I’ll start this post with a bit of personal news that’s relevant, I promise. I’ll be getting married this year! To celebrate, we’re hosting a very small ceremony in Tokyo as well as a bigger banquet in Taipei.
The event in Tokyo will be at Hotel Chinzanso’s Kinsui restaurant, where full-course, seasonal kaiseki meals are served in the traditional style. We thought it would be a uniquely Japanese experience and totally worth flying to Tokyo for.
But little did we know that Hotel Chinzanso was also opening a Kinsui branch in Taipei!
Last month, during a staycation at the Marriott, we visited Kinsui Taipei to see it for ourselves…
Kinsui Taipei has just 40 seats and its menu serves kaiseki sets at three price points: 4,000NT for 9 courses, 5,000NT for 11 courses and a 6,000NT set also for 11 courses.
The serving staff are all bilingual in Mandarin and Japanese, while the restaurant’s hosts — the manager, hostess and master chef — are all Japanese. There’s a lot of charming and spirited translation going back and forth.
Above is the appetizer platter to kick off the meal.
There’s a huge selection of sake at the restaurant. We easily finished two pots. This was the first, recommended by the staff. It was so good.
You can also enjoy red and white wine, Japanese beers, shochu and champagne.
The seasonal menu is prepared in the exact same way it would be in Japan, so it’s not “localized” for Taiwanese tastes. New menus are created every two months to incorporate seasonal themes and ingredients.
The sashimi course included black bream, two types of tuna (the top one is otoro), and mullet roe with white raddish.
Delicately simmered lobster, taro, ginseng and pumpkin.
Soup with perfectly tender abalone, bream, king crab and vegetables.
We then switched over to the second sake…
A blurry photo because I was so excited to see and smell this Australian rib eye hiding behind those vegetables. It melted, you guys.
The hot stone plate is actually a lava stone from Mt. Fuji.
You can watch the chef prepare the perfectly crispy tempura course, which included juicy shrimp, white fish, crab meat and water bamboo. Seasonings included mud rock salt, basil salt, ginger and lime.
Assorted nigiri and tamagoyaki to finish the savory courses: tuna, eel and beef.
Usually this course comes with five nigiri pieces, but I requested just three. Alternatively, you could ask for less rice in the nigiri if your pants start to feel a little snug.
Finally, dessert of fruits and ice cream. That chocolate text…awww.
After the meal, we watched a hypnotic Japanese tea ceremony in the center of the dining room. Once the tea was made, the staff taught us how to drink the tea to show respect and appreciation for the tea master.
What a seriously special place. If you love Japanese food and culture, you’ll really appreciate Kinsui Taipei. The best part? There’s no language barrier to worry about.
I have a feeling we’ll be back next year for our anniversary.
Call 02 8501-5329 to make a reservation.