gAstronomical Adventures – Japanese in Jiaoxi

Yesterday we took an afternoon excursion in the hills of Jiaoxi near Wufengci Waterfall, which included a steep climb straight up a mountain, some bouldering, a bit of repelling, swimming, and at least one near death experience. Needless to say, I was ravenous by the time we arrived back at our scooter.

We had planned on going to a Japanese restaurant, Le Shan, which we had tried a couple of times before. We headed into town excited for sushi, but not so much for the restaurant itself, as the staff is horribly rude and there is no English menu. We figured we’d just use our rudimentary Chinese skill combined with menu roulette, and see what we ended up with.

Well, thank goodness they hadn’t yet opened for dinner because we tried out the place next door instead, and it was fantastic all around. Xiao Liu Restaurant is a must visit if you are in Jiaoxi. The menu offers sushi, sashimi, and nigiri, along with other 小吃 (xiao chi – literally, small eats).

Although they don’t have an English menu, they have lots of photos on the menu, as well as a sushi bar up front where you could easily point at the different types of fish you wanted. However, the owner’s English is impeccable, and he helped us find exactly what we wanted to eat. He also gave us some seared squid to try, which we both agreed was some of the most well prepared squid we had ever eaten.


Happy eating seared squid!

The prices are a little steep compared to the general Taiwanese fare, but for the food and the service, they are totally reasonable. We had an assorted sashimi plate, seared salmon, and some rice-stuffed bean curd skin, totaling about NT660 or US$22. Pretty dang good if you ask me. I’m sure at home we’d have paid at least $40 for the same meal.


Our spread (after the better part of it went straight to our bellies)

For me, Xiao Liu is a complete 180 from the place next door (which I think is a super famous restaurant in Jiaoxi – it’s always packed).  The sushi at Xiao Liu is just as good, if not better, and the service isn’t even comparable. Our experience here was a perfect example of the Taiwanese friendliness and hospitality that so many travelers and expats in Taiwan speak of.


 Outside they even have a little hot spring bath for your feet. How luxurious!

How to find it:

Coming in from Yilan City, continue on Jiaoxi Rd into the main downtown area, and turn right on lane 108. The lane only has two restaurants so just look for the Xiao Liu Restaurant sign. From the train station, just head up towards Jiaoxi Rd and turn left; take another left on lane 108. Happy sushi!




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