Saturday, September 09, 2006

Big Wheel Sushi

My first encounter with my mom's oldest sister (big aunt) after 11 years of not seeing her was getting a cultural tour on Taiwanese teens, in Shi Men Ding. Our first stop (after passing by countless stores peddling pink, lacy, and anime accessories to teens with disposable income) was the Giant Wheel revolving sushi bar. I'm not sure why it's called Giant (da) Wheel (treh luen); maybe it has something to do with the train that was pulling the sushi? Left: Giant asparagus spears with a sour plum sauce. Very strange feeling, eating asparagus with plum. If you disregard the internal instinct to gag when you think of plum sauce, it's actually not bad.
Right: noodles made out of a vegetable called mountain medicine (shan yao). It's more like shreds of some sort of root that comes out slimey but very subtle in taste.
Both are served cold.
Cone, I think this is salmon.
The REAL train pulling the sushi. Many revolving sushi restaurants have a conveyor belt that passes little covered dishes in front of diners. This restaurant put the effort into building a huge set of train tracks that went all the way around the dining room, from the front of the store to the back, taking great care to pass through the window display so that people outside can see too. They had to weigh down the train in certain areas because the food it was pulling was too heavy and would make the pulling engine tilt.
Giant shrimp tempura. I love tempura because the batter is so light and crispy. The key to having excellent tempura batter is to mix the powder with ice water right before dipping food in it. This makes the batter light, and non-chewy.

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