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Wednesday, November 18, 2009
revisited/japanese: i recommend SHAN HUA lunch
or MOUNTAIN FLOWER
No. 1, Lane 146, Dun Hua S. Rd, Sec 2
lunch: 12 PM- 2:30 PM
dinner: 6 PM - 10 PM
visit reviewed: 10/9/2008
last reviewed: 11/17/2006
Shan Hua is an intimate, elegant sushi bar that I had been to before and enjoyed thoroughly. But I had never been there for lunch until we were celebrating our friend C rejoining the world after having her baby. While Shan Hua was her favorite place for sashimi, she didn't have any for months while she was pregnant, and of course during the one month after she gave birth when she was holed up in Taiwanese maternity rest.
So she was excited to be out and we were excited to be seeing her. And best of all, the lunch set at Shan Hua is NT$800 (in contrast to the NT$2000-3000 omakase for dinner). But as our meal progressed, I discovered the reason why and I ended up yearning for more sashimi and sushi in the lunch set.
Because having only one dish out of eight be sashimi was a tease. Their sashimi is so stellar that it made the cooked dishes pale in comparison. I just wanted all sashimi, all the time.
Some of the hot dishes were excellent- the bento box of duck and tofu and the grilled fish and jumbo scallop- were fresh and simply seasoned and the highlights of the set, but the drama and pleasure of the omakase where you eating delicious sashimi after nigiri after roll was missing.
I wanted uni. I wanted seared scallop. But to no avail....
The mountain yam broth and crusted crab claw were pleasant, but uneventful.
Surprisingly, I didn't like the mushroom rice... I think it might have been to gingery for me.
The soup is a filling cap to the meal if you aren't full yet...
But I wasn't crazy about the green tea tiramisu- probably because of its mousse-like consistency and flavor and I'm not a fan of mousse.
If I came back again for lunch, I'd probably order ala carte from the sushi bar like many of the businessmen lunching that day, or at least add some scallops or uni to the lunch set. I wonder how much sashimi you could get there for NT$800. But note that the sets change all the time, what you see here might not be what you get another day if you order a lunch set.
Be sure to make reservations if you do want to go, the space is not large and can fill up quickly.