Tuesday, June 12, 2007

japanese: i strongly recommend A-PLUS DINING SAKE BAR

33, Anhe Road, Sec. 1
(02) 2731-9266

website: aplusdiningbar.com.tw

lunch:12 PM - 3 PM
dinner: 6 PM- 2 AM

$- $$

Visit reviewed: 5/30/2007

Yay! Spicy tuna rolls! Yay! California rolls!

Yay for A-Plus. I can't tell you how hard it has been to find spicy tuna rolls in Taipei. They have been basically inedible or non-existent up to this point. (I even attempted to order spicy tuna roll in Beijing at the Japanese restaurant in Shangri-La hotel, but it was awful as well. Spicy tuna is not just tuna with tabasco sauce okay?)

a beautiful sight for sore eyes

But now, I have a place to go when the craving hits me in Taipei. They also had a wider selection of "rolls" (NT$100+) than most other more traditional Japanese restaurants in town, but not doused with mayonaise with paper thin unagi like practically scarring experience I had at Niko Niko.

Their unagi over rice almost blew me away. First, the portion was huge! Second, it was tender, perfectly grilled and seasoned- and didn't have the moisture grilled completely out of it.

The menu is in English and Chinese with a few pictures, though the set lunch special is only in Chinese. You can choose from a few main dishes, and comes with a ordinary salad and miso soup, as well as a coconut flan-like dessert.

It's self proclaimed "fusion"- Japanese food made with local ingredients and with South American embellishments served in a sophisticated NY inspired environment. And the environment is definitely nicer than your average Japanese restaurant, but still reasonably priced- perfect for casual business lunch, lunch with your friends or maybe evening a night out. It's also definitely less hectic than the similarly priced Watami nearby.

My friends heartily recommended the grilled Mackarel- but I was in the mood for rolls. And I polished off all of my share.

The cold udon was smaller than I expected, but it was al dente Q and the sweet sesame sauce was the perfect accompaniment.

All in all, I heartily recommend A-Plus. Supposedly, they remodeled and revamped their menu recently and has been packed ever since. I think we grabbed the last table during this lunch hour. It's down the block from Dun Hua Eslite bookstore a little past Space Yoga and open late as well for late night grazing and drinks.


Anonymous said...

I suppose I have to try A-Plus again... esp. if you say they revamped their menu. As much as I enjoyed the food the last time I've been there (over a year ago) I am very sensitive to shellfish that is not fresh and broke out in the worst case of hives ever! (It has got to be their softshell crab roll... wah!)
Truth be told... I haven't been really happy with any Japanese in town (I'm sure you can get awesome stuff but you really have to pay through the nose!). I'd say... fly to Hong Kong or if poss... get your sushi by the Tsukiji fish market... It doesn't get any fresher than that!

joanh said...

hey mei! well, I've never been to A-Plus before, but my friends who took me said it was a lot better than before. They also ordered the sashimi platter which looked fresh, though all the sushi were rolls. That definitely sucks if you had hives the last time you went though!

you should try Kitchen Kamakura or Sumie (though the sashimi is pricey at Sumie)...

Anonymous said...

Pictures look yummy! Will be giving A-Plus a try tomorrow! Thanks for the restaurant tip!

Anonymous said...

Hubby will be pleased to know they have spicy tuna!

joanh said...

jeff: i'm nervous! what did you think?

mamamoon: a fellow spicy tuna fan, eh? :)

Anonymous said...

it was pretty good! Definitely a good place for Japanese and not a bad hit to the wallet. They had some different appetizers and sushi that I have never had before so it was a good experience. Have you tried that okonomiyaki place yet?

Unknown said...

The web site don;t work,is this resturnat the a unique experience in taiwan?

I am in charge of Taiwan planning for a group[ of my friends, is there like a top 10 place that I must Visit?

joanh said...

anonymous: no, sorry haven't made it to the okonomiyaki place yet. :( hopefully soon!!

jack: what do you mean the website doesn't work? depends on what you are looking for as a top 10 place. many people consider din tai fung as a top 10 place. a beef noodle soup place. 101 mall. night market- usually shih lin. does that help?

Anonymous said...

after reading the review, my friend and i went to check it out. unfortunately, we were not too thrilled about it. the service was great, the sake was wonderful, but the food.....eeeeh....not too good. basically, the food was decent but the price they come with isn't a good sight. because the quality was average, the food was overpriced. the only thing we thought was worth going back for was the sake. OH for you sensitive fish eaters, do not get the grilled mackeral...its fishy with or without the annoying lemon peels!!

joanh said...

anonymous: ugh... sorry you didn't have a good experience there. I wonder if dinner is pricier than lunch. I think the lunch set menu was probably a really good deal.

Anonymous said...

My partner and I took a friend from out of town there tonight and we all thought it was really good. We got a huge amount of food, all very tasty, plus one drink each (tea is free and they top it up often) - total cost was $2400. I'm vegetarian but they prepared a 6 course set meal especially. After the meal they brought us complementary sweet potato and taro chips and a green tea mousse each. The only thing I didn't really enjoy was the music (Robbie Williams, Bryan Adams etc). No big deal though. Will be back.

joanh said...

sleggat: cool! glad you guys had a good time. it's good to know that they have vegetarian options too!

Leon said...

My gf and I just ate here for lunch based on your "strongly recommended" review. The place was spectacular and I wish we had discover your blog sooner bc we had some crappy Japanese restaurant experience last time we were in taipei. Keep up the good work!