TexT: Joan H, HungryinTaiPei
Joan created Hungry in Taipei i n 2 0 05 w h e n s h e m o v e d to Taiw an from California and couldn't find much i n fo r m a t i o n o n l i n e a b o u t restaurants in English. She has since blo gged ab out over si x hundred Taipei restaurants, found places to fulfill her Mexican, cupcake, BBQ and pho cravings, a n d e x p lo re d T a i p e i 's night markets, shaved ice, dumplings and fine-dining scene. Hungr y in Taipei has been mentioned by BuzzFeed, CNN Travel, NY Post, Lonely Planet Taiwan, Taipei Times, Bizarre Foods and the Culinary Institute of America. http://hungr yintaipei. blogspot.tw/
asa Sushi is one of the better-known and wellregarded sushi bars in Taipei, with fans like RAW's Chef Andre Chiang among its customers. I hadn't been to Sasa in years and only once before, when I didn't pay more than NT$1,000 for sushi. Now that I'm slightly less clueless about Taipei omakase values and sushi, Sasa is still a splurge, but I was satisfied with both the taste and the amount, in contrast to some other sushi bars I had recently tried: the NT$2,500 (about US$80) lunch set comprised almost twenty pieces/courses. Dinner sets can run NT$5,000 and up, but I think the same quality of sushi would cost even more in the US. Sushi here is elegant and straightforward, so that the focus is on the taste rather than the presentation or creative interpretations that I've experienced at other sushi bars. Of course, it's always more fun to sit at the sushi bar, but they put our big group inside a private room, where it's easier to talk to each other (and be loud). Like many sushi bars in Taipei, there is no menu – let them know how much you want to spend, and enjoy the ride. Sasa's omakase offers a mix of sashimi, sushi and cooked foods; if you want just sushi and no cooked foods, you should let them know in advance. They also ask if there's anything you don't eat: personally, I prefer not to eat sushi that have a strong "fishy" taste, like sanma or kohada. For me, Sasa sits in the sushi bar category of "the more you spend, the better service you'll get," which I feel is true for many of the high-end sushi bars in Taipei. This visit, I went with a friend who mentioned that despite going several times over the years, she didn't feel like the chef really remembered her until she had spent over NT$5,000 on several occasions. If this is the sort of thing that would bother you, then Sasa probably isn't for you. I personally feel like the sushi chefs should treat each customer the same, regardless of whether they are a VVIP or a new customer coming in and spending the minimum. Sasa certainly isn't the worst offender (I've experienced overt disrespect from a sushi chef elsewhere in Taipei, despite spending over NT$2,500), I was just reminded of it when I was looking at a customer review on their Facebook page. Next time I go back to Sasa, I'd like to sit at the sushi bar to see if I have a different experience.
DEC 2016/JAN 2017 www.communitycenter.org.tw
Sasa Sushi 6, Lane 42, Zhongshan North Road, Section 2 台北市中山北路2段42巷6號 (Zhongshan MRT station) Phone: (02) 2561-1246 Hours: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm; 6:30 pm 10 pm Price: $$$$ (NT$2,000-5,000+ per person) Advance reservations recommended.