TON SUSHI (this location closed a/o 2011. Similar menu featured at Ton 28 located in Bellavita)
MRT: Taipei City Hall
website: Neo 19 Ton Sushi Website Chinese only
hours: 11am to 2pm and 5:30pm to 10pm
Kid friendliness: high chairs, kids dinnerware available. private rooms available.
Visit reviewed: 11/14/2010 (all pics from my iphone 4g)
With a little bit of everything on the menu, in addition to its sushi/sashimi, Ton Sushi is a surprisingly good spot for family dining for Japanese food. You might not spot it, hidden in the back of Neo 19, around the corner from Macaroni Grill or if you head straight up the escalator for Chili's/Momo Paradise/Watami, but that's what enabled us to grab a table on a busy Sunday night. After checking in with Chili's (1 hour wait) and Macaroni Grill (30 minute wait) for a party of 5 at 6:30pm, Ton Sushi was able to seat us right away. The space is modern and sleek, with a seating area apart from the sushi bar as well as several private rooms.
The English and Chinese menu has plenty of photos for reference, likely of its most popular items- including tempura, hot pot, rolls, sushi, grilled items, sashimi and appetizers. Besides some of the traditional items you might spot at other places, they have some unique items like, foie gras sushi, truffle beef sushi, black toro sushi, or Uni and Salmon Roe Sushi served upon a romaine lettuce leaf (NT$560).
The uni was fresh and sweet, with a tiny bit of rice underneath, but it was weird eating it with the romaine. After a few bites, I still savored the uni apart from the lettuce and then finished the lettuce afterwards. (I'm not the biggest fan of salmon roe, or ikura, so we had my portion shifted to the other side.)
The salad with fruit comes dressed with a sweet and citrus Japanese soy dressing underneath and is topped with chopped mountain yam, tomatoes, avocado, apples, kiwi and cucumber.
Or you can try the mountain yam which is grated and placed carefully like a bed of noodles.
The stir fried udon had sliced fish cake, chinese cabbage, straw mushrooms and another dark green leafy vegetable I can't place. It was slippery and well seasoned, perhaps bordering on the salty side for some.
I was craving the Soft Shell Crab roll (NT$300) which came with six pieces- the soft shell crab was fried with expertise, though I found the romaine lettuce an unnecessary addition.
The Rainbow Roll(NT$420) is listed and pictured on the menu to be topped with salmon and avocado, unlike some places which includes tuna and to give it that 'rainbow' look. I asked before ordering if they were using Taiwan avocado, and they said yes, but the texture and taste still turned out to be ok. (While less noticeable next to the tempura shrimp, more romaine lettuce! Okay, the rolls here are a bit localized...)
As I've been learning more about sashimi by eating at sushi bars with friends, I've discovered a new love- broiled anago (NT$380), or salt water eel. If you are a fan of unagi (fresh water eel), you have to try anago! I feel like it tastes less rubbery than how unagi can sometimes be, more creamy and sweet.
And Ton Sushi offered up one of the biggest pieces of anago sushi I've ever seen! It almost belonged atop of a bowl of rice.
The bowl of steamed egg with scallop (NT$180) disappeared quickly.
I also really enjoyed the grilled fish collar which offers tender, moist fish without digging through bones or fishy flavors. The skin wasn't as crispy as I've had it at Sumie, but the inside was still great.
While this is my third or fourth time going to Ton Sushi, it was the first time I was in charge of ordering. The first time I went was not that memorable and the second time I went was delicious, but the night was a blur because food kept coming. While I've been making notes of my favorite sushi bars in Taipei, they are usually for those who can handle raw fish and Ton Sushi is a good option for parties that want something more than nigiri or sashimi. Ton Sushi is definitely on the pricier side- if it was not as expensive, it would be a strong recommend. I hadn't been back for a long time, but I can see myself coming back more- maybe sitting at the sushi bar next time and trying the omakase.
View Larger Map
No. 28, Song Ren Rd.