Sunday, January 5, 2014

Fish 180 (Minsheng) (百八魚場) (民生店)

Happy 2014!  I am back in Hong Kong now.  Jet lagged and a little sick... (I've been trying to shake off the cough since Christmas!  Hopefully, with the warmer weather, I will recover faster.)  Have a lot of restaurants and travels to share from my recent trips... hopefully I will get around them faster this year :)

If I had to pick a favorite restaurant from the Taipei trip, this is it.  My co-worker took me there one Friday night and I am hooked!  (I went here twice in a span of 2 weeks, eating pretty much the same thing... for a person that doesn't like to eat anything on repeat, that's a record for me!)

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The menu is simple, but it hits all the right spots.
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Very simple and basic furnishing.
It's very affordable and where a lot of locals go!
It's half self-serve here, meaning you need to pour your own tea, soup, etc.
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The good old California hand roll
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Highly recommend the uni hand roll.
It's not stuffed with rice like most places and there is a generous portion of uni.
A perfect appetizer for me!
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combination sashimi platter
very fresh fish overall
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Salmon, salmon roe, scallop, and shrimp rice bowl (御品三色丼)
The sashimi again is very fresh and you can choose from sushi rice or regular rice.
Portion is not too big, which is great for me as I want to sample their other offerings!
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The sashimi is super fresh but I would recommend you to skip the sashimi completely and order the grilled mackerel (鯖魚) AND the pacific saury (秋刀魚).  I could seriously eat these grilled fish everyday, especially when they are in season!

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Mackerel
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Pacific Saury
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Pacific Saury again during another visit

I personally would stick to the mackerel and pacific saury.  I tried the set which offers a different fish - the Japanese Horse Mackerel  (竹筴魚) - it was good but I was not as impressed with it as I was with the other two.  However, mackerel and pacific saury do have a more intense flavor so if you normally don't eat fish, you may not like it.

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Fish 180 is actually a chain so you don't have to go to the same store I went (but I can't guarantee if the chefs at the other locations are just as good).  There were also other restaurants which have very similar business models (copy cats?) but the taste is considerably different.  Here's an example of a place I mistakenly went thinking it's another branch but turned out to be completely different owners.  Here's what the fish looked like in pictures...  You can tell the difference from the pictures already.  I don't think I will go to this particular one again.  (The only thing that taste good was the banana... but Taiwanese bananas are good to begin with...)

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Grilled Pacific Saury
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Grilled Mackerel Set
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I just found out the shop offers their grilled mackerel in a vacuum pack now!  Score!  I know what I am going to bring back from Taipei on my next visit.

Fish 180 (MinSheng) (百八魚場) (民生店)
No. 44, Mínshēng West Rd, Zhongshan District Taipei City, Taiwan 104
台北市民生西路44號Tel: +886 (02) 2567-5702
Hours:  11:30 ~ 21:00

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