At the end of February this year, I made a trip to Taipei, Taiwan to meet up with friends from Vancouver to attend a traditional Taiwanese wedding. During my week there, I was thoroughly spoiled and ate at several amazing restaurants and night markets. One of my absolute favourites was Sasa Sushi (meaning fine-dining restaurant with rustling bamboo leaves), a Japanese establishment headed up by Master Sushi Chef Yang Yong Long.
We decided on going with a large tasting menu, which turned into a definite feast, consisting of over 27 courses when I counted all of my pictures afterward. Here is a quick rundown, with details where I can remember them. I asked a lot of questions, and the staff were kind enough to bring over books with pictures of some of the fish that we were eating, but some items may have been lost in translation or my memory and notes along the way. Regardless, I thought it would be a shame to not post as much as I could.
The whole sitting took almost 3 hours, but in order to keep our palette fresh we drank only Japanese tea throughout (although they have an extensive collection of sake available) and ate the selection of Japanese pickles that were always refreshed on our plates.
I knew that this would be an amazing experience, once I saw the Master Sushi Chef at work. It was a real performance, and it was very interesting to watch everyone’s dedication to detail while crafting their art. If a couple grains of rice were slightly off (which only happened once), they would recreate the dish from scratch and not let us anywhere near the piece of sushi.
Mushroom Soup Starter
Crab Salad with Roe
Tako (Octopus) Sashimi
Horigai (Trumpet Shell Conch)
Yes, I tried cod sperm. My friend wouldn’t tell me what this was exactly before I ate it (but he doesn’t realize that I would’ve tried it anyways), and I wasn’t grossed out once I did have it. I do have to say that it was absolutely delicious, rich and creamy, and I would eat it again. I would even go so far to say that it was one of my favourites during the evening!
Steamed Egg with Prawns and Row
Ika (Squid) Sashimi
Hamachi and Ginger
Adding flying fish roe, with precision…
Bota (Sweet Prawn) from Hokkaido
I’d have to say that I usually affiliate eating uni, or sea urchin, with eating batteries, but then again, that’s when I haven’t eaten the good stuff (and I will never not eat the good stuff again). This uni nigiri from Hokkaido was amazing!
Uni Nigiri from Hokkaido
Deep-fried Abasaki from Hokkaido
Aka Uni (Sea Urchin), which tastes more like the ocean
Tamago (Egg) Sushi
Sunami (Belt) Fish
Toro (Tuna Belly) Nigiri
Belt Fish Nigiri
Engawa (the meat of the edge of the fin of Sole)
Kawahagi (leather jacket fish with it’s liver sauce)
Grilled Sea Bass
Green Tea Chocolate Mousse and Fruit Dessert
Needless to say, after having this massive meal I was incredibly full, but also incredibly satisfied. Reservations are required for this small 20+ seat restaurant (unfortunately I can’t find a phone number to list), which consists of one private booth area and a sushi bar. I would definitely recommend going with the tasting menu (but you can choose a smaller option if you can’t stomach that much food all at once, like most sane people), and sitting at the bar to watch the sushi chefs at work!
Sasa Sushi Japanese Restaurant
No.5, Ln. 42, Sec. 2, Zhongshan N. Rd., Zhongshan Dist.