CUISINE M 信義三井
No.1, Songzhi Road Xinyi District Taipei City
MRT: Taipei City Hall
hours: 11:30AM- 3PM; 5:30PM- 10PM
$$$ (about NT$1500-2000/person)
Kid friendliness: high chairs available.
Visit reviewed: 4/11/2013
Cuisine M is the Xinyi branch of Taipei's popular Japanese restaurant Mitsui, which is known for their high end, posh decor and elegant, fresh food. Mitsui is also the group that revamped Taipei's Fish Market into a gourmet market, sushi bar and destination- Acquatic Addiction Development (a post to come that I have way too many photos for!).
Cuisine M is actually a bit hard to find, as its entrance is not on the main streets and not a part of one of the many malls near 101. Instead it sits right in the middle of them, the first floor of a bank high rise. Inside is a cavernous space with high ceilings and a shiny sushi bar in the back with a wall of alcohol above that would be at home in Vegas or LA. Cuisine M feels bigger than the Mitsui location in Neihu and more modern and glittery.
At Cuisine M, Mitsui, Sumie and other restaurants like them in Taipei, I usually go with the cheapest set menu (which varies at the different price points) since you get sashimi and a few cooked dishes that would end up costing more if you ordered ala carte. Of course if there is specific sashimi or dishes that you like, you're better off ordering off the menu or asking if the set can accommodate you. Having been to the other Mitsui, I know they can swap out certain grilled items and also do vegetarian sets.
Everything is fresh and portioned for a multi course meal and quite filling. Service is relatively attentive and everyone usually gets their food at the same time, which doesn't always happen in Taipei.
Set solo salad is the perfect size and comes with a huge piece of king crab leg.
The flavors are relatively light so you can taste the natural flavors of the abalone, fish or beef.
I was pretty full by the time we got the nigiris.. so save room!
While I know Mitsui is a favorite for many and that Cuisine M is a branch of it, I actually have enjoyed my meals at Cuisine M more than my experiences at the original Mitsui. For those looking for Japanese in town (and there are a lot of amazing options in Taipei), it is a solid choice for a family or business meal, especially if you are looking for ambiance to impress and Cuisine M's Xinyi location makes it convenient for those working or visiting in the area.