Some of the best places to relax after work and have drinks and snacks is at a Japanese Izakaya where you can find almost anything that goes extremely well with beer or even just coke. Unlike Western pubs where all you get is pub grub like fried chicken wings, pizza and calamari, you can find fried, grilled, steam, baked and even rice at a Japanese Izakaya.
Wu Shuang Izakaya is particularly popular amongst the working crowd and Japanese community in Taipei as it is remodelled just like a typical Izakaya in streets of Japan complete with the green tiles roof and wooden sliding doors.
The indoor seats were extremely popular due to the heat outside and were full when we visited. You can see the strong Japanese flavours used in every inch and corner of the izakaya.
We took an outdoor counter seat with a view of the kitchen and we were able to monitor how the chefs work hard at preparing the dishes. Although you will also get to see the not too hygienic way of preparing the items sometimes, it does gives you a great experience looking at the food cooking.
There is also an order chit where you can put in your orders and the price range of the items on the menu is from TWD 90 to TWD 200.
First item to arrive is of course the drinks and although my cup looks like beer and this is the perfect place to get a mug of beer, I stuck with iced green tea and I loved that they served it in their chilled beer glass.
You can get some pretty interesting skewers here like chicken heart, chicken skin and liver so do give them a try as they can be quite nice with a smoky grilled flavour.
The tako wasabi here was totally delicious and I wiped it out in seconds. In fact, this is the best taka wasabi I have ever had as they had the perfect balance between spiciness from the wasabi and sour from the lime. There was an added layer of flavours from the raw onions which is not found in other tako wasabi.
This is fried chicken soft bones which is the white cartilage portion. There is a light batter coating the cartilage and when you bite into it, it is crunchy and soft at the same time. This would go very well with beer as it is lightly salted and crispy but it is not really my kind of food since I don’t really like cartilage.
This next dish was surprisingly so good that I would say it is my favourite dish for the meal. It is sliced Japanese yam baked with Mentaiko (prawn roe with mayonnaise) and olive oil. The dish looks pretty oily but the combination of the slimy yet crunchy Japanese yam with the salty and creamy mentaiko sauce was perfect. The heavily flavoured mentaiko sauce exudes strong umami taste so the almost tasteless Japanese yam balances the dish out by adding great texture.
This next dish totally intrigued me when it was placed in front of me. I questioned my friend who ordered this and when I was told it is baby corn, I was kind of disappointed as I hated baby corn and never really eat them.
As it was my first time seeing baby corn complete with the husks and silk filaments, I decided to give it a try. So you unwrap the corn, removing all the silk filaments before dipping it into the salt provided. When I had my first bite, boy was I taken aback. The texture was crunchy like a baby carrot and the taste was light and sweet unlike any of the canned or frozen baby corn that I hate so much. It tasted so refreshing that I had 2nd helpings.
After all the interesting unique dishes, we had a range of more common items which were equally good like this stir fry brussels sprouts.
The usual bacon rolls were also tasty and nicely grilled
The potato gratin was perfectly baked with loads of cheese
Even the rice balls were perfectly shaped and grilled to perfection with soy sauce coating.
Overall, I totally loved all the food we had at Wu Shuang and I can understand why this place is so popular amongst the working crowd. The only imperfection was not being able to get a seat inside and we had to brave the heat and dust at the outdoor seats.
Address: No. 28號, Section 4, Civic Blvd, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Operating hours: 6 pm to 1.30 am