In Taiwan, especially in Taipei, it is very easy to find Japanese restaurants. However, it is a little bit hard for us to know which one is worth our money. If you haven’t spent enough time in
Taiwan Taipei, a long queue in front of one restaurant can perhaps trick you into thinking that restaurant offers a very delicious (or cheap) foods and worth your money. First, we also think long queue in front of a place means that specific restaurant/shop has something special (price, taste, or any other thing). Been here for quite a while, we reconsider our thought and now believe that Taiwanese just love to stand in a line. Ha! Back to finding Japanese restaurant, several months ago we went to this restaurant, called Watami (和民) and we have revisited it several times since then. What’s so good about it?
For the first time, we went to Watami in FE21 (遠東百貨) mall in Banqiao. If you want to find this mall: just look for a big FE21 sign put on building wall somewhere outside the train station. It’s not so spacious compared to couple other malls in the area, but it surely is a very tall building (with total of 13 floors not including 5 levels of basement). On the highest floor, you can saw several restaurants and Watami is one of them. We suggest you to book in advance before you get there because we had to wait for half an hour to be seated.
In the restaurant, we were offered several set menus. We picked the cheapest one! LOL. The price was NTD 899 for 2 people and it was worth the money if you need a proper dining to celebrate something. For the appetizer, a unique Caesar salad was served in front of us. The salad was served with a raw egg, and yes, it was very tasty! Chicken thigh skewer came as our next entry.
What is the most popular Japanese food? Sushi! That’s why we chose it for one of our main dishes. You can also pick hotpot, sukiyaki, or short ribs if you don’t like eating raw meat.
Rice becomes our second main dish. We picked salmon and ikura rice since salmon should be expensive, right? 🙂 There are kimchi, pepper beef, or chicken and seafood as its alternative, though. All except the last one are served in stone pots. Here is the interesting one, the waiter will ask whether you need help for mixing your rice. Of course, we answered yes! First of all, we believed if he will mix it better than us (should be tastier right?). On the other hand, we were eager to see “some attractions” :).
The last dish was potato baked with seasoned cod roe. Among the other dishes, this was the one that has a “so so” appearance and in fact, also a mediocre taste. It is not bad (really!), but after a series of delicious dishes, it surely was not tasted outstanding.
In later occasions, we went back there several times and the set menu was changed every time we were there, but the price is always the same. Here is our dishes in our last visit:
Albeit a little bit pricey, Watami can be an option if you want a good service and taste from Japanese restaurant. We found that most of their delicacies can fulfill our craving for a tasty Japanese food. Another plus factor is it has a significant number of stores located in strategic locations, not only in Taipei but also all over Taiwan. Feel free to check its website out to find the nearest store from your place.