TAN Grilled Beef Tongue
Words and photography by Josie
Translated by Angela Cheng
3, BeiPing W. Rd., 2F, Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City (Taipei Train Station)
Hours: 10 am-10 pm
Credit cards accepted, 10% service charge, Chinese/Japanese/English menu available
TAN Grilled Beef Tongue is KanPai's own brand and it's the first Sendai-style grilled beef tongue store in Taiwan. In Japan, when eaters visit the "beef tongue city" of Sendai, they will definitely can not miss out on this beef tongue dish. The beef tongue dish was born in 1948 after World War II, originated by one Kusano Hirogo, the "father of beef tongue". Although it is now a traditional dish, it went through many years of development. With the opening of the bullet train, its popularity spread throughout Japan.
The beef tongue here is totally different from that of other grilled beef shops. The Sendai-style grilled beef tongue uses much of the beef tongue minus the surface, and cut into thick slices. After leaving it out for few days it is termed "Shikomi" (ripe), a process that requires accurate temperature and humidity controls as well as careful attention to timing and seasoning--all of which together determine the unique taste of each shop's finished product. After this time consuming process, one can finally experience the quality, soft taste, and savory grilled beef tongue. KanPai uses Japanese Trading Companies Sumikin Bussan Corporation's imported beef from Australia. They choose the beef tongue carefully for TAN Grilled Beef Tongue. They only use the soft tongue part from entire 1.5 kg material. They get rid of any parts that are too hard. Therefore, there are only 600g that could be use from a 600kg cow.
This precious beef tongue is good for cutting into thick, crispy and chewy slices. The regular beef tongue slice is about 0.3 cm, but TAN Grilled Beef Tongues are about 0.7~0.8 cm. The process and seasoning was learned from the master, Mr. Kusano Hirogo at his famous grilled beef tongue store in Sendai. Gradually, he learned the natural way to get rid of the smell and soften the meat from sliceing, seasoning to harvest TAN its own grilled beef tongue flavor. It's worth mentioning, the traditional Sendai grilled beef tongue was served on a dish to the table, but TAN found the beef tongue would get cold easily served this way. Taiwanese prefer hot food, less heat means less delicious. Therefore, they don't stick to the Japanese style, and changed to serving using a hot plate.
A. The signature TAN Grilled Beef Tongue's Char-grilled ox tongue set (NT$320 for 6 beef tongue slices). All the meals are served with all-you-can-eat Japanese-style soup, white rice or grain rice, and salad. Marinade napa cabbage and spicy takana with sakura shrimp salad is specially prepared for the Taiwanese market. If you want more beef tongue, you could order for 4, 8 and 12 slice sets. Add NT$40, you can add the Japanese vegetable steam rice to make you feel like you are in Sendai.
B. For Taiwanese, who prefer a variety of dishes, the menu is designed for grilled beef tongue and they also offer fried beef tongue curry, seafood burger, miso mackerel hot plate and a beef tofo sukiyaki set. If you don't eat beef, there are other choices like Premium Pork Jowl and Chicken set (NT$350).
C. A creative dessert is the Crispy Fried Chicken with Thai-style RED Sauce set (NT$280), which uses a spring roll tortilla to wrap the chicken. It's surprisingly crispy.
D. In the kitchen, you can see the staff using a professional BBQ tool to get rid of extra fat.