Monday, August 06, 2007

japanese: i recommend WATAMI JAPANESE CASUAL RESTAURANT



WATAMI JAPANESE CASUAL RESTAURANT
at Neo 19, 2nd FL
22, SongShou Rd
(02) 2723-2623

Hours:
Sun- Thurs 11 am-1 am
Fri/Sat: 11-2 am

$ - $$

website: watami.com.tw

Kid friendliness: high chairs available.

Visit reviewed: 6/17/2007

Decent enough chain restaurant of Japanese food with a wide variety of things on the menu including sashimi, yakitori, noodles, hot pot, fried foods, and even stone bowl bim bim bap (NT$180-220) with the most expensive thing on the menu at NT$480 (the combo sashimi platter). The menu has Chinese and Japanese and pictures for everything, though no English.



Service can be slow since they can get very busy though I spotted this service bell, though we didn't use it.



Moderately priced, Watami is a popular choice for business lunches and large groups and the decor is modern infused with lots of red.



The Neo 19 location (next to Chili's, at the old Spoon Thai food location) is more noisy and open than the more ambient Dun Hua basement location which has the dim lighting and bamboo divider curtains that grant a bit more aura of privacy.

I doubt that anyone will ever say that they had the best Japanese food ever here, but they have enough things on the menu to suit almost everyone with a wait during weekends and their rush dining hours to show for it.



Personally, I like their cold ramen noodles (NT$160) bathed in a vinegary sauce and found the broth in their big bowl of soupy ramen (NT$160) was even pretty tasty. I also like the option of ordering the yakitori, though it was a bit on the salty side at the Neo 19 location at my last visit. The bamboo wrapped in beef and mixed combo (NT$250) with six skewers.





I also liked the mixed mushroom appetizer (NT$80), but found the fried lotus chips too salty (NT$100).



While they don't have as many desserts as the neighboring Azabu Sabo, they do have a lot of different colorful drinks, mostly of the Calpis variety. I guess all in all, it's like eating a Japanese version of TGIF, offering fast and relatable foods for the business casual lunch or family budget and atmopshere.


OTHER LOCATIONS:

Hsi Men
at Jun Plaza, 3 FL
No. 37,
(02) 2361-5198
11AM - 1 AM

No. 225, Dun Hua S Road, Sec 1, B1
(02) 2771-6947
11AM - 1AM (Sun- Thurs) 2AM (Friday, Sat)

at Cesear Park Hotel, 2nd FL
No. 38, Chung Hsiao W Road, Sec 1
(02) 2370-9188
11AM- 1AM

12 comments:

Chubbypanda said...

Those yakitori skewers look delicious. Utterly drool-worthy.

joanh said...

chubbypanda: and you don't have to sit in smoke too!

abstractpoet said...

I'm always curious about this place, but whenever I look at the menu I get scared off! So many choices, and it's hard for me to tell from the pictures what things are and how many of them to order for two people.

Reading your review is helpful, though--at least it gives a few ideas for things to try. =)

TT said...

Hmmm, fun place. It's kind of like the ones you find at Sogo, yah?

As you know, I haven't visited your HG blog in a while. It's nice to see you still take the time to write detailed and balanced reviews. It's even better to see that you have developed some regular readers!

Jean said...

mmmm... looks like shisengumi!

joanh said...

abstractpoet: the menu is a bit overwhelming, so i guess it's better to go with a group and sample!

tt: it's a bit more sit down than Sogo. hope you can visit more often!

jean: hahah. shin is better i think!

alan said...

personally i think this place is the best place to go on a first date place...relaxed atmosphere and the food is quite good, and there is actually service here too...

Joy said...

Great decor, yummy food, and try the drinks! :)

Aaron said...

One of the best Japanese places I've ever eaten at in Taiwan is near 新北投站 - it's really easy to miss, but it's on the second floor of the buildings near the Welcome on that main street that you walk down to get to most of the hot springs. Heh. Sorry for the lack of detail.
Their food, though, while a little expensive (everything is around $300+), is some of the best I've ever had. It's all very simple, but well-done. I can't imagine anyone not liking it! So if you're ever in that area, it's worth looking for. I don't think it has an English name.

There's also a shabu-shabu place near there that offers all-you-can eat Angus beef...and they're pretty good, but no comparison to that first place. Pretty good for hot-pot, though.

joanh said...

alan: yeah not a bad choice for date place. not too fancy or casual.. thanks for commenting!

joy: cool. thanks for commenting!

alan: thanks for the suggestions!

Richard Murfin said...

Your blog is great as ever. I put in Yakitori and was interested to see you haven't tried some of the dedicated places. Have you been down Ming Sheng East road along the small run of places by the uni. Most go there post work for a beer and some skewered meat. There are also some decent ones on Civic. My choices are coloured by the fact that I like a beer also but they have good food.

joanh said...

richard: thanks! i have tried a couple places recently that i need to post about. tori sho is a good one though i haven't been to the ones on minsheng

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