or SHAN HUA
No. 1 on 146 Alley, Dun Hua S. Rd, Sec 2
lunch: 12 PM- 2:30 PM
dinner: 6 PM - 10 PM
kid friendly?: no high chairs, though can accomodate stroller especially if you call ahead. can be quiet atmosphere though so may not want to bring rowdy loud ones
visit reviewed: 11/17/2006
I'm no means a sashimi or sushi expert. After all, I used to only eat California Rolls and Inari Rolls and Tabiko nigiri until maybe five years ago when I was introduced to world of super fresh and delicious sashimi. So even now, when I eat sashimi, I couldn't necessarily tell you everything that I am eating- yellowtail, Hamachi, salmon- I would need one of those plastic diagrams that come on the table. I know what tuna, uni, unagi, and sweet shrimp are, but at a place where the chef's set menu (about NT$2000) just comes to you, you have to just go with the flow.
Mountain Flower is a cozy, small-ish rectangular room of a restaurant with a sushi bar- we heard of it from a friend who works with organic foods and raved about their vegetarian set menu. It's definitely a place to treat yourself, or use the company credit card, since their set menu will set you back NT$2000 or US$60, but it will be worth every penny. It's simple, delicious flavors and you'll leave full from the food and the experience, but not stuffed. We were lucky to get a reservation a day or so earlier, since the space can only seat so many people. WIth the darker walls and ambience, it was very modern and sleek and the restaurant was bustling with businessmen, couples and people enjoying their food.
So I will do my best to describe everything we had from that night- but honestly, I'm not sure what everything was- but it all tasted awesome- so if you are a sashimi expert, you can let the pictures do the talking.
We sat at the sushi bar, so when the chef was ready, he's dish out the new plate. Before we start eating, they ask if there is anything that we do NOT eat. For the appetizer, we dipped the paper thin slice into a sauce. Later the chef would specifically suggest when not to dip something in a sauce.
The sashimi was so fresh. I think the white slices on the right were squid- they were a bit rubbery unlike the meaty texture of the fish. In general, I prefer the taste and texture of tuna and I think what was yellowtail?
This to me was heaven because I really miss eating spicy tuna from the states- it's hard to find here and this was an elegant twist on one of my favorites. I almost wanted to ask the chef for more than the two bites that we got.
And the food kept coming while we were eating and talking. This set was probably one of my favorites- the slightly seared toro melted in your mouth and though not everyone likes uni, I have grown to love it, and it was very fresh and creamy.
The thing about sashimi and sushi is that it should never smell or taste fishy. If it does, don't eat it! Next came a grilled miso fish, which was just the right size and flavorful due to the marinade.
I wasn't sure what this was and my friend called it "the essence of fish" to which I was like, what does that mean? Brain? Sex organs? Stomach? After some googling, It reminded me in taste and appearance of cow brain, in the soft creaminess, but it would be the most beautifully presented fish milt I've ever seen.
vegetarian yams and mushrooms
Then capping the meal with a slice of fresh pineapple and red bean dessert and green hot tea.
If you've ever wanted to go somewhere and let the chef hand pick your food, then you must try MOUNTAIN FLOWER. The simple elegant sign outside reflects the "japonaise" style and attitude inside- they make it look easy and the fresh while
appetizing flavors stay with on your mind. As with most set menus, the dishes will changes as the seasons change, but at least you can be assured that whatever you are eating will also be the freshest.