Trésors de la Mer (Taipei)

April 29, 2015 in Food, Reviews, Taiwan, Travel

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I’m not much of a seafood guy, to be honest — too much trouble getting all that shell off, sorting through bones and putting up with potential skin allergies — so I had never heard of Addiction Aquatic Development, basically a fish market joint owned by the Japanese cuisine juggernaut Mitsui Group.

The website can explain the place better than I can, but essentially they offer many different types of ways you can eat fresh seafood. There’s a supermarket with a lot of sashimi, sushi and bento; a stand-around sushi bar where they make the stuff fresh; a hotpot area; a grill/BBQ section; and a proper restaurant — Trésors de la Mer .

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The view from the second floor of Trésors de la Mer

The restaurant also serves fresh seafood, which you can choose yourself from the tanks and iced section outside the front door.

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They have set specials (in Chinese only) that range from NT$1,280 to NT$2,280 per person (minimum 6 per table), but as I am quite picky with my seafood we decided to order a la carte.

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The seafood is REALLY fresh

The upstairs dining area is spread out but comfortable, and also surprisingly child-friendly.

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It’s all about the food, of course, so let’s check out what we got.

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First up, salmon sashimi. We only got salmon because that’s what we like, but we got half belly and half “normal.” Served on a bed of ice and with fresh lemon pieces, this was an absolute delight.

If you noticed that it is missing wasabi, it is because we have to grind it fresh ourselves.

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You get this plate with trapping holes in it and you have to grind a stick of Japanese horseradish to create the wasabi, which you then scrape to the edges with this wooden brush. It’s a lot of work, but totally worth it, because fresh wasabi is totally different to that processed stuff you mostly get and it’s fabulous.

If you order sushi, they will roll around a sushi cart and make it for you on the spot.

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I ordered a tuna one and it was just OK. Not enough tuna for the amount of rice you get and for the size of the dried seaweed sheet.

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One of the highlights was the prawns, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic and served with a side of salad drizzled with a vinaigrette dressing. The prawns were just so fresh and succulent and makes you realise that freshness really makes a huge difference.

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To ensure we would we full, we ordered a stir-fry seafood and chicken udon. Also very good, with a thick but light sauce but not too starchy. The seafood again was fresh and the chicken was surprisingly succulent.

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I love scallops, so we got a couple of skewers of grilled scallops. It was fresh and flavoursome, though in hindsight seared might have been better because scallops are more awesome when they are raw.

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The biggest surprise of the meal was the fish. It looked small and dry, but boy was it marvellous. With just a dash of salt and lemon, the natural flavours were allowed to shine through, and despite being grilled it was so fresh it almost melts in your mouth with a natural moistness.

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Lastly, you get a plate of fresh fruit — in this case sweet pineapple, bell fruit and guava.

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After sampling the meal at Trésors de la Mer I can definitely understand why Addiction Aquatic is such a popular destination for tourists, especially those from Hong Kong and Japan. If you love seafood, there’s probably no better place to visit in Taipei.

8.5/10

Details

Trésors de la Mer

Website: http://www.addiction.com.tw/lamer/

Address: Level 2, No.20, Aly. 2, Ln. 410, Minzu E. Rd., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei City

Hours: 11:00-24:00 (Addiction Aquatic open 6:00-24:00)

Phone: +886-2-2508-1268

Musashi Sushi (Kyoto)

April 17, 2013 in Food, Reviews

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Outside Musashi Sushi near the corner of Kawaramachi Sanjo

If you like sushi that is cheap but fresh and tasty, I recommend Musashi Sushi in Kyoto, situated at the corner of Kawaramachi and Sanjo.

It’s one of the most popular and well-known places for kaitenzushi (conveyor belt sushi) in Kyoto, but for whatever reason I never went there when I lived in the city about a decade ago. My old haunt was Kappa Sushi, which is a cheaper, but crappier kaitenzushi joint that offers machine-made sushi and other sides for 100 yen a pop (I believe the price has since been elevated to 105 or 110, inclusive of tax). Musashi Sushi on the other hand, does not have the fancy electronic ordering screens and offers its sushi for 137 yen a plate, but the quality of the hand-made sushi is clearly superior.

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Inside Musashi Sushi

Musashi Sushi has a great variety of different sushi, and even if you don’t like raw fish like many people, you can still enjoy a good meal here as they have lots of cooked options. I do eat the raw stuff but I’m not as adventurous as some other people, so I tend to stick to the safer choices.

If there is something you want that isn’t on the menu, just ask one of the waitresses and the chefs will make it for you on the spot. They have English menus, but the selection appears to be a lot smaller than what they really have. You just need to look at the conveyor belt to see this.

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Musashi Sushi’s English menu

The first dish I grabbed is one of my all-time favourites, the prawn tempura nigiri, which probably the most popular sushi for non-raw fish eaters.

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Here are some more photos of the conveyor belt and the type of stuff they have on offer.

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Here are some of the sushi we got. My top sushis for the day were the unagi (eel), which was made fresh and still warm when it melted in my mouth, the seared salmon sushi and the seared scallop sushi. You can ask them to fully cook the seafood if you like, but it just won’t be as nice.

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The wasabi is fresh and the tea and sauces are self-serve. Not much more to say except that it’s a fresh meal that guarantees satisfaction and won’t empty your wallet. We had, from memory, a total of 14 plates, which came to 1,918 yen, just AU$19. Now that’s what I call a great deal!

9/10

PS: We went during a weekday and it was early, like around 11:30. Apparently the place can get packed during peak hours, so plan accordingly.

Details

Musashi Sushi

Address: Kawaramachi-dōri Nakagyō-ku Sanjō agaru (corner of Kawaramachi and Sanjo)

Phone: 075 222-0634

Hours: 11am-10pm

Price: 137 yen a plate