Golden Chopsticks

Recently, I blogged about high-end Japanese restaurant Mitsui.  But for contrast, I want to feature a less exclusive but equally memorable Japanese restaurant.  Golden Chopsticks (金筷子 – jin kuaizi) is a small, cozy restaurant huddled in the Japanese enclave in North Western Taipei (near Linsen North Road).  If you’re not looking carefully you may miss the entrance:  its Japanese inn-style exterior is nondescript, but inside welcomes a secret haven with comfortable booths and home-style good food.

The entrance to Golden Chopsticks

Affordable Japanese cuisine is the real draw card here.  Set meals are from NTD$300 to $500, with more up-market choices from NTD600.  Our meal was a feast of eight dishes at just under NTD600 per person, including salad, sashimi, udon noodle soup, grilled fish, stewed pork and potato, small prawn side-dish and desert.

The simple but stand-out sashi plate at Golden Chopsticks

The sashimi plate, which can be ordered separately for NTD280, is the stand-out dish.  The sashimi was simple yet striking: thick slices of salmon and tuna served dramatically on a dark ceramic plate that framed the shiny, bright colors of the fresh fish.  It was understated excellence and seriously good.  Another good appetizer was the simple salad, topped with asparagus and a delicate sesame dressing. 

Sesame-dressing topped salad

But the real meal was contained on a solid tray containing tempura, stewed pork and potato, fish and udon noodles, set out on mismatched but quirky pottery.  The tempura, featuring eggplant cut into a fleur-de-lis style flower, was visually striking, light and thankfully not too oily.  The stewed pork belly and potato was juicy and flavorsome, albeit a little fatty.  I also relished the grilled fish, which I suspect was mackerel, although it may be a little dry from most Western tastes.  Yet I felt a little let-down by the udon soup: crowned with a carrot star, it appeared full of promise yet was nondescript and lackluster.  The meal finished off with a simple coconut sago desert, textually smooth and not sickenly sweet. 

Tray containing several dishes including tempura, grilled fish and stewed pork belly with potato

Fleur-de-lis shaped eggplant tempura

Udon noodle soup, topped with a carrot star

I dined at Golden Chopsticks for lunch, and found it worked well as a business lunch venue.  The restaurant was intimate, private, yet relaxed and unpretentious, with service that was prompt and helpful.  Golden Chopsticks is situated at 23-3 Shuangcheng St (台北市雙城街23之3號).  For reservations speak with Ms Ling on (02) 2596 9186.

Coconut sago pudding

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About taiwanxifu

‘Taiwanxifu’ (pronounced ‘shee foo’) means ‘Taiwan daughter-in-law’ in Chinese and has been my nickname ever since I married my Taiwanese husband, Sam. I love sampling Taiwanese food, even local specialties such as stinky tofu, pigs blood cake and Taipei beef noodle soup with offal. But there are many other options on the menu. Promise!
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3 Responses to Golden Chopsticks

  1. KJ says:

    I so want to eat there, you make me hungry even though I have not long had breakfast :)

  2. unusual says:

    Nice color choice on the blog. It is really easy on my eyes and I have bad eyes too so that’s a really big compliment lol

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