Dish on Dining – Mihan 101Posted on August 23rd, 2009 No comments
When Sunny first mentioned the Mihan (三燔) was an all-you-can eat Nigiri (hand formed Sushi) place, be honest with you I wasn’t interested at all. To me an enjoyable dining experience must be combination of good food, right companion, clean environment and low profile ambient, and the last thing I want is an all-you-can-eat buffet place. Who wants to walk around with a plate in hand and constantly stand up and sit down while eating?
But Sunny assured me that Mihan at Taipei 101 isn’t a buffet place and it has all the key elements that I like when it comes to fine dining, plus they serve Edomae Nigiri. Alright then, since Taipei 101 is basically within 5 minutes walk from my parent’s house, I would give it a shot when she told me Albert has made a reservation for the three of us.
Mihan made a great first impression on me; as I walking toward the restaurant I had noticed the tall ceiling and thick silky drapery. As soon as we were seated at the Sushi Bar, I liked the elevated stool and black fine dining set. Sushi chefs were working in front dinners and under the spot light; the deco gave this place a sense of low profile luxury feeling; needless to say I like the ambient.
In front of the dinning set was a piece of paper listing the 20 different Nigiris that we would be served today, plus the appetizers, soup and choices of dessert. I followed what Albert has suggested — taking note and marking stars.
After making bow and exchange pleasantry, the chef started making first set of Nigiri for us while I delved into the menu. The appetizers came and I loved what I was seeing — mixed green salad, black soy beans and jerked Katsuo fish.
First set of Nigiris were – Kajiki, Sake, Red Hamachi, Ebi, Tako, Katsuo, Kurodai and Maguro. These were more common Nigiri that we usually have at any Japanese restaurant, and the freshness and sweetness of the fish made them excellent. Sometimes the simpler the better, you find the extraordinary in ordinary, right?
The server came to serve soup, and again the simplicity and freshness of the ingredients made this simple Miso soup very tasty.
Next the Sushi chef made Grilled Tako and Anago for me. The Anago was new to me and at first I confused it with Unagi, and I really liked it. I asked the chef and he told me Anago indeed is a type of eel – saltwater eel. This was my most favorite dish.
The third set were something very different and unique – Grilled Country Style Toro – Tuna with rosemary, sort of French flair I was told. It’s interesting but not to my fancy. However the Tamago was quite good; the soft and sweet egg tasted almost like sponge cake. The chef shared the secret in this delicious simple Tamago – he had added Yamaimo (mountain yam) in the egg.
The most beloved Nigiris came at the last and all were grilled – Gindara, Cobia, and Beef. Gindara is a very fatty Sable fish that melt in your mouth once you take it in; Sunny and Albert both loved it so much that they had repeated ordering this again and again. The Cobia, a very giant King fish, was once the theme Iron Chef America – Battle Cobia. The grilled beef was very tender and delicious as well, too bad that I am not a beef person.
This was Albert’s plate –
For the dessert I had chosen the Mount Mineoka Tofu with Azuki red beans. The soft tofu came in a wooden bowl with a wooden spoon, and it tasted so tender that I thought it’s more like panna cotta, and the brown sugar syrup had sweeten it just right to the perfection. I think the Mt Mineoka Tofu has wrapped this lunch perfectly; I just love it!
Like I stated at the beginning, Mihan is an all-you-can-eat Sushi place; basically the chef will serve you twenty different Nigiris and you can reorder your favorite kinds repeatedly. So we added up the Guan, unit of measure for Nigiri, we had; winner was Albert – 43, second was Sunny – 26 and I had 23 guans. The price is a bit high for lunch in Taipei, NT$640, however I think it’s pretty fair considering the quality and the location (4th floor of Taipei 101). I strongly recommend this place if you ever visited Taipei.
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