Tag Archives: rolls

japanese/sushi: sumi sushi (澄壽司)

date june 21, 2011

contact No. 17, Alley 248, Sec. 4, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Taipei City/台北市忠孝東路四段248巷17號/02.8771.9986

hours Monday-Friday 11:30-14:30, 17:00-21:30/Saturday 12:00-14:30, 17:30-21:30 (closed Sundays)

price 300-600NT per person (+10% service charge)

rating ♥♥♥ (4 out of 5 hearts)

nearest mrt Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT or Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall MRT (捷運忠孝敦化站或捷運國父紀念館站)

website http://sumisushi.pixnet.net/blog

For our last dinner with Lydiana before she heads back to Sydney we ended up at Sumi Sushi. After trying to think of a place to eat, we narrowed it down to Japanese or Korean. Jamie remembered a sushi place being in the area and I had remembered seeing it on hungry girl’s blog, so to Sumi Sushi we went.

Sumi Sushi is located on the same alley as Chili House and one of Dazzling Cafe’s locations between Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT (捷運忠孝敦化站) and Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall MRT (捷運國父紀念館站).

Sumi Sushi has two floors: the top floor where the sushi bar is located and a basement floor where there are a few tables (where we sat). We got there at around 8pm on a Tuesday night and didn’t have to wait for a table for five.

The staff suggested that our group of five sit downstairs. The downstairs is small, but has a lot more room than the sushi bar on the first floor.

The menu at Sumi is in both English and Chinese. There are no descriptions for the rolls or pictures, but the waitress was very nice and told us what was in the rolls when we asked.

While their menu does not have pictures, they do have photos of their rolls on the first floor.

The sub-heading of Sumi Sushi’s name is California Roll. With that in mind, I was expecting the kind of sushi place I’d find in San Diego or San Francisco; lots of rolls, not a whole lot of sashimi or nigiri. I was right. Sumi has all the typical kinds of sushi rolls you’d expect to find in the US: Dragon Roll, Rainbow Roll, Alaska Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, Philadelphia Roll, etc. They do have sashimi, but only salmon and tuna, and they do have a few other sushi items, but their main items were rolls, which ranged from about 100NT-300NT. The menu also had appetizers, salads, and rice bowls. We asked the waitress for suggestions and she gave us a few. We ended up with eight rolls for 5 people (each roll had 5-6 pieces).

We decided to order the two types of sashimi they offer: salmon (鮭魚) for 300NT and tuna (鮪魚) for 350NT. Realistically, this was not worth it. I mean, it is over priced especially for what you get. Not to say that the fish was bad, it just wasn’t of the highest quality and was definitely not worth the price. If you want sashimi I would not recommend this place. I would instead go to A-Plus, Sashimiya, or Tsukiji Market.

In total we ordered eight rolls. Salmon is my favorite fish and I love spicy things, so naturally we ordered the Spicy Salmon Roll (辣鮭魚捲) for 150NT, which was the first to come out. The roll had salmon, avocado, cucumber, and wasabi inside and was sprinkled with chili flakes and green onion on top. This was not bad, pretty standard in terms of what you’d expect of a Spicy Salmon Roll. It was not really spicy at all, just a little kick from the wasabi, but other then that pretty mild. There was a squirt of sauce on the side that tasted like a sriracha mix, though.

I feel like if you go to a restaurant and they have something on the menu that has their name in it you have to get it. The Sumi Roll (澄捲) for 250NT was cut into 5 pieces and had imitation crab, tamago, avocado, cucumber, and possibly some other things inside and was topped off with tobiko, sesame seeds, and what tasted like unagi sauce (the sweet brown sauce that almost tastes like a sweeter more condensed teriyaki sauce). This roll was okay, nothing particularly special.

The Jump Jump Roll (跳跳捲 literally translated as jump jump roll) for 250NT was recommended to us by the waitress and is one of their newer rolls. The roll itself was a standard California Roll (crab meat, avocado and cucumber) but it was topped with a scallop and tobiko mix with some spicy mayonnaise. This was probably one of my favorite rolls we had. I really love scallops and the scallops on this roll were pretty good.

Another recommended roll was the Avocado Smoked Salmon Roll (酪梨燻鮭魚捲) for 250NT which came in 6 pieces. This was another roll I really liked. The roll itself had crab meat, avocado and cream cheese in it and was topped with smoked salmon, avocado, sesame seeds, a touch of mayonnaise, what tasted like ponzu sauce, and some chili flakes. The combination of all of it together was pretty tasty.

Another recommended roll was the Special Fried Shrimp Roll (特製炸蝦捲) for 250NT for 5 pieces. This roll had shrimp tempura, avocado, and cream cheese inside and was topped with tobiko and sesame seeds. There was some sauces around the roll on the plate, but not actually on the roll. Either way, this roll was good, nothing amazing, but good enough.

We got a Dragon Roll (龍捲) at 200NT for 6 pieces. I mean, who doesn’t love a Dragon Roll? This one was your typical Dragon Roll: standard California Roll topped with unagi (fresh water eel). Nothing spectacular, but a good staple. The unagi was baked just right so that it was flaky and tender, as unagi should be.

After we finished our first round of roll, we decided we needed to add more. We added the Volcano Roll (火山捲) 300NT. This roll was 6 pieces of who knows what. I want to say the inside was a California Roll that was topped with a scallop mix and crap tons of sauces. I mean, the sauces really kind of drown out everything else; everything just gets really muddled, but I still liked it. This is not the type of roll you want to get if you’re trying to enjoy the flavor of fish. However, if you want a roll with lots of crap on it, this is your roll.

The last roll of the night was a Soft Shell Crab Roll (軟殼蟹捲) for 300NT. The 5 piece roll had soft shell crab, avocado, and cucumber in it and was topped with tobiko and ponzu sauce. The soft shell crab in this was pretty meaty, which was nice. Overall this roll was your standard soft shell crab roll.

All in all we ordered eight rolls and two plates of sashimi for five people. Our bill came out to about US$90 (2710NT) which included a 10% service charge. At one point my friend Jamie mentioned that after a while all the rolls started tasted the same because they all had the same sauces. In general I feel like that’s true of a lot of rolls, in the US as well, because they seems to all have the same sauces that drown out a lot of the fish flavors. I liked this place as an American style sushi restaurant. The prices are decent and the sushi is good enough for me to want to go back. Sushi is my favorite food and I do crave different kinds of rolls like they have in California. Sumi Sushi is the perfect place to satisfy that type of craving. However, if you’re looking for high quality sashimi/nigiri, Sumi is not the place for you.

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japanese/sushi: a-plus dining sake bar.

date December 16, 2010

contact No. 33, Sec. 1, An He Road, Daan District, Taipei City/台北市大安區安和路一段33號/02.2731.9266

hours 7 days a week [lunch]12pm-3pm/[dinner]6pm-2am

price depends 300-1000NT

rating ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 out of 5 hearts)

website http://www.AplusDiningBar.com.tw

nearest mrt Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT (忠孝敦化捷運站)

So the first time I went to A Plus Dining Bar was when I went for my 24th birthday. I had seen reviews of A Plus before so I was really excited to try it. I loved it, so when my friend Stephanie was looking for a sushi place to celebrate her 26th, I recommended A Plus.

Each time I’ve been to A Plus I’ve taken the bus, however, you can also take the MRT to ZhongXiao DunHua and walk too.

I highly recommend making reservations before going. For Stephanie’s birthday, I made reservations for five for 7pm on a Thursday night and it was a good thing because the place was pretty full. The overall lighting is kind of dim, romantic-ish I guess. Around 9pm they dimmed the lights pretty low, very mood lighting-ish.

The menu at A Plus is extensive. I love that they have pictures of almost everything as well as English. The menu is conveniently divided into sections ie. sushi rolls, sashimi, noodles, appetizers ect. so it’s easy to find things.

A Plus has an extensive sake menu and about 20 signature sake cocktails, so the first time I went we decided to try them. On the recommendation of our waitress I ordered the Cherry Blossom and Dan ended up with some sort or rose infused cocktail. Both were very good. The Cherry Blossom didn’t taste very cherry like, but it had a very light and refreshing taste and wasn’t too sweet. This time around we ended up with a GIGANTIC bottle of their house sake. From what my friends told me the waiter looked scared when we decided to order the ginormous 1800ml bottle of house sake. Their house sake (about US$100) was pretty good, better cold than hot. Between 4 people it was easy to finish off without anyone getting drunk. Although, the extra birthday shots did me in a little.

I’m pretty much just going to start posting pictures of a bunch of different things I’ve ordered over several visits. So here it goes.

I love cod roe, but was not expecting a cod roe salad to be inside the hand roll. Unfortunately the mayonnaise drowned out the taste of the cod roe, so it tasted more like mayonnaise than anything else. The avocado was really good though, but I wouldn’t get it again.

I love salmon so the flaming salmon roll thing on the menu was a must. It’s basically a california roll inside (crab meat, avocado, cubumber) with salmon, thin slices of cucumber, some dressing and cod roe sprinkled on top then torched table-side. I liked this a lot. The quick torching brought out some of the fatty flavors from the salmon which was nice. On a random note, it’s fun to hear the cod roe pop while it being torched, too.

The rainbow roll was pretty standard, but standard isn’t bad, it’s good. Everything seemed fresh and I really love that their rolls aren’t caked with rice. It really makes me sad when I feel like I’m eating a rice roll with some fish; it should be the other way around.

These seafood skewers were pretty delicious. I’m not sure what kinds of sauce were drizzled over them, but whatever it was, it was tasty. The skewers had onion, shrimp, scallop (?) and a few other various items. Nothing was overcooked which was great. I find that seafood served on skewers more often than not are over cooked. While these skewers are small, they’re pretty good and worth a try.

So the specialty rolls are cut into 8 pieces, but their more basic rolls, like the shrimp tempura roll pictured above come in 4. The shrimp tempura roll is pretty good. Shrimp tempura, cucumber, and crab meat, rolled in tempura flakes and cod roe, then drizzled with unagi sauce. I always like shrimp tempura rolls, and A Plus does a good job.

I love sashimi and the sashimi at A Plus is good. The cuts are pretty decent and for 590NT you get 12 pieces. Everything tasted fresh, so really that’s all that matters. I love the presentation, it’s always pretty intense. We all got a kick out of the glittery roses. When I was here for my birthday there was like a whole bonsai tree in it. I wonder how many times they reuse them…

We decided to do a round two of sashimi. One order is one piece, so we did 8 orders, two pieces per person at 50NT a piece. Again, tasty stuff.

There were several different comments about this duck appetizer. I thought it was pretty good. I like the sauce and the cucumber and duck all together. I will admit that the sauce drowned out the taste of the duck a little, but I liked the sauce, and sometimes duck is a little gamey for me, so I liked it. The birthday girl wasn’t a big fan: the sauce was too overpowering for her. Chris said that it was the first time where he felt like the cucumber added to the dish. I guess if you’re looking for something with a strong duck flavor, this is not what you’re looking for.

The wild mountain boar skewers are by far one of my favorite things on the A Plus menu. There is just something about the combination of the orange, marinated turnip, and wild boar that complements each other so well. I think that this is best when it’s eaten as one bite. While it’s might be a big bite, it’s the best when you get all the flavors.

The name itself is what really drew our attention: red bull roll. Raw beef on top of a california roll with some sauces and seasoning torched table side. I actually liked this roll a lot. It was kind of different and it comes with a tomato sauce, almost like a salsa, to be eaten with the roll. Something about all the flavors together that was unique and tasty. Plus, who doesn’t like food that is lit on fire in front of their eyes.

Our waiter recommended the crab meat omelette to us. It was a cold night and he said we needed to order something hot since we’d only ordered cold food prior to. Overall this was not bad. Eggs with crab meat in some kind of brown sauce with sauteed mushrooms on top. Like most things that have multiple ingredients like this, the best bite is one with a little of everything. I didn’t think there was anything particularly great about this dish, but it wasn’t bad.

So no one is really exactly sure what this was. David said he thought it was a Japanese mountain yam, but he wasn’t 100% sure. I really really liked this. First off, I love anything with melted cheese on it. Second, I love anything with cod roe sauce. This had both. Third, I love crunchy vegetables. Whatever it was it had a really great crunch and was kind of slimy like okra, which is great because I love okra. If you like the three things I mentioned above, you will love this dish. If you do not like any one of the things I mentioned above, I do not recommend this dish.

So the last few things were ordered by David since he arrived late and everything he ordered (including the cheese yam thing) was delicious; this dish was no exception. Honestly, this might have been one of my favorite things. The sweet potato was nice a soft and the chicken was well seasoned, tender, and juicy. I’m not sure if they left the skin on and crisped it or if it was something else they wrapped around the chicken, but whatever it was, it was delicious.

This is something we ordered at my birthday earlier this year. It was some kind of scallop appetizer. Unfortunately it was not a big hit. The scallop was over cooked and overall it was just kind of bland. It looks pretty though.

Overall, I love A Plus. They have a lot of options so it’s a good place to come with friends. Service has always been good when I’ve been. They gave us a few shots on the house for our friends birthday, too. A Plus, it’s a fitting name.