It’s rare when J volunteers to choose a restaurant. But considering that his traditional Chinese abilities are far more advanced than mine, he’s been taking the reins on a lot of food choices these past two weeks. We’ve been having a real hankering for Japanese food recently. And given the heavy, heavy Japanese influence in Taiwan – finding Japanese food hasn’t been a problem.
He choose Fei Qian Wu, 肥前屋, a joint famous for their unagi-don (eel bento). Word on the street is that they have the most “authentic” roasted eel bento in all of Taipei. Order in Japanese or in Mandarin—the restaurant was founded 35 years ago by a Japanese-Taiwanese family.
As we were walking to the restaurant, we noticed a significant number of Japanese restaurants in the area. According to Taipei Times, the area used to be the home of a Japanese colonial administration. Located in a narrow alleyway, this place was absolutely packed. J & I were forced to share a table with another couple and a lone diner. The seating is cafeteria-style and service is rather rushed.
But the food was great, and sometimes, that’s all that really matters. Fei Qian Wu is famous for their eel. A single portion of eel on rice with miso soup costs NT 140 ($4.67), while a larger portion comes in at NT 240 ($8.01). Truth be told, I’m not a fan of eel myself. The only other time I’ve had it was at Sushi-Dai (one of the most famous sushi restaurants) near the Tsukuji Fish Market in Japan. But according to J, this was hands-down the best version of roasted eel he’s tasted (and he’s had eel three days in a row already).
I myself opted for the beef bowl because I absolutely craved beef. It was a decision caused by having to sadly settle for pork at the nearby Yoshinoya near my apartment earlier in the day. Yoshinoya in Taiwan doesn’t have beef. The horrors.
The verdict? 100x better than Yoshinoya. Juicy slices of beef with onions and a daikon radish on the side. I found myself picking at the leftover grains of rice and wishing I had more.
For the sides, we opted for the grilled squid – oh-so-juicy and seasoned in S&P, and the tempura – lightly battered and oozing with flavor.
This restaurant was a definite win. Cheap, casual, and mouth-watering delicious.
No.13-2 Alley 121, Section 1, Zhongshan North Road, Taipei, Taiwan
11am to 2pm, 5:30pm to 8pm. Closed Monday