Fri, Oct 17, 2008 - Page 15 News List

RESTAURANTS : Hutong No. 2 Yakiniku Dining Bar (古月同燒肉夜食)

By Noah Buchan  /  STAFF REPORTER


Surprisingly, on a recent Monday night at 8pm, Hutong’s Dunhua location (17, Ln 161, Dunhua S Rd Sec 1, Taipei City, 台北市敦化南路一段161巷17號) was booked until 9pm. However, the server who greeted our party immediately called the yakiniku, or “grilled meat,” restaurant’s second and newly opened branch on Civil Boulevard (市民大道), and five minutes later we were comfortably settled in.

A bar seating about 15 runs down the length of the restaurant in front of which is the kitchen. There is one table for larger parties towards the back. The color scheme is autumnal and the decor features wood finishing. To the side of the entrance, which consists of three large antique Chinese doors, there are 21 cubicles built into the wall in which diners can store their belongings to prevent them from acquiring the smell of barbequed meat.

Our server Robert Lin (林京濠) told us there are two ways to dine at Hutong. With the first option, patrons order from the menu and grill the items themselves. We opted for the second method, which leaves the cooking in the server’s hands.

We began with rice tea soup with salmon (NT$50) and Japanese salad (NT$100). The light flavor of the soup blended well with the salty seaweed and small chunks of fish. The salad, which consisted of mounds of crispy iceberg lettuce topped with kelp and smothered in sesame and miso vinaigrette.

For dinner, we ordered mostly red meat, which arrived raw on separate plates. The meats were marinated in Hutong’s secret sauce (which had hints of sake, soy sauce and miso) and topped with sesame seeds. Lin then set to work grilling and serving, occasionally changing the grill because, “it is healthier and doesn’t allow the ingredients’ individual flavors to interact.”

Hutong No. 2 Yakiniku Dining Bar (古月同燒肉夜食)

ADDRESS: 139, Civil Blvd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市市民大道四段139號)

TELEPHONE: (02) 2570-0373

OPEN: Daily from 6pm to 2am

AVERAGE MEAL: NT$1,000 plus 10 percent service charge

DETAILS: Chinese and English menu; credit cards accepted


The streak, or marbled, beef (NT$240) and prime streaky beef (NT$340) were thin strips of US beef that had been marinated in Hutong’s sauce and grilled according to our specification, which was medium rare.

Special mention needs to be given to the salted Kobe pork (NT$180) for its tenderness. Lin persuaded my dining companion, who dislikes the taste of pork and usually refuses to eat it, to try a nibble. One bite of the succulent dish was enough to convince him to eat half the order.

We also ordered the French lamb chop steak (NT$100), salted squid with green onions (NT$140), butter king oyster mushrooms (NT$80) and green peppers (NT$60), which, like all the ingredients we ate at Hutong, were cooked so as to bring out the food’s natural juices.

Hutong serves Orion draft beer from Okinawa (NT$140) and eight different kinds of sakes and Scotch whiskies.

The two stools closest to the restaurant’s entrance should be avoided at all costs because they are located near the dishwashers, which when opened emit a detergent mist that can mingle with the great barbeque smell.


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