October 2002. VOL.2 ISSUE 10
171, Sanduo 3rd Road. Lingya
Hours: 11:30 am -2:30 pm; 5:30 -9:30 pm
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At Roppongi's, what goes around
By Dan Bloom Translated by Ruby
goes around comes around. Sushi, that is.
Fresh raw fish served in bite-sized
bits atop vinegar rice ("sushi") is as popular in Taiwan
as it is in Japan. Local restaurateurs have adopted the Japanese
spin on service, too, that has become a hit island wide. We're talking
about conveyor belt sushi shops, or "kaiten-sushi" ("kaiten"
meaning "to revolve" in Japanese) - inexpensive family
restaurants that feature plates of sushi, sashimi, assorted salads,
vegetables and fruit dishes that go round and round, hour after
hour, until there's hardly anything left.
While delighting in the pleasures of sushi in a
refined, traditional restaurant is one of life's finest experiences,
eating at a conveyor belt sushi shop is another kind of encounter.
The fish is fresh and tasty, but it's not gourmet dining, by any
stretch of the imagination. Service is quick, efficient and reasonable,
mainly because there is no need for wait staff.
Kaohsiung's only kaiten sushi joint, is just a chopstick's length
away from the Sogo, Mitsukoshi and FE-21 department stores for
a quick bite after shopping. The restaurant is named after a
trendy district in the heart of Tokyo and it affords fun dining,
as you might expect. Just pull up a chair and scan the belt
for choices - the bill is calculated on the number of dishes
stacked before you. (NT$40/plate; unlimited dishes for NT$298-lunch
and NT$350-dinner). Tea is provided. Or, you can order some
good Taiwan or Japanese beer, or miso shiru (a cloudy soy based
broth with chunks of tofu and seaweed).
If the world of sushi is not only your oyster, but
also your ika (squid), your maguro (tuna) or your uni (untranslatable),
Roppongi makes the perfect place to plop yourself down at a long
winding counter of fresh fish and indulge.