Monday, October 25, 2010

japanese: i recommend SHINTORI- SHADOW 3

No. 123-1 LeGun Third Road
Dazhi, Taipei
(02) 8502-1009

MRT: Jiannan



Kid friendliness: high chairs available.

Visit reviewed: 10/11/2009

This is the entrance to Shintori- People Shadow 3.

The door doesn't slide open if you stand in front of it, nor if you push. We stood for a few minutes in front of this mysterious entrance before our aunt let us in on the secret-

"You have to throw a rock."

So of course, we tried throwing the rocks that littered the ground at the door. There was evidence of previous customers who tried the same- grey dents and scratches on the seemingly impenetrable door.

Nothing happened.

Instead, you have to throw it into this stone sculpture, that looks kind of like a lone wastebasket. Inside there's a lever of sorts that is triggered when the weight of the stone hits it...

And then the door slides open and we entered a spooky hallway- the door at the other end didn't open until the one behind us shut.

Has it ever been so much work or fun to go into a restaurant? I could see how it would be amusing to bring someone new and watch them try to figure out how to get in.

Once inside, you'll notice that the restaurant splits into two parts- People and Shadow 3. People serves Western food and is set up like a lounge bar with lots of sofa style seating. Shadow 3 serves Japanese fusion and is a distinctly modern restaurant space, once your eyes adjust to the darkness. Plus the lighting at the tables focused on the table space, so you could see the food and it wasn't so dark once you were seated, unlike Mitsui which actually feels so dark in some areas that I can't see what I'm eating!

We were there for an early dinner, so it wasn't crowded at all. I could imagine this would be a place where lovers rendezvous with its shadowy corners and lack of people. But it was an equally nice place to eat with the family.

The menu had an assortment of sushi, grilled meats and seafood, tempura and noodles. We went for the set menu, which they also offer at lunch. Some things were more memorable than others, but presentation was gorgeous throughout. This was awhile ago, so I apologize for the fuzzy recollection! Plus, I'm sure the set menu has changed by now....

First course was like a bite of fancy canned tuna on a bed of onion.

Second course- assorted sushi including tamago and a jelly

Third course- sashimi was good and very fresh. I missed my uni I usually get at Sumie.

Fourth course- baked bamboo and crab leg were both very sweet.

Fifth course- uni steamed egg was the favorite dish of the night with the silky chawamushi having lots of hidden goodies under the surface of the steamed egg.

Sixth course- lobster was served surf and turf. Starting to get full after this dish...

Seventh course- but then there's cold udon noodles.

Instead of served in a pile on a plate as usual, it was in a light broth with citrus flavor. It was refreshing and a palate cleanser of sorts.

Last course- dessert plate included fruit, tiramisu mochi and ice cream.

I haven't been back since last year (yes, this is how backlogged I am on posts!), but I would definitely go back and try it again. I'm curious also how the other locations compare to this one- I think all the Shintori restaurants have different atmospheres and themes.

View Larger Map


No. 68 AnHe Road, Sec. 2
(02) 2702-5588

80 JianGuo North Road, Sec. 1, B1
(02) 2501-7000


Johnny said...

My friends told me about this restaurant! They opted for the more exciting Ninja restaurant on Shi Ming Da Dao instead...Looks great!

Nilcha said...

im not a big fan of Japanese food except for sushi but those food looks really yummy plus i like da place!

joanh said...

johnny: i've never been to ninja! how was it??

nilcha: there's a lot of great japanese food in taipei!

Ben said...

This place looks interesting! Is it part of the same group which has a restaurant in a basement opposite the Far Eastern Hotel? I think that's called "People Restaurant" too, and they also have a tricky door you have to guess how to open. However they serve modern style chinese food, not Japanese. They have a nice bar area too.

I've been to Ninja. Have to say I wasn't impressed. The food was nothing special. They have 2 sections. The downstairs is small, very dark and grim, like sitting in a dark basement, and has zero atmosphere (this seems to be the area you get if you dont book). Upstairs is lighter and more buzzy. However it seems to be a place to go with bigger party groups. It's loud and brash, with blaring pop music. They have a rather tacky "sexy dance" show with 2 or 3 girls dancing on the bar during the evening. When I went, as part of the show, they grabbed someone from one of the big tables (I think it was his seemed to be a group of office workers as they were all wearing suits and drinking lots), and ended up blindfolding him, stripping his shirt off and poured an ice bucket on this head and shoved ice cubes down his trousers! They also have a guy going round the tables doing magic tricks (poorly), and sort of expecting a tip after each table.

All in all, Ninja is not really a suitable for a romantic night out, or a place to take your parents or in-laws! The age range really seemed to be 20s to early 30s.

I much preferred Dozo for the Japanese dinner+show type of experience. The food there is far better, and is just a nicer evening all round.

joanh said...

ben: hi! thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! i liked the food and atmopshere at Dozo too! I'm not sure, but I don't think this is part of the same group as People.. but they do have other Shintori locations. Good to know about Ninja!

Anonymous said...

The trick door isn't there anymore, which was the main reason I went. I was let down.


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