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Monday, December 20, 2010
revisited/japanese: i still strongly recommend SUMIE at SAN WANT HOTEL
SUMIE NOUVELLE CUISINE JAPANESE
at San Want Hotel, 4th Floor
No. 172, Zhong Xiao East Road, Sec 4
MRT: ZhongXiao/DunHua or SYS Memorial Hall
hours: 11:30AM- 2PM; 5:30PM-9PM
Kid friendliness: high chairs and kids dinnerware available.
Visit reviewed: 11/18/2010 (all photos from iphone 4G)
Previous reviews: 10/24/2006 and 8/14/2005
From the beginning to the end of the meal, I love this season's set menu at San Want Hotel. Every bite satisfied and had layers of flavors that complemented the dishes before and afterwards.
First course: chawanmushi or steamed egg with ikura, shiitake mushroom and crab
The rich broth and silky texture had everyone at the table raving- this has to be one of the best steamed eggs I've ever had.
Second course: sashimi
I love sweet shrimp and uni. I always love Sumie's fresh sashimi and presentation- when it's so good, it melts in your mouth. If you don't eat raw fish, you can ask them ahead of time to switch it to something else.
Third course: Salad
I always forget that they have raisins in their salad- yuck. I move them to the side and I'm okay, though I'll have to remember next time to ask them not to put them on in the first place. A light Japanese citrus dressing on the salad with chopped fruits and vegetables atop fresh greens.
Fourth course: Prawns and mushrooms with miso sauce
This dish is served with the lid covered and the server asks that you remove the lid when you see steam coming out. The broth/sauce is slightly sweet and I think there was some fish hiding underneath. I was too busy eating and enjoying to take notes!
Fifth course: Grilled steak
The portion of this is just right for such a full set menu, but if you are coming for dinner or your first time, I recommend that you switch out the steak for lamb chops. The lamb chops at Sumie are my favorite anywhere with a slightly sweet marinade and tender bite.
Sixth course: Sushi
Some people are too full by this point to eat anymore (not me! haha!), but I love the bites of rolls that come at the end. The mini-chirashi sushi is so cute and leaves me wanting more.
Seventh course: Clam broth
Sometimes their broth at the end is too huge or gingery for me, but this one is just right.
Eighth course: Dessert and fresh fruit
Ordering a set course at Sumie can seem expensive, but it's well worth the price, especially if you're celebrating a special occasion. With lunch sets running from NT$500-900 and dinner sets at NT$1500 and up, the presentation, quality and taste surpasses lots of other Japanese restaurants where the prices will add up anyways per person. You can always have one person order a set menu and another order off the menu if you're afraid you won't finish. The set menu also changes seasonally, so I love being surprised by what's coming.