Taiwan: Jin Tai

Not to be deterred by our first failed attempt at sashimi gloriousness, my sister and I made a second trip out to Jin Tai. We also nabbed another friend to go with us because good food requires sharing. When we went Monday night, the place was completely boarded up and deserted. Imagine our surprise when we showed up Wednesday night to find a monster of a line outside:

We'd traveled too far and waited too long to be put off by a stupid line. So we gamely got in place...and waited almost two hours to get in. Holy moly. To make the line move "faster" you place your order before you enter the restaurant. There are three options for sashimi: over rice, with rice, or without rice. We asked the person in front of us (from whose conversation with his friend we gleaned that he'd been to Jin Tai multiple times) whether the amount of sashimi differed depending on the rice option. Apparently it doesn't, so we all went with the over rice.

To keep things simple, we ordered the 3 combo sashimi bowls. The first consisted of just sashimi and cost 200 NT (almost $7):

The second consisted of sahimi, uni, scallop, and shrimp...and cost 400 NT (around $13):

The third was the "undefeated seafood bowl", which cost 600 NT (about $20) and included everything mentioned above, plus squid and a larger shrimp:

And an oyster:

The oyster was huge. I have this thing against large oysters because they can get pretty awkward to eat. Having half of an oyster hanging out of your mouth isn't the most attractive thing in the world. But it sure is funny.

Each bowl also came with miso soup with large chunks of fish:

There was a note on the menu that said that every bowl is already perfectly seasoned by the chef and that customers cannot ask for additional soy sauce or wasabi. And indeed, no additional condiment was necessary. The rice soaked up all the flavors of the sashimi, the nori, the raw egg yolk, and all the other unnamed seasoning.

Our conclusion of the night was that the 400 NT bowl is the best choice for your money. We didn't feel that the extra shrimp, squid, and oyster merited the additional 200 NT.

The sashimi was certainly very, very fresh...but was it worth the wait? If I actually lived in Taiwan, I would probably go back every once in a while, but I wouldn't make it a weekly or even a monthly thing.



  1. amy! i love that the chef is bossy and that you can't season the food yourself.


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