KANPAI KUROGEYA 乾杯 黒毛屋
(HEI MAO WU or BLACK HAIR HOUSE)
at Shin Kong Mitsukoshi A4
No. 19 Song Gao Rd, 6F
MRT: Taipei City Hall
hours: 11:30AM - 2:30PM; 5PM - 12AM
$$$ (about NT$800-1000/person)
Kid friendliness: plenty of options for shabu loving kids; no high chairs spotted; table positions fixed so can't move tables together for larger groups (or odd numbered groups)
Visit reviewed: 4/30/2014, 4/4/2014 & 1/3/2014
Last fall, Xinyi Mitsukoshi's A4 revamped their sixth floor into a row of enticing restaurants- Sukhothai, Kanpai Kuroegeya, Hachi Bei and a teppanyaki restaurant. I had been hearing my friend raving about this place, calling it Black Haired Pig, for the longest time as she was in a shabu phase. But finally when I did the write up, I realized it's Black Hair House (Wu) not Pig (Zhu). Lol.
Anyways, Kanpai Kurogeya (which is its official Japanese/English name) is an upscale, modern shabu shabu place offering unique options such as soymilk broth hotpot and adding touches like freshly grated radish, melted mozzarella cheese and at the end of the meal, an option of having parmesan cheese risotto.
First time having hotpot with boiled cheese!
The first time I tried it, I thought it was good, but not particularly special. But after trying the soy milk broth hotpot, I'm a fan. Instead of using water, or in this case water with kombu kelp, you can opt to have a soy milk broth made from soy milk, dashi and white miso, which lends a richer flavor to everything you cook in it. I ended up even drinking a bit of the broth and not needing to dip much of my veggies or meat in soy sauce.
The menu is in Chinese only, but basically most of the choices are sets with the choice of meat (beef, pork) and hotpot broth, prices for sets run about NT$700 and up. Options for broth are either a clear kombu broth, a soy milk broth or a sukiyaki style hotpot.
Sets come with vegetables, assorted fishcake, and one plate of meat to cook in your hotpot as well as a choice of rice, noodles or xi fan which is made with the broth of your hotpot at the end of the meal. The servers does some of the cooking for you to start off the meal, but if you are impatient, you can start shabu-ing away.
Assorted mushrooms and fishcake - the first time I came, they set out a little glass timer and told us that when the timer was done, the fishcake would be ready. My server didn't give me a timer on my second visit, as well as forgot to give me freshly grated radish. Boo. So if you don't get it on your first visit, be sure to ask for it.
The soymilk broth looks like it will bubble over, but the server checks the temperature and lets us know when it's ready.
This is a yuzu pepper condiment I've seen seeing all over town. It's very potent so use sparingly.
One of the first things the server will cook and plate up for you is the tofu.
Two styles of pork come with the soy milk broth hotpot and pork is the only option. If you want beef, then opt for the kombu broth or the sukiyaki. Each person gets their own pot and own plate of meat, which is pretty satisfying and filling.
Extra plates can be ordered ala carte.
The servers will start off some of the cooking for you and depending on how many other people they have, you can toss the rest of the stuff in there at your own pace.
Just start throwing everything in there to cook...
Before and after of the fatty pork belly slices...
After you are done eating your meat and veggies, the servers will come and give you your starch- for kombu you can opt for a bowl of rice or noodles, for the sukiyaki they cook udon in the soy sauce and for the soy milk broth, they make a cheese risotto, which I loved. The empty out the pot by spooning the broth into another container then putting back a little broth for the rice to soak up. The cheese risotto only comes with the soy milk hotpot- the other hotpots come with regular porridge or noodles.
And the dessert is quite yummy too- a few bites of brown sugar mochi, fresh fruit and a scoop of sesame ice cream.
A nicer option for hotpot in town, suitable for date night or even dining alone with the individual hotspots and counter seating.
No. 165, Dunhua S. Rd, Sec. 1, 2F