Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sushi Station Isaba

On the first floor of the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi shopping center in Taipei, the food court is a gourmand’s dream come true, with its redolent halls of multiethnic selections that seem never-ending. There’s the Korean food stall, the bakery, the Japanese curry restaurant, traditional Chinese food, and of course, a conveyor belt-sushi station in the center of it all called Isaba.

Isaba delivers on a grander scale than Sushi Express—the presentation is finer, the choices more ambitious, and of course, more expensive. There’s a color-coded hierarchy of nine plates here—the green ones carry cargo worth NT $30; the items on hefty black-and-gold presentation plates cost NT $250 ($8 in U.S. money). Little signs displayed on the conveyor belt before the dishes herald their names in Chinese: there’s the jumbo scallop sushi with ikura (salmon eggs) on top; the shrimp tempura roll trimmed with furikake (seasoned bits of seaweed); seared tuna belly sushi with green onions; a single baked scallop on a stick, brushed with a sweet brown sauce.

The quality here is top-notch, and the service is friendly and attentive. Each dish bursts with flavor. You know where your money went when you get a bill for NT $800 (about $26) after ordering six items.

In Taiwan, it seems to be all feast and never famine. If you’re not busy munching on night market oddities such as fried milk, stinky tofu, or pig blood popsicles, you might be trying to fall out of love with the Taiwanese style fried chicken. Or, whether it be casual and fast, or more formal and beautiful, there’s always sushi.

No comments :