We were all hanging around at the dining area of the minsu and the Taiwanese couple shared that they had a lovely Teppanyaki dinner nearby, which they had made reservations 2 months in advance!
The minsu owner added that this was a very popular place, and that 周董 was known to book the entire place for parties (there’s a photo of him at the restaurant) 😮
Since we were checking out the next day and had no prior plans for lunch, she offered to help us make reservations for lunch.
A quick phone call later, and there were still seats available for the 13:10 and 14:10 timings, and so we picked the earlier slot. Thank you 小蘭!
All guests who arrived early were served with a cup of chilled 桔子茶 Kumquat Tea that was very refreshing! When the table was ready, we were brought the our seats at the teppanyaki table. There were 3 such tables, each operating at different timings… And yes, their starting times are ××:10.
The restaurant specializes in 互動式鐵板燒 Interactive Teppanyaki and do not have a menu (無菜單料理). Since there were 2 of us, we ordered a NT1800 set and a NT2000 set so that we could get to try different dishes. While waiting, we had a small cup of 苹果酢 Apple Cider Juice to whet up our appetites. When everyone was ready at the teppanyaki table, the feast began!
- We started off with a 水果沙拉 Fruit Salad with seasonal fruits and some nuts to cleanse the stomach.
- Next up was 生魚片 Sashimi which tasted a little better than 上乘三井 Mitsui Japanese Cuisine without feeling frozen inside.
- Fresh 干貝 Scallop from Hokkaido was next. The chef explained that this premium grade scallop would not shrink after cooking. A little salt brings out the sweetness and we enjoyed the thick piece thoroughly.
- The chef presented to us 甜蝦 Sweet Prawn next which is only found in 宜蘭 Yilan and 屏東 Pingtung. We were advised to use our mouth to peel the succulent prawn so that we can savour the shell.
- The chef had been cooking the skin side of 樱桃鸭胸 Cherry Valley Duck Breast from the start of the meal to get rid of the additional oil. The duck meat was then served with big pieces of leafy vegetable, turnip and capsicum which was grilled to removed the skin. Wrapping the duck with the vegetable reduced the sense of oiliness and enhanced the flavour. The chef explained that the duck originated from Cheery Valley in England and not that the duck was fed with cherries. 🙂
- Next up was 鱸鰻 White Eel. This was also cooked for a while on the teppan before it was served. The fish was fresh and simply seasoned with only salt to bring out the sweetness.
- Next was a show of teppan skills by the chef where he spread Parmesan cheese on the teppan and wrapped it around a piece of swordfish when the cheese had melted to form a 帕瑪森起司裹旗魚 Cheese-wrapped Swordfish. The saltiness of the cheese matched the otherwise bland fish perfectly!
- The chef took out a plate of 鲍鱼 Abalone and started grilling them by first removing them from their shell, and then their teeth, and also their livers. It was just lightly grilled with oil with no other seasoning for us to enjoy its natural sweetness. A customer on the table asked the difference between 九孔 Jiukong and 鲍鱼 Abalone. The chef explained that jiukong is smaller with smoother shell and has breathing holes which are inside. Abalone on the other hand is larger, shell is not smooth with breathing holes jutting out.
- The waiters came to serve us 海鮮酥皮濃湯 Seafood Soup with Puff Pastry and 鵝肝丸湯 Soup with Foie Gras Meatball. The pastry was creamy and flaky, and baked with cheese to give it a crunchy texture. The seafood soup was really creamy with lots of seafood and the foie gras meatball was very rich which matched the clear soup.
- The menu emphasized that 2/3 of the dishes were seafood and rightly so because 宜蘭 Yilan is near the ocean. Next up was 香煎紅喉魚 Pan-fried Rosy Seabass, the best fish in Taiwan which is sweetest in summer. The chef stressed that the hotter the weather the better is the fish, contrary to other fatty fishes where winter is the best season due to the accumulation of fats. The fish was separated into two parts and hubby had the tail while I had the head. The meaty fish was savoured with wasabi-flavoured pepper.
- The waitresses suddenly appeared from behind to serve us 飛魚卵海膽醬焗烤小龍蝦 Baked Lobster with Fish Roe and Sea Urchin Sauce. The thick layer of fish roe and sea urchin sauce completely covered the juicy and springy lobster beneath. The chef demonstrated the correct way of forking out the entire piece of meat and we thoroughly enjoyed the succulent sweet meat!
- To help us overcome the richness of the dishes, a cup of 洛神花茶 Rosella Tea was offered. The sourness of the tea immediately cleansed the stomach of the oiliness and wifey continued to have cups after cups. 🙂
- Coming to the end of the teppan session was a French-inspired dish 鵝肝牛肉捲 Foie Gras Beef Wrap. The chef lightly pan-seared pieces of foie gras and put them on thin pieces of beef individually. He then quickly wrapped the beef around the foie gras to create a one-spoon dish. The medium rare beef sealed the heat around the foie gras and it was a full mouth of richness.
- Together with the beef wrap was the 牛小排 Beef Cubes. The chef separated the tendons and the meat and served them with 4 different condiments, garlic, sea salt, rose salt, and pepper corn. The beef was aromatic and tender with its juice all locked within because the chef rested the beef while cooking the rest.
- The chef was worried that his customers had not had their fill so he offered his last dish on the teppan, XO醬炒飯 Fried Rice with XO Sauce. The XO sauce was prepared in-house and added a tinge of seafood-ness to the fried rice. We down the rice with the 鮑魚肝 Abalone Liver that was left aside during the cooking of the abalone earlier on.
- We moved our heavy bodies over to the dessert tables and had 奶凍蛋糕 Custard Roll Cake, 冰拿鐵 Iced Latte and 黑木耳汁 Black Fungus Juice. The Black Fungus Juice tasted similar to Grass Jelly Drink. The staff remembered that wifey was very curious about this drink at the start of our meal, and especially went to her to check if she enjoyed the drink, and explained to her the steps in making it!
We were also offered home-brewed wine, but we declined, as we were simply too full.
The lunch lasted almost 2.5 hours and we were bursting with satisfaction!