Mitsui Japanese Restaurant Taipei Review

Mitsui Japanese Restaurant Taipei Review. Whenever I visit Taipei one of the restaurants I have to visit is Mitsui. I really love Japanese food, it’s beautiful and can be incredibly tasty, and Mitsui is one of the finest examples, if not the finest, in Taipei.Mitsui is also, by UK standards, incredible for value for money but there’s more on this below.

Whenever I visit Taipei one of the restaurants I have to visit is Mitsui. I really love Japanese food, it’s beautiful and can be incredibly tasty, and Mitsui is one of the finest examples, if not the finest, in Taipei.Mitsui is also, by UK standards, incredible for value for money but there’s more on this below.

 

THE RESTAURANT

Very smart and very modern. The service is impeccable. All of the staff are extremely knowledgeable and extremely attentive. They regularly top up your drinks and if you wait literally more than two or three minutes between dishes they apologise. If you also order a set menu the restaurant manager will personally take your order.

Whenever I visit Taipei one of the restaurants I have to visit is Mitsui. I really love Japanese food, it’s beautiful and can be incredibly tasty, and Mitsui is one of the finest examples, if not the finest, in Taipei.Mitsui is also, by UK standards, incredible for value for money but there’s more on this below.

 

THE FOOD

The first time that Chris and I travelled to Taipei together was in January 2009. We both ordered a set meal which consisted of the following:

  • Large scallop on a seafood sesame base covered in crispy seaweed
  • Spot Prawn and tuna belly sashimi
  • Foie Gras dish
  • King Crab dish (they brought a whole live King Crab to our table for our approval)
  • A Lobster salad
  • Kobe Beef Hot Pot (for information Kobe Beef is the Japanese beef that comes from Wagyu Cattle that are fed corn, massaged and given beer to drink). This might sound crazy but Kobe Beef is absolutely divine.
  • Endless supply of Chinese tea
  • Green tea ice cream and fresh seasonal fruit

How much? £50 each!!! In the UK this would have been £200-300 or more.

Mitsui Scallop dish

Deep Fried Scallop with seaweed

Spot Prawn and tuna belly sashimi

Spot Prawn and tuna belly sashimi

Mitsui Lobster Salad

Lobster Salad and the dressing was amazing!

Kobe beef miso hot pot

Kobe Beef Hot Pot

Green Tea Ice cream and seasonal fresh fruit

Green Tea Ice cream and seasonal fresh fruit

The second time around we ate differently. We ordered a set meal and three sushi platters.

  • Sashimi platter. Highlights of this were a huge prawn and super fatty tuna (the fattest most expensive part of tuna)
  • 2 sushi platters. This contained one piece of half cooked fish, roe sushi (roe is super tasty), salmon sushi and my favourite was the sea urchin sushi. Sea urchin looks and sounds disgusting but it’s absolutely divine. Another highlight was the squid sushi. Just two days before going to Mitsui we went to the food hall in the 101 building and had sushi there. The sushi is granted cheaper (cheaper than Yo Sushi and much better) but the squid sushi I had was a bit tough. The squid sushi in Mitsui just melted in your mouth. There were of course other kinds of sushi but naming these is fairly irrelevant.
  • Abalone Salad (abalone is a large sea snail)
  • Grilled King crab legs
  • Tilefish with drops of sea urchin (this is the first time I tried Tilefish and it’s gorgeous)
  • This wasn’t Kobe beef but it was absolutely delicious and I love the presentation
  • Miso Soup
  • Deep Fried softshell crab. Chris is  petrified of anything with more than 4 legs (strange I know!) but these small softshell crabs are delicious (Even he thinks so too! ). You eat absolutely everything and both the shell and the meat inside are some of the tastiest crab I’ve had.
  • Green tea ice cream
  • Endless supply of Chinese tea (I believe this was Oolong which I really enjoy).
Mitsui Sashimi Plater

Mitsui Sashimi Plater

Mitsui Sushi plater

Mitsui Sushi plater

Mitsui Abalone Salad

Mitsui Abalone Salad

Grilled King Crab Legs

Grilled King Crab Legs

Tile Fish with drops of sea urchin

Tile Fish with drops of sea urchin

Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab with Pumpkin puree

Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab with Pumpkin puree

Mitsui Barbeque Beef

Mitsui Barbeque Beef

Total cost: About £30 each. Phenomenal! We originally planned to eat just sushi but after looking at the menu and based on past experience we had to order a set meal as well. Let’s also face it, we don’t go to Taipei very often.

A note about pricing. The sushi alone would have been £40-50 in the UK but the quality of the sushi in Mitsui was on a whole different level. I will admit I have had better sushi in Japan itself but then you expect the best sushi to be in Japan.

Each time we’ve been to Mitsui we’ve been utterly filled up and every dish was incredible. One thing I must point out was paying for the meal. If we eat in a regular night market or shop then we pay with cash but for a larger more expensive meal we always pay by card. Mitsui wouldn’t accept either mine or Chris’ credit cards as they hadn’t opened a line for international banking. I had to run down the street to a cash point, half scared that neither of us had any money in our accounts, then had to run back and pay. This wasn’t great.

Dirty Dirty Duck Ubud Bali Restaurant Review

When we travel to new countries we like to do some research on restaurants and as we were going to Bali we did some research. We found there are many western style restaurants but we really like to try to find as authentic as possible local food. We had read about a restaurant called Bebek Bengil, also known as Dirty Dirty Duck.

Bali is quite famous for it’s crispy duck and on reading through websites like Tripadvisor we gave this restaurant a shot.

Dirty Dirty Duck is located right next to the Monkey Forest in central Ubud. Ubud itself is a town with around 30000 people living there but it’s immensely popular with tourists due to the sights but also the great shops where you can find all kinds of things at various prices (definitely haggle the prices down).

The dishes we ordered were:

  • Bebek Bengil Crispy Duck
  • Nasi Goreng Special (Balinese fried rice)
  • Chicken Satays
  • Duck Fried Rice
  • Duck with Balinese Chili Sauce

 

ABOUT THE DISHES

Bebek Bengil Crispy Duck

This is really tasty! The skin is crispy and the duck itself is juicy and really delicious. The duck’s are however quite small so keep this in mind when ordering.

Bebek Bengil crisp duck bali

Bebek Bengil crisp duck

Nasi Goreng Special

I really fell in love with Nasi Goreng while I was in Bali. I really like fried rice in general but Nasi Goreng is quite different from Chinese/Taiwanese fried rice. Some of the differences include [INSERT TEXT]…

Chicken Satays

I never really got on with the satays in Bali. They had a really strange peanut taste but were covered in a brown sauce which I didn’t really like. Chris normally loves satays but even he didn’t like them.

Balinese Chicken Satay

Balinese Chicken Satay

Duck Fried Rice

This duck fried rice is made by the duck meat from the duck. I think they even use the duck fat to fried the rice. So the rice is full of the fragrance from the duck fat.

Duck with Balinese Chili Sauce

The chili sauce in this dish is truly amazing. It’s easily one of the tastiest chili sauce’s I have ever eaten. I loved it so much I even ate a big bowl of rice just so I could eat more of this chili sauce. Truly phenomenal.

Bebek Bengil

Duck in Balinese Chili Sauce

THE RESTAURANT

We arrived quite late in the evening so we didn’t take any shots of the restaurant itself but the following link will give you an idea of what it looks like: http://www.agungraka.com/bebekbengil/. Bebek Bengil / Dirty Dirty Duck is placed right at the entrance of the Monkey Forest on a road called Monkey Forest Road. Surrounding the restaurant is a rice plantation that really adds to the character of the restaurant. Generally speaking the restaurant was clean and the service was pretty good by Bali standards.

Dirty Duck Restaurant Bali

WOULD WE GO AGAIN?

Definitely. It’s a shame we went quite late at night as we would have loved to have taken some more photos and also Chris had pretty bad heatstroke at the time so he didn’t eat much. But of what we tried we really liked and the restaurants surroundings are amazing. Prices also seemed fairly reasonable. I seem to remember we paid about 400,000 IRP for everything (about £30).

 

NOTE ABOUT BALI

Bali was surprisingly expensive. Neither Chris nor I organised the trip to Bali but based on my experiences of travelling around Thailand I expected Bali to cost about the same. It doesn’t! Eating out in Bali costs more than equivalent food in China, Taiwan and Thailand and the prices aren’t that dissimilar to the UK. I’ve no doubt locals eat a lot cheaper than this but Bali itself, once you go outside of your resort/hotel is really dirty so it’s up to you if you want to trust local street food. In Taiwan I have no problem with this but in a foreign country which I don’t know and where I don’t speak the language I edge towards being more careful and pay a little bit more money.

Los Argentinos Steak House review

Last Sunday I went to an Argentinian steak house called “Los Argentinos” with Chris and our friends Michael and Anja. One of my colleagues has been talking about their Chimichurri sauce. When I heard about this sauce from my colleague I thought he was calling it “Jimmy Choori” and I joked with him about this restaurant selling designer shoes.

A lot of people have said Argentine steaks are the best and as I’ve eaten American, Australian and Scottish steaks I was really curious to try this. I also did a little bit of research and read that Argentina is one of the top three exporters in the world for beef (the top three being Argentina, Brazil and Austrlalia).

The interior of Los Argentinos is really simple. You can recognise this restaurant is a steakhouse from the gigantic cattle skin on the wall which you see immediately as you walk into the restaurant. I really can’t compare this restaurant to a steakhouse (if such a thing exists) in Argentina but I liked it. Every table has 1 or 2 pots of chimichurri sauce which you can just help yourself to.

I ordered a no 52 Combinacio Ranchera and Chris ordered a 450g ribeye steak. Maybe Argentina has a different method of weighing steaks but we’re used to ordering steaks in ounces so when Chris asked the waitress to describe the size of the steak (if the largest steak was small he would have ordered something else) her response was less than friendly.

Some of the steak dishes come with fries and salad and you can choose between fries or baked potato. I had a lot of chimichurri sauce with my steak. All I can tell you is that this sauce is beautiful. I really really like it and I highly recommend you give it a go if you go to Los Argentinos.

The steak itself was ok but with the chimichurri sauce it’s really superb! Service is ok but I do think the waitress can be a little more friendly. If you don’t know the answer to my question you could ask the chef in the kitchen or your manager, that’s certainly what we do in restaurants I’ve worked in.

Our friends ordered ribs for their starters, which we sampled and were average. However Anja asked for her steak to be cooked really well done and after two attempts at cooking it, it still came back less than well cooked. I ordered my steak medium-rare and Chris ordered his rare.

The selection of desserts was quite limited. Chris and I shared a pistachio and whipped cream ice cream, which was ok, but Anja ordered an apple pie which I really liked. It tasted like an American style apple pie rather than British style apple pie. I’ve always felt British apple pies are always quite thin, sour and have a rather sharp taste. The apple pie in Los Argentinos is really mellow, sweet but not sickly sweet and it’s warm!!! A slice of warm apple pie and some cold whipped cream is one of the best things ever, it almost makes my heart melt.

In terms of what we spent, between the four of us we spent £103. This includes four steak/steak platters, ribs, two beers, one cider, one coke, a cappuccino, side order of onions, side order of fries, pistachio ice cream and a slice of apple pie.

In conclusion, would we go back? Probably not. The waitress’ attitude, the undercooked steak and the overpriced menu would make us try other restaurants long before we come back here.