Cocktail: Strawberry Shochu-Rita
Written and photos by Leif Hansen
Translated by Ann Lee
* 1 Strawberry
* 0.2 oz Fruit Sugar
* 2 oz Shochu
* 0.5 oz Cointreau
* 2 oz Sour Mix
Mix all ingredients together with ice and top off with swirls of whipped Japanese plum foam.
A-Plus Dining Sake Bar
33, AnHe Rd, Sec 1
Open: 12-2 pm, 6 pm-1:30 am
Credit cards accepted. 10% service charge.
Ever since A-Plus opened in 2007, it has worked to stay one step ahead of the crowd. In recent years, many Japanese restaurants in the U.S. have started using shochu liquor in cooking. Now you can enjoy similar cuisine here as well. Grilled Lamb Chops On Stone (NT$320) is served on a hot platter with a layer of sliced potatoes and a bit of Italian marinara sauce. Pour some shochu onto the dish, light it up and begin eating as soon as the flames go out. It's best to eat it right away because the lamb chops are the most tender while hot. This is also the perfect time to order a glass of Shochu-Jito (NT$180). Inspired by the Mojito, this drink replaces mint leaves with Japanese perilla frutesce, giving it a distinctively Asian fragrance.
The main customer base at A-Plus is women. Therefore, the menu and drink list caters to females. Sliced Japanese Octopus Topped With Vinegar Jelly (NT$180) is a very refreshing appetizer. This proprietary dish features sliced octopus laid out on a bed of thinly-sliced cucumbers and covered in vinegar jelly. Most women love the Strawberry Shochu-Rita, the best-selling cocktail at A-Plus. The white foam on top is not whipped cream but an in-house special--Japanese plum foam. The best thing about it is that, unlike whipped cream, it is non-fat! That may have you asking the bartender to fill your martini glass more than once.