Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hui Sushi - Taipei

The Best Japanese Outside of Japan
Dodo's Taiwanese colleague didn't offer the thought as a conversation starter.  She stated as fact that the "best Japanese outside Japan is to be found in Taiwan."  I was skeptical until chef Weng from Hui Sushi started placing dishes in front of me.  The Japanese were in Taiwan for about 50 years starting in 1895 so it makes sense.  However, since I tend to stay away from superlatives, let's just say that Hui Sushi was the best Japanese food I've ever tasted in Taiwan!  It was damned good and I offer up the photos and words to prove it.  Take a peek at the miso soup with prawn and hidden chunks of succulent fish.
There are exactly six seats at Hui.  Yes, s-i-x.  So, along with the chef, at max, there are seven people in the room.  You sit around a counter and watch the chef do his thing.  When we arrived he was grinding and hand mixing the wasabi.  There's no menu, you just sit back and wait.  The abalone, below, was the tenderest I've ever had, flavored with just a touch of salt.
The chawanmushi, served in a deep bowl, was perfect.  I wished he'd served a bit more of this but I was warned that much more was to come.  I don't usually eat a lot at dinner but as with all good Japanese, I never felt overly-full during this meal.
Chef used a lot of local Taiwanese fish, most as sashimi.  However, he baked one near the end of the meal and served it with a side of lime.  It was tasty and fell apart the moment I touched it.
I don't usually like pickled ginger but this one was extraordinary.  Chef made it fresh, as expected.  It was not as strong as some others I've had.

When the sashimi and sushi started to arrive in waves, it was so sublime that I kinda blanked out trying to write down names of fish.  Enjoy the photos.

Here he is.  Chef Weng, the man, the myth, the legend.  He gave us (and two strangers) one hell of a memorable night. 

Near Section 5 XinYi Rd
Taipei
(click on link to see map)
Reservations are a must: 0922-222-775

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17 comments:

  1. Absolutely the best... and you would expect to pay a bomb for a meal like this but this was totally affordable. It was like NTD 1,800 per pax which works out to be SGD 80?

    Definitely no such deal in Singapore, Paris or New York!

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  2. bahah. i was laughing 1 sentence into this post. everything looks amazing, you guys have inspired me... I NEED TO GO TO TAIWAN

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  3. @Sandy - haha, I got you convinced and I haven't even finished the Taiwan posts yet! Food is pretty good there!

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  4. bookmarking this for my trip in Nov =)

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  5. @Yixiao - make sure you call ahead.

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  6. Excellent! Will try this place in April. Thanks.

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  7. @mdee88 - Enjoy and make sure to take lots of good photos.

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  8. Omg! It all looks sooooo good! We're definitely earmarking this place to eat at while in Taipei!

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  9. @Cewek - I doubt you will be disappointed.

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  10. Booked! By the way you may want to update the link. To this one :)

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Hui+Sushi+(%E6%83%A0%E5%A3%BD%E5%8F%B8)+%4025.032708,121.560524&aq=&sll=25.032883,121.560599&sspn=0.004637,0.010525&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=&ll=25.032689,121.560545&spn=0.004637,0.010525&z=17

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    Replies
    1. Ooohhhhhh.... Jealous!

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    2. Just came back and OMFG. The boy can cook! It was so delicious! Thank you for the only review! Thank god Bourdain, et al from TLC have not discovered this gem.

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    3. Just came back and OMFG. The boy can cook! It was so delicious! Thank you for the only review! Thank god Bourdain, et al from TLC have not discovered this gem.

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    4. Just came back and OMFG. The boy can cook! It was so delicious! Thank you for the only review! Thank god Bourdain, et al from TLC have not discovered this gem.

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    5. You were so hyped up, you commented three times! Lol. Glad you liked it.

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  11. There's a lot of amazing Japanese and sashimi in Taipei! I haven't tried this one yet (and keep my fave ones sscret) hahah

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    1. I enjoyed your blog and read it both times I was in Taipei. You seem like a Japanophile so I was surprised you hadnt been to Hui yet. Go check it out!

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