that the food we had there was anything close to being worth the price we paid. The food was so “not special” that we felt that it was worth $150 at most. In fact, the items we received were not that different from the standard $125 omakase listed on their menu. I think it’s safe to … Continue reading Taipei: Better than Tojo’s, at a 43% discount.

Tokyo: Airport Sushi

I usually research and plan out specific restaurants to eat at before I visit any city. Even for a city like Tokyo, which I have visited in excess of 10 times in the past decade, there are still countless restaurants on my list of restaurants-t0-visit that I’ve yet to try – not to mention the thousands of other amazing restaurants that I haven’t even heard of. If I told you that I visited Tokyo yesterday, it would be natural for you to assume that I visited one of the restaurants on my list of restaurants-to-visit-in-Tokyo. But I didn’t. I simply … Continue reading Tokyo: Airport Sushi

Who(What) makes great sushi?

Day 29 Sushi Mart… They say that it takes years of training to become a capable itamae. The greenest of apprentices begin by performing cleaning duty. If all goes well with the cleaning, they move on to preparing the sushi stations for the other chefs. Then they might move on to cooking rice, then to seasoning rice, then preparing nori, then sharpening knifes, then cleaning fish, then preparing fish, and eventually actually cutting fish and preparing sushi. Each step in the process of becoming an itamae can take months or even years. After going through this process, the itamae is … Continue reading Who(What) makes great sushi?