[Travel & Food – Taiwan] Crazy California Rolls at NCIS

2014-07-23-11-04-55_decoName: NCISushi 德相美式加州壽司
Visited Location: No.4, Aly. 27, Ln. 216, Sec. 4, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 106, Taiwan (R.O.C.) 台北市大安區忠孝東路四段216巷27弄4號
Website: http://www.ncisushi.com/
Price range: NT$ 800pp
Food: Sushi, Asian fusion, Japanese
Favourite dishes: Black and White, Sleep Wu, Sofa-king BOMB, Salmonlicious, Pony a Go Go

If you are looking for a traditional sushi eatery, you might come to the wrong place, but that’s what NCIS is all about: A sushi restaurant with unusual, but surprisingly delicious combinations.

The menu is quite extensive (and quirky), designed to cater to any palate, which consist of some basic rolls, sashimi and nigiri on the front pages, and then at the back it showcasing all the specialty rolls with playful names and ingredients. I don’t know how their nigiri or sashimi is, but since they specifically market westernized style rolls, I would stick to rolls.

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The sushi rolls we’ve ordered were delicious. There are quite a few that I would recommend:

1) Black and White, which is seared white sashimi with jalapeno and black caviar on top, the combination of the chili and the fish is quite sensational

Sofa-king BOMB

Sofa-king BOMB

2) Sofa-king BOMB. Even though the Sofa-king BOMB looks and taste nothing like what a sushi suppose to be, the deep-fried roll containing chicken strips, cream cheese and smoked salmon, then topped with pico de gallo… This concoction just taste incredible where the topping eases the heaviness of the fillings and the batter coating;

3) the simple yet refreshing Salmonlicious; It is basically a Philadelphia Roll (smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber on the inside)  topped with fresh salmon and lemon. The cream cheese wasn’t overpowering and is just enough to get the taste.  The sliver of lemon also gives a refreshing taste to the roll;

4) Sleepy Wu. Have no idea where it get the name from but it is good. The fish is seared with cream cheese, tempura prawns and spicy tuna inside the roll. On top there is seared tuna, swordfish, avo, caviar and some awesome purple sauce. I really don’t know what the sauce is made out of but very delicious. (I order this every time I go there)

Sleepy Wu

Sleepy Wu

5) Pony a Go Go, a non-raw sushi roll filled with crunchy deep-fried soft shell crab, refreshing cucumber, crab mix and avo. The rolls with the claws are the best ones. Just crunchy crunchy all the through. 😀

Pony a Go Go

Pony a Go Go

There are others rolls we had tried as well.

James Bond which is  deep-fried roll with salmon, avo and cream cheese. But after tasting the Sofa-king BOMB with its awesome salsa. James Bond seems a little bit greasy and unappetizing. Oh but the sauce is great though, with yellow mustard and orange sauce (taste like a combination of mayonnaise and Chinese sweet chilli sauce).

Audi is a cooked roll, filled with fried tempura prawns. With crab mince on the outside and topped with creamy garlic mushroom sauce and alfalfa sprouts. Surprisingly the mushroom sauce actually tastes great with the sushi but the tempura batter is so thick you can hardly taste the prawns. Those who like heavy stuff can go for this.

The waiter mentioned that the BMW (crab, shrimp, avo and salmon) is quite popular but they were not as good as those mentioned above.

From the left: James Bond, Taipei Mafia, Audi

From the left: James Bond, Taipei Mafia, Audi

Evava

Evava

However the last time I’ve visited the NCIS, the size of the rolls seems to reduce visibly. And the taste were not as great as the first visit.

NCIS sports a rather lively environment which is great for group of friends. However the space is quite small so it is advisable to check if they have an open table early. Besides the creative sushi, one other thing that attract me is the Wheel of Fortune on the wall. If you daring enough you can roll it for the chance to win items like a free roll, a kiss from the chef, some soy sauce, or double your bill account.

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Service in Taiwan’s hospitality industry is reasonably good compare to other countries. So after being to some decent restaurants around Taipei, NCIS’s service is probably as not as great. But is it still doable.

The nom-nom-ness of the NCIS sushi is the reason why I keep on coming back for, but after few more dining experiences, both with the quality of the food and service…hmmm takeout anyone?

My Cali-roll Meter rating of NCIS (best of out five):
For ambiance:                               calicalicali
For Service & price:                    calicalicali
For food:                                             calicalicalicali

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