上朋 – my favourite Japanese restaurant in Taoyuan, Taiwan

October 31, 2014

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Shang Peng is the name of my favourite Japanese restaurant in Taoyuan, Taiwan

When I teach at the International Center for Land Policy Studies and Training (ICLPST) in Taoyuan, I try to have at least one meal in this restaurant.

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Japanese “nibblies”

Usually, I go with my friend Jim Riddell. Last time we had another fabulous meal. This time we did not drink beer but ordered a bottle of sake.
The charming waitress brought us a bottle of Black&Gold by the Gekkeikan Sake Company, a producer from Kyoto who is producing sake since 1637 in Fushimi.

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It came in a nice decorative bottle which Jim took home after the meal. We drank it cold not warm.
But boy I tell you this Sake was as smooth as silk, pure and balanced, in short an elegant wine.

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What a good choice this was. from here it was downhill all the way.

Below you will find photos of the various dishes we enjoyed with the Sake.

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Assorted raw fish

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To cleanse the palate

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Jim’s raw fish dish

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Jim’s soup

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Eel with rice

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The twisted fish

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Ingredients for the soup

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Ingredients for the soup

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The soup in parchment. It is amazing that the paper does not burn.

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Fruit at the end

What a wonderful evening this was. After paying I forgot my credit card at the counter.
The restaurant rang Jim a little later and informed him about this.
And the next day I picked it up at lunch time.

If in Taoyuan you should seek out this place and enjoy a Japanese meal. it’s definitely worth it.

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上朋 Japanese Restaurant in Taoyuan, Taiwan

June 12, 2011

Tucked away in a side street 上朋 Japanese restaurant has a great façade

Since quite some time I wanted to post this little story of two old friends going on a stroll to celebrate life at a Japanese restaurant.

上朋 (Shang peng) Japanese restaurant, not far from the International Centre for Land Policy Studies and Training in Taoyuan where we were teaching, was our choice.

上朋 restaurant curtain

The diners

We ordered Sake. Jim preferred the cold one which came in a carafe with a whole in it in which ice cubes were placed to keep the Sake cold. Fancy stuff. I choose the warm Sake which was a delightful drink.

The cooled down Sake

Simple and easy: warm Sake

We booth choose one of set-menu type meals, also for the sake of convenience. As it turned out we should not be disappointed. The cold dishes set before was were very tasty. More appetizers should follow.

上朋 cold dishes

More cold appetizers were to follow

Japanese food is art

Also the fish is tastefully presented

The Sushi platter was divine

Then came the ingredients for the soup

The soup was boiled on a table stove. The liquid was not held in a clay pot but in parched paper. Then
we dropped the ingredients above into the broth and let it cook for a while.

Isn’t the soup beautiful?

A sauce was presented to dip the fish and vegetables in

A selection of fruit ended our meal

This was a wonderful meal in a very peaceful atmosphere. The service at 上朋 is excellent. The food is reasobaly priced, and as customer you have the feeling that you are king. I highly recommend the place.


Feasting on Japanese delicacies at Ba Tiao Shou Si – 八條壽司

May 31, 2011

八條壽司 Ba Tiao Shou Si

Let me take you to a very special place, 八條壽司 a Japanese restaurant near Taoyuan. Before we enter the place and indulge in the photos I took of the various dishes served to us, let me explain a bit the background.

Every year when I teach my course on good governance in land administration at the International Center of Land Policy Studies and Training in Taoyuan (ICLPST), Taiwan, a good old friend of mine, Prof. Lin Kuoching, professor of economics and agricultural policy, invites me and Prof. James Riddell, an even older friend of mine from my days at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, out for an evening in the hot springs.

It is the annual reunion of three men united by their passion for agriculture, the land and the people cultivating the land. They also share a passion for politics, geo-politics and political developments in Asia. After our long conversations in hot and warm and cold water basins, we move on and have dinner together.

Ms. Lin, Prof. Lin’s wife, is usually the one selecting the meal and the dishes. However, this time we were too late for the Chinese restaurant at the spa, so we went back to town. A Japanese restaurant called 八條壽司 was our aim.

The entrance of 八條壽司

The place is down to earth, nothing fancy. When we arrived it rained cats and dogs, and the restaurant was packed with people. The photos were taken when we left late in the evening.

The common dining room 八條壽司

The shogun’s armour in a glass vitrine was the heirloom of the place. To the right from the common dining area are individual rooms in the Japanese style.

The Shogun’s armour

Now just follow me from picture to picture of the delicacies we were offered. I do not know the names of the dishes, often I even cannot say what the dish was composed of, but trust me, this was amazing, awesome, super delicious, in short: heaven on a stick, as we say in Australia.

Beautiful raw fish

A salad with fruit to clean the palate

Fish eggs

More raw fish

Brown rice selection

Beautiful creations

Soup

Some more raw fish

And a flat fish

Chicken

I am not much of a chicken lover, but this chicken skewer was just delicious, unbelievabel. It converted me: good chicken dishes do exist.

Sake

We drank tea and warm sake with our meal. I love sake but are utterly ignorant about the various types and qualities. This is something to explore in the near future.

The three men and the Shogun’s armour: Prof. Lin, Prof. Riddell, and me.

Needless to say that this was a fantastic evening. Thank you fellow diners for the company, the hospitality of the Lin family should be praised and rewarded in the other world, last but not least I wish to thank the cook of the 八條壽司 restaurant: you did a great job. Arigato