sushi: n.c.i.s (northern california inspired sushi/德相n.c.i.s美式加州壽司)
date july 19, 2012
No.17-3, Longquan St., Daan Dist., Taipei City/台北市大安區龍泉街17號之三 (師大夜市內)/ 02.2363.9931
hours 7 days a week 17:00-00:00
rating ♥♥♥♥ (4 out of 5 hearts)
Guting MRT (捷運古亭站) or Taipower Building MRT (捷運台電大樓站)
website http://www.ncisushi.com/ (Chinese Only)
The Shida location of N.C.I.S is closed, but don’t fret, they opened a new location on Zhongxiao E. Rd!
contact No. 4, Lane 216, Alley 27, Sec. 4, Zhongxiao E. Rd, Daan Dist., Taipei City/台北市大安區忠孝東路四段216巷27弄4號/02.2721.6952
nearest mrt MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua (捷運忠孝敦化站)
Having walked passed N.C.I.S many times my friend and I decided to check it out after talking to one of the owners (who is from Sacramento) one random night.
Located inside of Shida Night Market (師大夜市), N.C.I.S is located on the main street running down the night market close to Heping E. Rd. (和平東路).
The inside of N.C.I.S is pretty small: about 5-6 tables, plus some sushi bar space.
The N.C.I.S menu is pretty intense, mostly full of rolls, which based on the name of the restaurant I was expecting. The front of the menu has basic rolls, appetizers, sashimi, and nigiri type stuff.
The back of the menu has all their speciality rolls with the names and ingredients in both English and Chinese. There are color coded dots next to the rolls to denote whether or not they are spicy, deep fried, well done or torched. Being first time customers the server introduced us to some of the more popular rolls and rolls that would suit our tastes, after telling him what we liked (which is pretty much everything).
We decided to get three rolls and an appetizer, as follows:
- Stir Fried Onion Cheese Fries (起司炒洋蔥薯條) 200NT
- Marilyn Monroll (瑪麗蓮夢露) 220NT
- Salmonlicious (鮭揨高) 220NT
- Johnny Can’t Walk (約翰走不動) 300NT
Water and miso soup is self serve and can be grabbed on the lefthand side of the sushi bar.
Upon seeing the words “stir fried onions”, “cheese”, and “fries” on the menu, Erin and I immediately looked at each other and said, “we’re getting that.” Freshly fried seasoned fries topped with freshly sauteed onions and some fake looking nacho cheese makes this Stir Fried Onion Cheese Fries (起司炒洋蔥薯條) appetizer for 200NT super tasty. This appetizer would be great drunk food, but was delicious sober as well. The serving size isn’t very big, but that’s probably good considering this place is a sushi joint, not a place for bar food. I would totally get this again.
The Marilyn Monroll (瑪麗蓮夢露) for 220NT was listed as having fried shrimp and crab mix inside the roll topped with avocado and scallops. First impression was, where is the avocado??? To be honest, I was a little let down by this roll. When you describe something as being topped with avocado and scallop, I expect to taste both the avocado and scallop, or at least be able to see it. Upon further inspection I realized the avocado was the green stuff spread on the top of the roll; it was not slices like sushi rolls usually have and would probably have been completely overlooked had I not looked for it. The fried shrimp inside tasted like prepackaged frozen fried shrimp from Costco, which while isn’t bad, isn’t great. This roll wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I was expecting. I wouldn’t get this again.
Salmon is my favorite raw fish so the Salmonlicious (鮭揨高) for 220NT was an obvious choice for me. Described as smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber on the inside (a basic Philadelphia Roll) topped with fresh salmon and lemon. Erin was afraid there would be too much cream cheese, but there wasn’t, just enough to get the taste. This roll had a nice fresh taste to it thanks to the nice sliver of lemon on top.
The last roll we ordered was the Johnny Can’t Walk (約翰走不動) for 300NT. Described as spicy tuna, crab mix, and shrimp topped with seared tuna and bbq eel (aka unagi), this roll is torched, although it’s not marked on the menu. This roll was recommended to us by the server, it is also one of two 300NT rolls, the most expensive on the menu. This was probably my favorite roll of the night, not because I could single out any one particular flavor (which you can’t), but because I was in the mood for the kind of saucey jumbled roll that I’d find at home (being San Diego) and this fulfilled that. You do taste the unagi, but other than that, all the sauces and flavors just meld together.
Overall, N.C.I.S is not bad. They have a lot of other rolls on the menu that I’d like to try. In terms of price, it’s pretty average for a place that sells American style rolls (150NT-300NT). I don’t know how their nigiri or sashimi is, but considering they specifically market California style rolls, I’d probably stick to rolls. I think that N.C.I.S fills a niche that the Shida area needed to be filled and I appreciate it’s proximity to my apartment. Based purely on the American style sushi roll angle I like N.C.I.S; it makes me feel like I’m eating sushi at home.