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TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE, September, 2006.


(02) 2704-8195
40, AnHe Road, Sec. 2
Hours: Mon~Sun 6 pm-3 am
Credit cards accepted.
10% service charge.

---By Yan Chen Translated by Sho Huang

Eighteen months ago, three young men opened Ichi, based on their love of sake. Ichi, which means "one" in Japanese, stands for their first restaurant as well as their number-one quality sake. Following the tradition of Japanese sake houses, Ichi aims to provide a place for friends to have a drink and chill after a long, busy day in Taipei. When visiting this place the first time, I was deeply attracted to its decor, with black-and-white stripes on both the walls and wooden hangings, with big bright red lanterns shining down, totally giving off a zen-like atmosphere.

If you're a sake lover, you definitely don't want to miss out on Ichi, which proudly presents more than 40 kinds of sake. The price range is broad and varies according to liquor quality. A cup of sake (300ml) can cost between NT$400 to NT$700, while a pot is from NT$1,500 to NT$3,600. Over 10 types of heated sake are also available, warming your body and spirits.

However, you're making a mistake if you only order sake here, as a variety of cocktails, whiskies, champagnes, red and white wines and beers are served as well. A must-try are the sake cocktails, such as Sakepolitan, which is a kind of Japanese-style Cosmopolitan. Another offered Sakura plum wine is a combination of sake, sweet fragrant passion fruit and fresh plums. Sugar on the rim of the glass especially helps to bring out these flavors.

The food menu is equally impressive. The most popular dish, Fillet Fruit Sauce (NT$300), features a medium-done steak medium sprinkled with fruit sauce. One bite gives you the flavors of fresh beef and sweet fruit. Another NT$380 dish is a combination of raw sea urchin, salmon eggs and cheese salad, with fresh lettuce helping to diffuse the pungent sea urchin and salmon egg smells.

Between its excellent sake selection, other drinks and great cuisine, Ichi is clearly something for someone looking for an alternative to the usual nightspot.

Alcoholic drinks are strictly prohibited for those under 18.


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