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Downtown Japanese dining--Hanaya, Jiang Jiang Shao, Spring Dance, Kitchen Micoro

One of the biggest clusters of Japanese restaurants is found in Taichung's West district, around the Canal District and YingCai-GongYi roads area. Here is a small sampling.

Translated by S. Ying


(04) 2321-1141
69, ZhongCheng St, West Dist
Hours: weekdays 5-11 pm; Sat 12-2:30 pm, 5-11 pm
Sun 12-2:30 pm,5-9:30 pm
Credit cards accepted.
10% service charge.

Hanaya has been part of Taichung's Japanese scene for many years now and specialises in traditional Japanese barbecue. The modest exterior belies a large dining space with several booths and a larger floor-seating area. The owners are particularly proud of their Kobe beef and sake variety, but have plenty of other options available. --Translated by Eva Liao

A: The Premium Cow Tongue (NT$300) is deliciously tender and uses only the most select cuts of tongue. The taste is surprisingly strong and can easily rival any other cut of beef for sheer flavour.

B: As a side dish, the Soba Noodles (NT$180) are light and refreshing, an ideal addition for hot summer evenings and a perfect match to balance out the heavier barbecued fare.

C: Sushi and sashimi dishes are also available. The Tuna Sashimi (NT$250) is every bit as good as expected, melting in the mouth with a tangy bite of wasabi.

華屋燒肉A. 華屋燒肉B. 華屋燒肉C.


Jiang Jiang Shao

3, Lane 236, MeiCun Rd, Sec 1, West Dist; (04) 2305-0695
Hours: 11:30 am-2:30 pm, 5:30-9 pm (closed Mon)
Cash only.
No service charge.

Although it's tucked away on a small lane off MeiCun Road, this is another restaurant whose smaller size definitely does not reflect on the quality of food on offer. In traditional Japanese style, most diners sit at a bar in front of the food-prep area, while there are two small rooms with sunken-floor seating. --Translated by S. Ying

A: The simple, uncluttered decor makes the dining area feel open even when it's packed to capacity. Feel free to ask the friendly staff for any advice on choosing meals and drinks.

B: The house specialty is rice bowls. The beef in the Beef, Conger Eel and Salmon Roe Bowl (NT$380) is flavorful and a perfect match for the seafood.

C: The Premium Seafood Bowl (NT$380) is an extremely filling, eclectic mix of tuna, salmon, king prawn and more, all reflecting the priority on freshness at this restaurant.

Jiang Jiang ShaoA. Jiang Jiang ShaoB. Jiang Jiang ShaoC.


Spring Dance

(04) 2301-0542
184, GongZheng Rd, West Dist
11 am-11 pm
No service charge.

A relatively new addition to Little Tokyo's milieu, Spring Dance opened earlier this year on the northern edge of ZhongMei Street's night market. From outside it is relatively unassuming but the speed with which its few tables fill up is a testament to the depth of the owner and head chef's expertise. --Translated by Eva Liao

A: The Whole Barbecued Squid (NT$200) is cooked to perfection without any rubbery texture. Sprinkled with a little lemon juice and pepper salt, this is a tangy delight.

B: Salmon Roe and Sashimi (NT$240) is another very filling choice. The saltiness of the roe is a fine complement to the almost-sweet flavor of the fresh salmon, while the provided soup and pickled cucumbers provided make this a full meal.

C: The cozy premises means that the chefs are hard at work right next to you.

Spring DanceA.. Spring DanceB. Spring DanceC.


Kitchen Micoro

255, HuaMei St, West Dist
Housr: 11 am-9 pm (closed Thu)

When most people think of Japanese cuisine, they think of sushi, miso soup, ramen or barbecue. Kitchen Micoro aims to show another side to that country's cooking, namely its many ways with potatoes. While the menu here is limited in size, its potato dishes--supplemented by noodles and Japanese omelettes--make it a good choice for a light, yet satisfying, meal. --Translated by Eva Liao

A: Glutinous Potato Balls (NT$50) have a soft, sticky centre and are coated in black sugar and a mix of other spices, giving them a flavor somewhere between sweet and savoury.

B: The Potato Nuggets (NT$50) have a texture that is slightly sticky but less so than the potato balls. Several varieties are available and you can select three for each serving, such as the pictured Original, Mayonnaise, and Seaweed

C: The interior here is small and sparsely decorated but the owners will certainly make you feel at home while they cook your meal.

Kitchen Micoro A. Kitchen Micoro B. Kitchen Micoro C.


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