Last Saturday my little blog hit over 100 visitors and to make a small celebration, I've decided to go eat sushi with my wife at Sushi Express in Taipei City. Taiwan is an island, and if you are seafood lover, indeed you will find your stomach over satisfied.
Sushi is expensive. Everywhere. Sashimi is even more expensive. This kind of food requires good handling, very fast transport and refrigeration and it turns bad after an evening. So yes, Sushi is expensive. Yet, I find the prices in Taiwan to be not only reasonable, but affordable to the point that you could manage to eat Sushi almost every day.
The most popular and recognized venue in Taiwan is Sushi Express, which offers a mixed selection of sushi, sashimi, local delicacies, salads as well as drinks and deserts. You will find other sushi spots around the island ( usually much more pricey,) but for quick lunch (or dinner) you will probably find Sushi Express close to the place that you live (if you are, of course, in a large city. Sorry folks, they tend to not open it outside main metropolis.)
My every visit start with miso soup, which contains large chunks of fish or other seafood, depending on the season. Soup is very tasty and a must. Although Japanese friend of mine told me that you should consume miso soup after eating sushi, I always follow my European instinct, or rather, my always hungry stomach.
At the same time, you will be presented with menu. The sushi is put on the moving plates, so you can simply grab anything that comes around you, but there are choices in menu that you will not find on the rolling plates. They need to be kept extra fresh. No worries here - everything (except perhaps beer) is priced the same - 30NT per dish. I usually order sashimi from the menu as well as rolls (usually choices are: asparagus, shrimps or ells.)
Each dish comes usually with 2 pieces of sushi, or 4 slices of sashimi. It might not seem as a lot, but I and my wife tends to get pretty full after about 15 plates, and inside our order usually include 1 or 2 rolls, 2 soups, 1 desert, and about 9 to 11 plates of sushi. I do not order drinks, because hot tea is free and it is quite tasty.
They also have packages for to go. Regular box is NT100 for 8 pieces of sushi. You can also buy their rice, beer, plum wine and corn.
Overall, the first visit to Sushi Express will be a memorable one, as well as second and third. After some time, you will start hoping for larger selection of sushi - there is a large selection on the menu, but only part of them is sushi. In my opinion, there are too many choices for deserts, salads, and sides, while original sushi usually tends to be pretty similar (salmon roll, salmon with onion, you get my point.)
It is very affordable and you can get full for less than 150NT if you are on budget (a soup and +4 plates, plus free tea.)
Price: 30NT per dish
My verdict: 7+/10
Pros: Menu selection is quite large, many locations, fresh, can buy for take out
Cons: Not enough selection of sushi, usually always very crowded, waitresses seems to always mess up your order, eating space becoming really small once the plates start pilling up.