Taipei City – Tsubaki

The area around 永康街 YongKang street is a very popular place to get good food around the DongMen area of Taipei. Tsubaki is slightly closer to 師大 ShiDa University, but within walking distance from DongMen MRT and also Taipower MRT. If you haven’t walked around this area before, I’d highly recommend it. 


It’s not a huge restaurant, but I much prefer it for that fact. The table you can see to the left of the door is actually a fire pit. However, that wasn’t on when we were there.



In the background, the building you can see is 師大, you really are that close. However, this place doesn’t really attract a huge amount of students as it isn’t the most inexpensive of places.



The menu on the door allows you to get a sneak preview of what the dishes look like. So even if you can’t read the Chinese, it’s still easy to decide what you want.




Inside, there are plenty of tables: enough to seat 20-22 people at any given time. 




There is a big chalk menu on the wall, however, there are also regular menus with the pictures, too. 











What we ordered:
1. 燻鴨起司洋蔥沙拉 xun1ya1qi3si1yan2cong1sha1la1 Roasted duck, cheese and onion salad

2. 紫蘇海膽飯糰 zi3su1hai3dan3fan4tuan2 Perilla leaf and uni rice roll

3. 和風蛋捲 he2feng1dan4juan3 Egg roll

4. 烤奶油干貝 kao3nai3you2gan1bei4 Roasted butter scallop

5. 帶骨香腸 dai4gu3xiang1chang2 Sausage

6. 炸三角軟骨 zha4san1jiao3ruan3gu3 Deep fried chicken cartilage

7. 蒜味薯條 suan4wei4shu3tiao2 Garlic fries

8. 山豬肉 shan1zhu1rou4 Mountain pork

 9. 柚子酒 you4zijiu3 Pomelo drink



1. 燻鴨起司洋蔥沙拉 xun1ya1qi3si1yan2cong1sha1la1 Roasted duck, cheese and onion salad


5 thick cuts of smokey duck breast, resting on top of a tomato and mixed lettuce leaf salad – what is not to love? The meat was cooked to perfection, it really was. It was succulent, it was smokey (but not overpowering), the fat melted away and it was just moreish. The mixed lettuce leaf salad was also quite good, compared to a lot of the iceberg lettuce that we are all so accustomed to. The addition of the cheese was good, however, the cheese was a soft processed cheese likened to Dairylea triangles in England. It did just give the salad a bit of tang and give it a different dimension. 



2. 紫蘇海膽飯糰 zi3su1hai3dan3fan4tuan2 Perilla leaf and uni rice roll


Perilla leaf? Yeh, I had to do some research to ascertain exactly what that was. Apparently, it is part of the mint family (which would explain the shape and texture of the leaf). It doesn’t taste of mint, however, I would say more like nettle. It has a slight taste of iron, deep green but crisp freshness. It helps to compliment the buttery texture of the uni and also the salted nori and rice. 



3. 和風蛋捲 he2feng1dan4juan3 Egg roll



As you may know: egg roll is a staple for any Japanese eating when I am concerned. We watched the chef cook the egg roll in front of us, and the precision and delicateness of the rather young scooter boy-looking chef was quite something. It arrived on the table – still warm! This hasn’t happened an awful lot, so it was nice. It was very good: soft but with a thick texture, sweet but not too sweet, creamy, well seasoned.



4. 烤奶油干貝 kao3nai3you2gan1bei4 Roasted butter scallop


It looks lonely, I know. Just one scallop sat in its own bowl of buttery juices. The scallop itself wasn’t massive, but the coral (scallop roe) was at least twice the size of said scallop! I prefer the scallop itself, purely from a texture standpoint. But, it’s hard to argue with the richer tasting coral. The sauce is quite rich, but if you shake the scallop of a little, the remaining residue clinging to the scallop as you put it in your mouth is just enough to compliment the meat without masking the flavour.



5. 帶骨香腸 dai4gu3xiang1chang2 Sausage


The sausage was dry, it didn’t taste of a lot and it was a complete waste of an order.



7. 蒜味薯條 suan4wei4shu3tiao2 Garlic fries


Something as simple as crushing some garlic, frying it shortly and then smothering it over some fries seems too simple. It is, but it’s also very tasty. It’s not Earth shatteringly new or amazingly innovative, but it’s delicious.



8. 山豬肉 shan1zhu1rou4 Mountain pork


Presented on what looks like a kidney dish, is a plate of belly pork, it’s from wild/mountain roaming pigs. It has a stronger flavour to that of normal pork, with a fairly similar fat content. This one was cooked in a dry rub which was delicious, topped with scallions and a huge amount of finely sliced (for the most part) garlic. I’ve still not grown accustom to the taste of raw garlic on this level, however, paired with the rich and salty pork it goes together remarkably well. 



9. 柚子酒 you4zijiu3 Pomelo drink


The word 酒jiu3 in Chinese means ‘alcohol’, and quite clearly the pomelo juice has been created in a liqour, then served over ice with a mint leaf and lemon wedge. The Pomelo is a citrus fruit native to the southern parts of Asia and East Asia. The texture and the taste of pomelo are both similar to that of grapefruit. The drink is more bitter and sour than it is sweet and it has a flowery after taste. It’s perfectly enjoyable, albeit with a fairly strong taste of alcohol. 



Overall, I was pretty impressed by Tsubaki. From the outside it looked great, the inside was really nice, the food was great and the staff were really friendly. One of the staff members tries to speak English (albeit it not the best, but makes a little bit of sense) and the food in the menu is well photographed, making it a lot easier to pick the dish. 



Best dish: 8. 山豬肉 shan1zhu1rou4 Mountain pork – moreish, plentiful, delicious, salty, barbecued = what’s not to like?

Dish I won’t order again: 5. 帶骨香腸 dai4gu3xiang1chang2 Sausage. I think the reason that it dried out was that it must have been cooked with the bone already haven been taken out – so the gap in the centre of the sausage meant that during the cooking process it has just dried out. Not a fan. 




臺北市大安區永康街46號

No. 46, YongKang Street, DaAn District, Taipei City.







Happy Eating!

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