spunktitud3

Musings on Travel, Fashion & Fun

Taiwan – A Japanese Feast at Yao Chuan Izakaya 堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 in Jiaoxi, Yilan

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堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)
Jiaoxi town 礁溪 located in Yilan county 宜兰 is one of Taiwan’s most favoured weekend hideouts. It is famous for its alkaline hot springs which is also known as a “beauty soup.” After a gratifying soak, indulging in a nice Japanese meal is the best way to complete the onsen experience. Our group of 10 came to one of the nicest-looking restaurants in town – Yao Chuan Izakaya.

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

The little town is surrounded by lush mountains and hot spring hotels, perfect for a weekend getaway

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

The restaurant is located below a block of flats on the street level, relatively near to Jiaoxi Hot Springs Park 礁溪溫泉公園 (you can get a free foot soak there).

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

Look what I spotted out of a window, what a cute owner :)

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

The Fortune Cat outside the restaurant is a good location marker, and obviously well-loved by the people around.

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

The restaurant has an alfresco area just outside

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

The restaurant was opened in 2012 and is especially popular during weekends. It was also the scene for one of the Taiwanese idol dramas ‘A Hint of You’ 美味的想念.

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

Yao Chuan serves freshly caught seafood from the same area where Japanese fishermen get their catch, so you are eating the same high quality of seafood at a much lower price.

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

I must say a lot of effort went into the decor, it’s just too pretty to be called an izakaya!

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

Super love the shadows thrown out by the lamps

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

Level 2 seating

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

We almost walked into this wall mural, isn’t it beautiful?

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

I was captivated by this light fixture which also doubled up as a plant container – and even a small aquarium for fighting fish!

The restaurant sure looks nice, so can the quality of the meal match up? Well let’s find out… :)

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

Wafu Seafood Salad 海鮮沙拉
First up as a big plate of seafood salad. What’s interesting is the use of fruits such as apple, dragonfruit and pineapple to pair with fresh seafood such as scallops, prawns and crab. I must say the seafood was really fresh, and we enjoyed the crunchy bite.

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

Yeah, it’s time to celebrate with freshly-brewed local beer
This giant beer dispenser was personally brought back from overseas by the restaurant owner, what an honour to be able to use it!

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

Sashimi Platter 刺身拼盤
I almost fell off my chair (seriously) when our forest of sashimi came. The ooh-ings and ahh-ings went on for two minutes, following by endless shutter clicks. I must say am quite impressed with the food presentation, especially in a small town like this.

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

Seafood Pot with White Miso, Pumpkin and Milk Soup Broth 南瓜牛奶白味噌石狩鍋
The soup broth was POWER. It was smooth, wholesome and tasted so sweet. I could finish the entire pot by myself. I don’t usually fancy prawns, but these tasted so sweet I ate a couple of them. Must-order.

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

Local Fruit Vinegar 宜蘭員山金棗醋
Mid-way through the meal, a fruit vinegar was served to help cleanse the palate and get rid of any ‘oily’ feeling. We are ready for more!

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

Cherry Duck Roll 櫻桃鴨肉捲
Cherry duck is a local specialty dish of Yilan, so no visit is complete without tasting this dish. The meat was tender and paired well with the cucumber and spring onion strips.

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

Grilled Lamb Chop 烤羊排
I normally don’t eat lamb cos’ I am afraid of the smell, but these tasted great. I didn’t even need the rose pepper salt to eat with.

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

Grilled Deepsea Prawn 龜山島鹽烤角蝦
This is another must-order dish. These yummy crustaceans were caught off local Turtle Island, 200 metres below sea level. Their shells were rock hard, the service staff offered to peel them for us. I feel so pampered…now if someone would feed them to me… ;)

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

Sushi Platter 創意綜合壽司
And the feasting continues…I went straight for the salmon belly sushi

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

Scallop Temaki 干貝手捲
It’s a simple scallop handroll, but nicely executed.

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

Steamed Local Fish 清蒸多寶魚
This was another favourite dish of the day – it was gone within 1 minute. The meat had a creamy texture, and I liked it cos’ it was steamed with my favourite Taiwanese ingredient 破朴子.

堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 Yao Chuan Izakaya, Yilan (Taiwan)

Matcha Cake 抹茶黑糖糕
The finale came in a theatrical presentation of matcha cake. We were all intrigued how the forks could stay on the self-designed log (magnetic force!).

We went home feeling uber well-fed and satisfied. It’s a meal that will definitely be remembered and gushed about for a long, long time (I am still reminiscing about my sashimi forest). The price is also reasonable – you can order ala carte from the menu, or opt for omakase (no menu; catch of the day) which is 680NT/pax for lunch, and 880NT or 1280NT/pax for dinner. Definitely reasonable for couples, family/social gatherings and presentable for business entertaining. And, best to call to reserve on weekends, as well as to reserve beforehand if you have any particular seafood in mind (they sold out on my fave uni that night). Itadakimasu! :)

Yao Chuan Izakaya 堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋
Address: 宜蘭縣礁溪鄉健康路38號
Tel: 03-988 3258
Opening Hours: Monday: 11:30AM – 2:00PM, 5:30PM – 10:00PM; Wed – Sun: 11:30AM – 2:00PM, 5:30PM – 10:00PM; Closed on Tuesdays
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gyo.u.kawa
Read more of my travels in Taiwan

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Author: spunktitud3

A little post by a fun-loving spunky gal in love with the quirky, the artsy and anything which inspires new creations. Read about her adventures on: spunktitud3.wordpress.com

6 thoughts on “Taiwan – A Japanese Feast at Yao Chuan Izakaya 堯川創藝日式料理居酒屋 in Jiaoxi, Yilan

  1. It looks fantastic! Wonderful photos, as always – I can almost taste it.

  2. I’m drooling.. it looks so yummy! I’ll be there in Dec and this restaurant is about 20 mins away from the hotel we will be staying.. I must visit there. Thanks for your recommendation :)

  3. Hi

    I also went to Jiaoxi this Mar. I went to the East Red teppankayi restaurant, just next to Yao Chuan. Thumb up! Next time you can try!

    http://sflow00.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/east-red/

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