Sunday, May 27, 2007

japanese: PEONY JAPANESE RESTAURANT



PEONY JAPANESE RESTAURANT
No 106, Xin Yi Road, Sec 5
(02) 8780-5757

website: hachioji.com.tw (Chinese only)

hours: 11:30AM- 4:30PM
5:30PM- 10PM

$$-$$$

Visit reviewed: 5/14/2007






This is probably my third time to Peony, which is most definitely an elegant and fancy place to have your Japanese food, but somehow I feel that the food doesn't measure up in taste to (1) the price, (2) the way the restaurant looks and the food looks, (3) as compared to equally fancy Sumie or even less fancy places that offer better values. From my unagi bowl set lunch (NT$680) menu, that made me glance twice was the sesame ball appetizer which was a slightly deep fried ball of sesame tofu that was crispy on the outside with a soft, perfectly flavored center soaked in tempura sauce. It was light rather than dense and just the right texture. The sashimi and salad were fresh and beautifully presented, though nothing out of the ordinary. The cocktail glass seems to be a new trend in serving appetizers, but this tiny shrimp appetizer maybe was a little too trendy for me- as well as few others, especially for those who don't like to eat little seafood creatures with eyes. My unagi or eel was grilled in a way that left the meat less tender and less moist than I'd prefer- it's probably among the most dry eel I've ever had.

The menu is in English and Chinese and Japanese and there are several private rooms- ours had an elegant garden mural on the wall. They offer valet service which can be a bonus on the busy Xin Yi Road across the street from the 101 mall. It's a good space for large parties, families or business dinners because of it's elegance and presentation, but again, personally I think you could a lot more mouthwatering memories from other Japanese restaurants in town. It's one of those places I wouldn't mind going if someone else chose it, but not a place I'd choose on my own.


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