TRANSLATION | Eugenia Yang
Hidden amidst Jianguo North road, the refurbished Sunflower Kaiseki Restaurant invites us to celebrate the spectacular flavors of this early summer. Whether if it’s the wagyu beef roll served with a bowl of red miso soup in the Rosanjin set, or the rosy seabass broiled in sake with seasonal toro sashimi on the side—let us embark on a tasty journey in this upcoming summer season and enjoy only the purest of flavors.
Where it all Began
As we step into the restaurant, we are warmly welcomed by the wooden structure, the steps at the entryway, a Japanese interior that is filled with sophistication and elegance. With each step, we take in the scenery and feel the ingenuity of the decor. A Japanese chef with over twenty years of experience with the omakase cuisine, Chef Shih Fuan met Chairman Shi of Sunflower Group when he was working as the executive chef at Shintori. Chairman Shi was a regular customer back at Shintori and once asked Chef Shih if he’d ever considered opening his own Japanese restaurant. Chef Shih didn’t give an immediate answer, only said he’d consider it. But after having some time to think, he spent three months scouting for a suitable location. He came across this current place and was satisfied with the high ceiling and spacious design. Yet, he didn’t have the finance to go through with the plan. He decided to give Chairman Shi a call and asked him to come take a look. Upon mutual agreement that this was the right place, the Sunflower Kaiseki Restaurant was born.
A Dialogue with the Utensils
Fresh and healthy ingredients are the signature at Sunflower Kaiseki Restaurant. Imported by air from Kyoto, Japan, the fresh raw ingredients needed no additional seasoning. Speaking of the dish, “steamed wagyu beef with vegetables,” it is Chef Shih’s secret special made exclusively for familiar customers only. Inspired by his time in Japan when he first had a taste of the dish, it reminded him of the importance of eating healthy and authentically. Before the opening of the restaurant, Chairman Shi wished for the kaiseki cuisine to be paired with other grilled, fried, and boiled dishes that would make the food here stand out from other regular Japanese restaurants. If we look at the menu design, each ingredient is paired with a specific plate or bowl to bring out the best flavors, almost like having a conversation with the utensils. Like in the Oribe set, we see dishes served in Oribe ware, a Japanese pottery style originated from the 17th century. As for the monthly menu, Chef Shih revealed that it is a motivation for him to be innovative, in order to make sure that every time his customers visit, they will leave with a brand new dining experience.
Indulging in the Japanese Flavors
As we move to the second floor to the two private dining rooms for special occasions, we instantly feel this sense of tranquility and leisure. In the wake of the pandemic, Chef Shih decides to make bento boxes that come in prices of 300, 500, and 780 NTD. The special sets include dishes like Japanese stewed beef, with sides of vegetables, pumpkins, and Japanese yams for customers to choose—a manifesto of the Japanese idiom “Ichi-go ichi-e” meaning “for this time only.” Playing with creativity, the seating area can accommodate up to 40 people for hosting large-scale events such as product launches and private gatherings, providing a unique experience of aesthetics. Throughout the years, Chef Shih had been searching for the perfect balance—between ingredients, between flavors, and between Japanese and Chinese tastes. Today, it is safe to say that he had found his balance and had integrated it into the seasonal dishes served at Sunflower Kaiseki Restaurant.
三花日料/ (02) 8978-5000 / 地址：10491台北市中山區建國北路二段9-2號1F