Monday, July 22, 2013

japanese/sushi: i strongly recommend ADDICTION AQUATIC DEVELOPMENT

No. 18, Alley 2, Ln 410, Minzu E Rd
(02) 2508-1268

MRT: Zhongshan Jr. High School Station or XingTian Temple Station

hours:  11AM - 5PM

$$- $$$ (cash only)

Kid friendliness: no high chairs available. outdoor seating for seafood bbq area, room for strollers

Visits reviewed: 3/3/2012, 5/25/2012 and 10/9/2012


After Mitsui revamped the old Taipei fish market near the Songshan Airport into a sleek, modern space that looked more like their upscale Japanese restaurants than what one would envision as a fish market, Addiction Aquatic Development was THE place to go, earlier last year, when it first opened. 

The first few visits had customers entering directly into the supermarket section, but now the entrance is to the left into the fish market section where you might spy an array of flowers and plants for sale. It's not scary and smelly as I'd envisioned- it's very open, clean and organized with large tanks for different fish, shellfish and crabs. Reminds me when I'd look into the crab tanks at Redondo Beach Pier as a kid.

Once you head into the main part of Addiction Acquatic Development, you should head straight to the sushi bar area and grab a number since there might be a wait. When it first opened, wait times were up to an hour or more, but when I went it was only about a half hour wait, which is perfect for exploring the rows and rows of sashimi, alcohol, fruits and vegetables and Japanese ceramics. There's even desserts and macarons for sale.

Fruit smoothies available outside. 

There's also a seafood and raw bar in the back, charcoal grilled bbq outside (which I'll write up in more detail in the next post) and hotpot (which is the only restaurant that takes reservations) upstairs if you want to try something else, and those usually don't have a wait.

Of course, you could just grab and go- imagine your local Japanese market's sushi section times 100, filled with trays of fresh sweet shrimp, tuna, salmon, uni and even mixed nigiris and rolls. The selection varies by day and I personally feel like it's fresher in the morning than later in the afternoon so that the rice isn't as hard and cold.

And the prices are super reasonable and a lot better than the NT$20 sushi available at the local Taipei supermarkets. 

I was SO tempted to get this and go home and make some uni pasta and stuff my face with uni until I felt sick, but it was just TOO much. Maybe if you have a big family or could split it with friends.

Pretty and expensive...

There are a few areas and tables to sit down if you decide to pick up a to-go tray, but seating is limited. Note also you can't bring it into the grill restaurant if you decide to eat there and you have to pay an extra NT$2 for the disposable chopsticks.. 

The hot food area seemed the least tempting to me, but quite a few people were grabbing bentos to go.

We check every so often to see if our number has come and we finally get to go inside.

It doesn't bother me that it's a standing only sushi bar, but it is slightly cramped and not a place you're going to linger for a long time. Also they won't seat you unless everyone in your party is there.

The menu is Chinese only with no photos so it's hard for non-readers to order. If you want to order one thing, get the NT$600 mixed nigiris set. You get about 12 pieces plus uni and tamago egg. It's a pretty amazing deal, so this was the photo I was seeing on all my foodie friends' facebook for the weeks after Acquatic opened. With this kind of simplicity, you can taste everything, so everything is ultra fresh, if not just from the tanks or ocean.

The waitress takes the order with an iPad and you have to pay right after you order, before you get your food, cash only. So if you want to order a drink or some additional food to your order, you'll see the ipad and have to bring your wallet again.

They also have lunch sets that include nigiris, salad, soup and grilled seafood item that range from NT$580-980, but overall I liked the NT$600 assortment the best.

Scallop/clam nigiris

Seared fish set- 4 pieces- I felt this was a bit bland and dry, both times I ordered it. 

Between the NT$780 and NT$990 sets, I actually liked the NT$780 lunch set better because you got more pieces of sashimi and grilled shrimp, which I prefer to grilled fish that has a lot of bones in it. If you're not sure about what the set includes that day, you can quiz the waitress.

Tuna roll starter is same for both sets. Yum.

NT$990 set

NT$780 set

If you're looking to eat more grilled items, you're better off sticking to the bbq area outside.

My hungry girl friends and I ordered a NT$600 to share along with the lunch sets. While this is a good value and quite fresh, it really is just fish slapped onto the rice with dabs of wasabi. It's not as delicately presented as I've seen it at other restaurants, but then again, deal seekers won't care as long as it tastes good in the tummy.

I've taken quite a few friends there and all of them have been wowed by the size and selection of what's available there. Addiction Aquatic Development is a very cool addition to the Taipei and I'd definitely recommend sushi loving visitors and locals alike to check it out at least once. Japan has Tsukiji Fish Market (which is relocating to a bigger space this year) and now Taipei has our own version in  Addiction Aquatic Development.

CHECK OUT MY UPDATED REVIEW Addiction Acquatic for 2015 HERE :)


Unknown said...

I am also non-vegetarian. Chicken and fish is my favorite. Fish is my favorite one so I like sushi too.

Kopi Luwak

Unknown said...

Went there a year ago and ended up just getting to preboxed bentos since standing bar was only in Chinese... Fail... Good to know to get the 600 next time, though I hear the place is filled with tourists now and waits are longer than ever.

Ken said...

Thanks for the review! I dropped by at 10:30 this morning and the place was already starting to get crowded. I bought a box of the NT180 salmon sashimi from the supermarket area. It was a good price for the amount of sashimi you get (almost too much for one person) and the quality is pretty good, but still not better than my benchmark for supermarket sushi: Jason's in the Tien-mu Takashimaya basement (but it's also generally more expensive there). The color was more faded than the great photos taken on this website and the firmness/flavor was good, but not fantastic. Perhaps next time I will try the shake-ikura (salmon and roe) don for NT300 - it's possible that better quality seafood is being used for the more expensive products.

Syl said...

You made a mistake cause the hot food area offers some really great dishes as well as some delicious Miso soup =;-)
I add that the best deal is to buy sushis and sashimis to go in the central alley + some of the delicacies offered at the hot food area.
Sushis and Sashimis are way better than anything you can buy at any supermarkets here!

Unknown said...

We just discovered this place last weekend. Pretty amazing, on top of that, a great wine bar!! It is definitely a must go every now and then to top up your omega levels!!

Anonymous said...

hi there! was wondering if you know addiction aquatic development is open on a sunday?

Anonymous said...

Is there still no english menu at the sushi bar??

Anonymous said...

Sushi bar now has an English menu.