Kito Kito (魚丰魚丰) recently opened next to Yongkang Park (永康公園) with a menu that focuses on one thing: chirashi, or sushi rice topped with seafood. The sparse but comfortable restaurant offers a mid-priced alternative for sushi lovers who forgot to make a reservation at You Sushi (游壽司) on Lishui Street (麗水街) and want to avoid Sushi Express (爭鮮), a branch of which happens to be located directly beneath Kito Kito.
Kito Kito’s prices are higher than Sushi Express, but worth it for the quality ingredients — and service is almost as quick. Customers order at a counter and then wait at their table for the food to arrive; on several visits during different times of the day, I received my orders within five minutes.
The two most expensive dishes are the uni and snow crab chirashi (海膽松葉蟹蓋飯), the Kito seafood chirashi (魚丰海鮮蓋飯) and the “flagship” chirashi (旗艦蓋飯), which is loaded with snow crab still in the shell and cooked prawns, for NT$398 each. The crabmeat in the uni and snow crab chirashi is imitation, but the quality of the sweet sea urchin coral makes up for it. Each piece is firm and has a melon-like flavor that slowly dissolves on your tongue. The dish was served with ikura and tobiko roe, slivers of green onion and a raw egg yolk. The fish eggs and onion were distracting because I wanted to enjoy the uni sashimi on its own. After I’d finished the urchin, however, I mixed up the remaining ingredients; the two different types of roe held together by the yolk created an interesting mix of textures and flavors.
The big Kito chirashi is topped with three different types of sashimi (tuna, yellowtail and salmon), two raw prawns, uni, tobiko and ikura roe, two scallops and a raw egg yolk. Each of the ingredients on its own was very good, but the combination was somewhat overwhelming. The “flagship” chirashi is a better bet for diners who shy away from raw ingredients. In fact, the snow crab was so overcooked it was hard to get out of the shell, even with a small pick. On the other hand, the meat was tasty and succulent, despite the slightly rubbery texture. The prawns, however, were tender but surprisingly filling.
For diners who prefer having the health benefits of seafood canceled out with batter and oil, try the fried combination set meal (炸物綜合套餐, NT$268). Our batch of prawns, shrimp and fish filet came to us directly from the deep fryer, with just the right amount of crunchy batter. You can choose from sweet and sour sauce or honey mustard dipping sauce (you have to pay NT$5 extra to get both). My dining companion thought the two sauces were lackluster, but I liked the tiny mustard seeds in the sweet and sour sauce, which added a burst of unexpected texture and spiciness every time I bit into one.
Address: 2F, 15 Yongkang St, Taipei City (台北市永康街15號2樓)
Telephone: (02) 3322-5825
Open: 11am to 9:30pm
Average meal: NT$198 to NT$398
Details: Chinese picture menu; credit cards not accepted
Scott Saulters wasn’t sure if his film had just taken one of the two top prizes at a recent film competition. Although Saulters has been in Taiwan for 15 years and is proficient in Mandarin, the award ceremony for the inaugural “Bi Tian Iann” (眯電影) short film contest was conducted entirely in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), a language he can’t speak. “I thought I heard it, but I didn’t want to look too excited,” he says. Despite his limited command of the tongue, Saulter’s entry, Wu Yu Tzu (烏魚子, mullet roe), took first place in the amateur category of the
Since its launch in 2014, the Taiwan Season has increasingly become a “must-see” at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. So, when this year’s three-week Fringe became an early casualty of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Chen Pin-chuan (陳斌全) was determined that the Taiwan Season must continue in some form. Chen, director of the Cultural Division of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK, says that he and Taiwan Season curator and producer Yeh Jih-wen (葉紀紋) had been thinking of ways of growing and adding value to the season anyway. The crisis and the cancellation of the live performances brought those ideas forward as
In the regular drumbeat of arrests of alleged Chinese spies, one case last month stood out. It did not involve the US or another rival of China, but Russia, whose security services accused a prominent arctic scientist of selling classified data on technologies for detecting submarines. Meanwhile a court in Kazakhstan in October convicted the Central Asia nation’s preeminent China specialist of espionage, a move widely interpreted at the time as a warning against increased meddling by the superpower next door. Both men maintain their innocence and if China is spying on Russia, Moscow is surely doing the same. Even so, the fact
A walk down Orchard Road shows just how badly the coronavirus pandemic has hit Singapore’s famed shopping strip. Gone are popular restaurants like Modesto’s, which shut last month after 23 years. Also missing are the queues of Chinese tourists outside Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Malls along the 2.4km stretch, once one of Asia’s top shopping meccas, are dotted with empty stores. On a recent midweek afternoon, the number of shop staff idly dusting shelves or playing with their mobile phones rather than greeting customers is notable. “It’s the worst crisis for Singapore and Orchard Road,” said Kiran Assodani, who has run her