Take out: not all items
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating: no
Food Quality: 4 out of 5
Decor: 4 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Recommendation: Xin Jiang themed Recline-Down BBQ Restaurant
Taipei has offers a wide range of options for those seeking barbecue meet. The predominant restaurants are the Japanese style yakiniku self-serve bbq with it's variants, then the Korean barbecue restaurants, and then you get the hybrid Taiwanese hot pot / griddle-based BBQ restaurants. Xin Jiang Barbecue is one of rarer restaurants that offer a wide variety of skewered food items for you to grill over their charcoal tabletop pit. You might have had a taste of Xin Jiang bbq skewers with their famous Cumin Lamb Skewers 羊肉串. They have this and many more skewers utilizing fresh ingredients. The main seasonings at this BBQ restaurant is cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. The lack of sauces is no problem as these simple ingredients are enough to accentuate the natural oils and flavors of the meats themselves. You might find yourself paying around 500 NT per person, but this is definitely worth it based on the quality of the ingredients. If you are fond of Cumin Lamb Skewers 羊肉串, then you must visit Xin Jiang Barbecue.
The interior is designed after with a Xin Jiang theme in mind. Immediately noticeble is that they give you cushions to recline on instead of tables with chairs to dine in. You are required to remove your shoes before entering the restaurant, but that can be viewed as a fun part of the experience with the right attitude. They don't use natural gas with the BBQ pits, but they use pure charcoal. There are many artifacts reminiscent of Xin Jiang, and the servers wear a top and hat designed with ethnic Uyghur style in mind. Most of the items are raw skewers that need to be grilled at the table. However, they do have various cooked items that are very good. I was quite disappointed in this visit because they were out of Oxtail Stew 牛尾燒, which is a braised oxtail stew with very tender oxtail segments paired with angel hair thin noodles in heavy ox broth. Definitely get the Oxtail Stew and I post it up as soon as I get the chance to eat here again.
Lastly, here is a shot of a squid that we ate as a snack. I like to eat grilled squid, and this one was just as good, even without heavy sauce painted all over its body. It was grilled into more like those dried squid you can get as snack items in smell and taste. However, the texture was more tender and chewy than sinewy and hard. There are more items that we did nto get, but I recommend the lamb skewers for sure. Explore the items this place has to offer. Xin Jiang Barbecue is unique, and they offer premium Tsing Tao beer at this location. For those that like to knock a couple beers back with their BBQ, the amberesque Tsing-Tao premium is a perfect pair with this style of BBQ: It is refreshingly crisp and semisweet. The more the merrier at this restaurant, so invite a couple of friends and give this place a shot.