Whenever I’m in Taipei I look forward to having hot pot. Even more so when it’s winter and temperatures drop. So we were off to a place that specializes in crab hot pot, 12 Basket. It’s notoriety stems from it’s use of fresh mud crabs in your soup along with it’s changing soup base which ends up as a congee by the end of your meal. You don’t have to go this route and do ala carte hot pot, but since this was our first time, we went for the popular course.
We opted for the $1480NTD seafood set for 2 people. In addition to the base offering, we upgraded our crab as well as added beef to our meal. That may have been overkill for us since we weren’t able to finish the congee at the end or take advantage of any of the ice cream dessert. No regrets though.
As for the atmosphere, it’s a bit homestyle and local. No posh fixed seating, just tables and chairs that could be moved around to accommodate varying party sizes. There’s a downstairs as well. Most items except for the hot pot ingredients are self served, even the beer! I figure this frees up the wait staff to work at your table to help you cook your items. This was helpful for the seafood which I tend to leave in the pot and overcook. However, I did like my beef a little more rare than how they prepared it. Can’t win them all. Overall, it’s a cozy atmosphere with service and food being what you’d expect from a local restaurant. Though their seafood was a step up from normal. This was a great start to my stay here in Taipei.
Lane 50 Yixian Road
Xinyi District, Taipei City
Verdict: Actually just an okay place for seafood hot pot that you won’t leave hungry.
Hot pot culture is huge in Taiwan so when you find one that stands out, you kinda want to tell the world. And that’s what I want to do with this very modest looking restaurant,宅涮涮鍋. Inside, however, the quaint little place was very nice. The decor was modern with single seating at the bar. More intimate parties of two had table seating divided by walls.
Pricing isn’t too bad, though on the higher end but it shows in the food you get. As fresh as you can get for the seafood and the beef quality was superb. You can go over the top with the wagyu, but the sirloin was just as premium. Yeah, I chose the seafood set but had to try some beef.
The waitress went over all the items in our set. She let us know how long to cook everything. This was particularly important for my seafood set. Each item had huge differences in cook time. For instance, scallop shouldn’t be cooked for more then 30 seconds, shrimp should take about a minute, and the snails would take longest. All great tips because I’d probably overcook everything and ruin the whole dinner. Yay for instructions!
No. 34, Yongkang St
Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
+886 2 2393 0051
Verdict: Yes, this is a great place for shabu shabu and try the seafood set!
My traveling partner in crime had read up about a shabu place in Kyoto. A place that’s been hypothesized as the birthplace of modern day shabu. So what to do, but to venture out and find this place called Junidanya. However, within historical area of Gion where each building has minimal signage, it was a bit hard to find. Plus with the crowds cluttering the street, along with the colorful geisha, we were easily distracted from our quest. On a side note, you really kinda wonder if they’re actually local geisha or just tourist who rented kimonos. Because you know, you can do that here. We’ll get into that some other time.
After a couple of roundabouts, we found it.
Inside, the hostess instantly greeted and seated us. There wasn’t too many people right before noon. We ordered and watched people start trickling in. I’d say the customers were half tourists and half locals. Two geishas came and sat next to us. I saw them order the same items as us. I guess we got something right and after we started eating, I knew we were right. Overall it was worth the find.
570-128 Gionmachi Minamigawa Higashiyama-ku
Kyoto 605-0074, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Verdict: Seek this place out if you’re looking for some good hot pot.