Mitsui Cuisine is famous for being one of the best Japanese restaurants in Taipei, and when we were there last month, we knew our trip would not be complete without an omakase dinner there. Alas! It was such a splendid and memorable experience. Mitsui Cuisine truly lives up to its name.
The menu offers a hierarchy of omakase selections, and we had the most basic Yue Yin Set (NT$1,800 or S$75). All sets comprise 7 to 8 courses, and the main difference in them lies in the dishes and the quality of ingredients.
The introductory course to kick start our dinner was a beautiful plate of seasonal sashimi handpicked by the chef – slices of seabream, sweet ebi, maguro… just to name a few. The freshness of every piece brought out the essence of sashimi and we had never appreciated sashimi so much before. Very good start to our dinner, indeed.
This was succeeded by a small dish of creamy uni and seared hotate with tomato cubes and cucumber.
The salad was equally good. It was a concerto of prawn or abalone, fresh Japanese cucumber, ripe juicy tomato, sweet corn and crisp red apple. Talk about basic ingredients with notes of sweetness in symphony!
Up next was a dish of plain crab legs – a continued encounter with the fundamental sweetness of quality ingredients. We polished off every shred of flesh.
The Grilled Red Snapper was another winner. It was served in the most unassuming manner, but it blew us away when we took the very first bite. The flesh was flaking with freshness, sweet to say the least, and every mouthful brought us closer to heaven. I’d never have imagined snapper to be this good, and this dish redefined the otherwise common and predictable household fish.
For the beef, we were served two renditions – one with an egg white foam, and the other cooked in a delicious miso sauce. The former was a rather safe bet with the egg white foam adding a gentle texture to the grilled medium-rare beef slices. Innovative, but lackluster, if we could say. The latter was a much more exciting one with thinly-sliced beef soaked in a miso sauce, presented atop a slightly-charred daikon. Flavourful and definitely satisfying, and needless to say, this won our hearts.
Finishing our savoury dinner was a bowl of piping hot fish miso soup and a bowl of clam consomme. The fish miso soup was a lot lighter than our usual miso soup, and we thought it brought us to a comforting end, while the clam consomme was really nothing more than an ordinary clear broth.
And we could always use a sweet ending. Concluding our omakase dinner was a delectable serving of Japanese red bean soup, matcha chiffon cake and fresh fruits. Very common Japanese sweets that could hardly go wrong.
B1, No.108, Sec. 1, Dun-hua South Road
Tel: 02 2741 3394
Words by Melody Yap, photographs by ladyironchef
For more recommendations, read our guide on Where to eat in Taipei