Apr 12, 2012

Oyster Ichi

Oyster Ichi is an oyster bar and izakaya hybrid located at the Civic Blvd and Yanji street intersection. They are an offshoot from the Ichi Izakaya located on the An He road, but incorporated an oyster bar with their delectable grilled item repertoire. The oysters are fresh and flown in from various parts of the world twice per week. You can have the choice of their minerally and substantial Belon oysters from France, or try their lighter Kumamoto oysters from Japan. They also make a pretty good sirloin steak. Their items are a lot more Japanese as they recommended adding a bit on Ponzu sauce on the Belon oysters, but still delicious. This place is a lot more affordable than the Oyster bar at Bellavita, so if you have a craving for oysters but want to save a couple hundred, stop by Oyster Ichi.
Address: 台北市延吉街58號
                No. 58, Yanji St, Daan District
Phone #: 02-2731-8887
Business Hours: 17:30-01:00
Website: Oyster Ichi Facebook Page
Accepts Credit Cards: yes
Price Range: $$$$
Attire: casual
Good for kids: yes
Take out: no
Waiter Service: yes
Outdoor seating: no
Alcohol: yes

Food Quality: 4.5 out of 5
Decor:  3.5 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Side Note: Rare affordable oyster bar in Taipei


The restaurant is pretty small. It is almost cramped. You walk in and you are taken by the ice box with cartons filled with fresh oysters. You see them open up their shell to breathe and snap back down when touched. There is a bar top that goes down seating about 8 people, and then you reach the end of the restaurant with a 8-seater table, a 4-seater, and a 2-seater. There really is not a lot of space so you might need to reserve on a busier night. Luckily during the week the restaurant is not as packed. The decor was not so impressive and the space was really cramped. Yet the lighting and the tableware were acceptable. What they lacked in decor it gained in service and food quality. Once I walked in they had a sever come and greet me and had me seated. They did not hesitate to recommend what oysters to have and what they had to offer. Things were done very speedily. I guess it is not as difficult to wait on customers when the restaurant is this small. This meal consisted of a few oysters and a couple entrees for sides.
 The oysters came first because you want your palette fresh to taste the raw flavors of these oysters. They suggest that you start from light to heavy, so my 4 oyster set for 888 NT consisted of a Claire, a Kumamoto, a Gillar Deau, and a Belon.
 The Claire was indeed the lightest of the bunch. Just a dab of lemon juice and it is ready to go. The meat was thin and not too chewy. The taste of all four were quite similar. They differed more in shape and texture in my opinion.
 The Kumamoto was less squishy and a lot more powdery and sandy than the rest. Not my favorite.
 The Deau was quite similar to the Claire but even a little thinner. There was not much to chew on.
This Belon is probably my favorite one, and would be my go-to oyster if I come back. They go for 360 a piece here at Oyster Ichi. At the Oyster Bar at Bella Vita, a Belon would go for 430 NT. So it is already significantly cheaper at the nominal price. However, at Oyster Ichi you can get a set of any 4 oysters for 888 NT. If you got 4 Belons, then they will turn out to be 222 NT a piece. Almost half off the prices at the Oyster Bar. It pretty much is the same Oyster too..very substantial, chewy, and deep-bodied.
 The other entrees are not bad as well. This seafood rice dish was had deep tomato flavors. The rice was quite al dente, so if you don't like slightly hard rice it might not be the thing for you.
Another amazing side entree is their sirloin steak. Cooked about medium rare, this 200 NT platter gives you about 8 ounces of lightly seasoned beef. The lime and the onions pair well with their sea salt rub, and each slice had the right chewiness to it. I was really pleased with this dish, and it finished well following the Oysters.

I am sure Oyster Ichi and the Ichi Izakaya proper, has plenty of other amazing dishes that I will need to try. Despite the slightly high prices, it seems like they do deliver in terms of food quality. And if you want to have fresh Oysters, this place is cheaper than the Oyster Bar at the Bella vita, so you can have double the amount of oysters here. They just lack in wine and alcohol selection, presentation, and service here. The wait staff at A3 and the Oyster Bar are of another level. Yet if you need the pleasantries and can deal with a cramped space and a limited wine menu...Oyster Ichi would be the place to be.

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