Wednesday, June 10, 2009

teppanyaki/Japanese: i recommend DA FANG REGIMEN CATE TEPPANYAKI

No. 18-1, Xinyi Road, Sec. 5
(02) 2758 1019


hours: 11:30 AM -2 PM; 5:30 PM -9:30 PM


Kid friendliness:

Visit reviewed: 4/9/2009

If you're the kind of person who likes to glance at the desserts first while looking at the menu, I won't mind if you scroll down and peek at the dessert. It was a teppanyaki first me for- popcorn! They heated up the carmalized popcorn on the surface and the sugary smell made us all drool.

Da Fang Regimen Teppanyaki is full of surprises, and as a "good for you" restaurant, it's a great place to splurge for a fun night out with friends or family. With the ongoing bite size parts of an upscale multi-course meal, you might not think you'd get full, but you leave satisfied. Across from the 101 mall, it's a bit hidden behind the current MRT construction on Xinyi in a non-descript building.

I've always kind of balked at how expensive teppanyaki can be, but part of the price is for the skill and time of the chef and a privately cooked meal. And it's an especially nice treat if friends are treating! So thanks to K and C for dinner and for introducing me to it!

Da Fang's website says that it has "the recognition and combinations for properties of food items" and since Taipei is a "hot" city, it tries to present foods that are "cool." They also have organic foods and use mountain rose salt and minimal oil. They have lunch and dinner set menus as well as ala carte. The menu changes seasonally, so what you see here might not be what you get the next time you eat there.

This set menu (NT$1980) you can choose the main element of sirloin beef, chicken, pork or seafood. I chose sirloin beef.

Okay, so onto the dishes:

1- Soup. I think this was a milky fish soup with tofu.

2- Appetizers & bread. The flower on the loofah was edible and fragrant. They asked that you enjoy the smell and then eat it.

3 and 4- Surf and turf.. First was the perfectly cooked shrimp, cod and lobsters. Then, mmmm.. pan fried oysters. By coating it with crispy bits, it tasted like it was deep fried.

5- The Veggies. Cabbage and shitake mushrooms. Simple and good.

I also throughly enjoyed their "salsa" which was raw onions and diced fruit (I think guava and melon) which I would eat when I was waiting for everything to be cooked. They constantly refilled it, and I would eat more of it.

6- I think we got three rolls of bitesize beef- one with shiso leaf and roe, one with foie gras, one with with spicy chili pepper. This definitely left you wanting more. YUM. How much did I want to steal the beef and foie gras from my friend's plate? Ha ha.

7- From what I understood from the Chinese explanation, this tea is supposed to help you lose weight. Or was it help you with your kidneys? One or the other. I think the alien looking root in there was a beet.

8- Fried rice and salad. Especially needed to get full. The soup in the tomato salad was good too.

9- Omelette- I didn't really like the omelette. Is was sort of weird to be a dessert, since it wasn't sweet.

10- Popcorn. How cool is that?! The popcorn (made from organic corn and brown sugar) wasn't as good as freshly popped kettle corn, but I definitely attacked our huge pile with gusto. When they put it on the heated surface, it melted the sugar and made sticky caramel strings between the popped kernels.

So my favorite part of the meal was definitely the seafood and beef. The teppan grill and method of grilling brings out natural flavors in each since there's only a bit of oil and salt/pepper used. I enjoyed watching the chef make each part for everyone.

THe first time I ate teppanyaki was probably at Benihana's a long time ago. The chefs at Da Fang don't do any of the cheesy tricks that Benihana's made famous, but they are quite friendly and will answer any questions you might have.

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Roger said...

I can't stop staring at the beef rolls...

with foie gras you say? g'damn decadent!

joanh said...

yeah.. decadent and leaving you wanting more.. but probably better for your heart that there's only a little taste. :)

Unknown said...

I ate there a few nights ago. It totally rocked. Glad to see the photos here - brought back good memories!

joanh said...

heather: cool! thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Unknown said...

A friend and I went there for New Years Eve 2009/2010, after Joans recommendation.

We picked the special menu for that night.. it was in Chinese only - and since none of us reads or understand Chinese, it was a hit or miss.. In this case, I consider it as a PERFECT hit! It was pretty much the same as what is mentioned above, except for the omelet and a few other things.

Also, we had kobe meat instead of regular meat, wrapped around foie gras - amazing taste, but most likely the most, uhm, "perverted" combination of food that I ever had.

Everything was extremely delicious, but both my friend and I felt pretty full after half of the courses - and they just kept on coming.. after the last one, we could barely walk from there. Big portions, and lots of them.

I mailed the restaurant to get a copy of the menu, I hope they will send it as soon as possible.

Thanks for a great blog Joan, I'll keep visiting even after returning back to Copenhagen. And thanks once again for helping us out finding this great place to dine.

Ken said...

I've been to Da Fang three times because I have an uncle who likes this place (too expensive for me!). It's like a Chinese or Taiwanese take on "natural flavor" teppanyaki, including using rock salt and minimal oil during cooking. It's actually quite different from Japanese Teppanyaki (ie Teppanyaki you would find in Roppingi, Tokyo, since Japanese tend to think Teppanyaki is for foreigners). I definitely think this is one of the better restaurants in Taipei. The courses are almost like Japanese "omakase" where you leave it up to the chef to cook what is seasonal. You just get more food with the more expensive sets. Seeing all those pictures makes me want to go back!

Anonymous said...

Just went there last night. Does anyone know what the black chewy licorice tasting vegetable is in the medley of vegetables?