Standing next to Taipei 101 and Ximen district on my list of places to experience in Taipei is Addiction Aquatic Development. For any seafood lover like me, this is a restaurant that is a must visit for any of your Taipei trips.
It’s our 3rd night in Taipei and the whole group hasn’t really come together for a night out and so we finally decided that we’d have dinner at ADD.
With the drinks from the night before working a number on our heads and 2 of our friends having come from a long and tiring day trip: we decided to grab some Bubble Tea from a food court located beneath the Far Eastern department store which is right near the Ximen station.
Side story: When I was in Taipei, their ‘bubble tea’ was my coffee. And I think I figured out why it’s so popular: It’s doesn’t just makes your problems go away, it melts your worries away. You had a bad day? Get some bubble tea. Had a really bad night? Get some bubble tea. Got dumped? Lost your job? Get some bubble tea. ❤ It makes everything better, I promise you.
Okay, so what is bubble tea?
Taiwan has a very rich tea culture and some amazing locally made tea products. ‘Milk tea’ or ‘Bubble tea’ being one of the most popular. These ‘bubbles’ are actually tapioca pearls which you have the choice of adding to a wide variety of flavors. Its delicious, and while you enjoy it, the delightful flavors can transports you far away from the problems of this world and to the land of happy taste buds. Taiwan’s Bubble tea is a must try. ❤
Tea in hand and ready for the trip ahead we boarded our train at Ximen Station. From there, it took us about 10 minutes to get to our exit, Zhongshan Jr. High School Station/XingTian Temple Station and then from here, we hopped in a cab that dropped us off right outside our destination.
Addiction Aquatic Development is located near Songshan Airport on Minzu East Road; the building used to be the old Taipei Fish Market, and then was developed by Mitsui Food and Beverage Enterprise Group (They have Japanese restaurants all over Taipei) into a swank and elegant market that redefines how seafood markets should be. Because they provide their own food and cook it, Addiction Aquatic Development cuts out the middle man and is able to provide reasonably priced seafood from all over the world, right to your plate.
The compound has a considerable amount of space that houses tanks for live sea critters, a Japanese-style supermarket, both a Seafood and a standing sushi bar, a Hot Pot dining area, an Outdoor charcoal grilled seafood restaurant and a flower corner.
We enter Addiction Aquatic development(AAD), and the first thing we see is where they house the live aquamarine products. When you see tanks of seafood… what pops into your head? You can’t tell me it ain’t sushi. That was the only thing I could picture in my head…
And then from there we go straight to the supermarket area that has everything you need:
Meat: Beef, pork and chicken.
Fresh: seafood, fruits and vegetables.
Essential ingredients used in cooking: Butter, oil, cream, sugar, salt, sugar and pepper
Drinks: Tea, coffee, milk and different kinds of juice. And last but not the least, a really good selection of wine and cheese.
Right in the middle of the supermarket we saw with eyes wide open and hearts all over it – the standing sushi bar. What we CAME HERE FOR. But, the place can get pretty crowded especially on weekends, good thing we visited on a weekday but even then the sushi bar was still full and so they put us on the waiting list.
The seafood bar is located just behind the sushi bar and it also comes with limited seats. It also causes quite a bit of confusion for the first time visitors.
We were all so hungry and decided to go and grab some grilled seafood from the outdoor charcoal grilling area, first while we await our turn on the the sushi bar.
Once outside, a spacious outdoor dining area greets us with pretty yellow lights hanging above us. It all looked so pleasing and it wasn’t hot at all. And fortunately for us, there were only a few people dining outside since it was already late at night.
The whole set up was quite simple; you order whatever you want from the grill stalls, and your seafood and veggies will be grilled and served hot to your dining table. The big pots where you see hot stones inside are used for entertainment purposes; the boys used it as a game of pick up stones. Ha ha But in all actuality, it is charcoal-lit and it is where your seafood will be put to keep warm.
In addition to this, drinks such as tea, coffee and draft beer are also available.
We had the best meal sitting in the outdoor area. We ordered those huge crab legs, tiger prawns, corn and bell pepper. Everything tasted so good. A combination of an amazing meal, a warm and pretty outdoor ambiance and the best company; it was another one of those unforgettable dining experiences.
• Only cash is accepted which means no credit card services in ADD.
• All the areas, except The Hot Pot section, are on a first-come, first-served basis.
After our grilled seafood dinner, we want back inside excited by the thought that the best is still to come. We headed straight to the standing sushi bar. The inside restaurant plays upbeat music, which makes you feel like you’re in a classy restaurant and not at all in a supermarket or fish market.
A Nigiri Sushi Set with salad, grilled items and soup is priced between NT$580 to NT$980.
A 9 piece Nigiri Sushi Combo is also inexpensive at NT$460.
If you ever need help, there are staff walking around that is ready to provide assistance.
The order took a while to get to our table, and so while waiting, we went over to take a look at what they had in the flower corner and also to get Bianca some birthday flowers. (If you’re on a date, celebrating a special occasion, just want to make your loved one feel special or just want to make yourself feel loved; head over to the flower section and get them or yourself flowers or a plant to take home ❤ )
We’re all suckers for plants and flowers and what they had in there, were a selection of the two that looked like it came straight from the pages of a fairy tale.
Also, you can customize your own arrangement; just pick flowers you want to include in your bouquet and one of the staff members would come and assist you.
After some flower shopping, our long awaited order was there it was definitely a sight to see! A beautiful mixture of different colored sliced seafood sit atop Japanese rice. The sushi and sashimi were divine. It melted in our mouths and everything tasted of freshness from the sea. It’s what my dreams are made of.
Something to take note of: If you ever come to the place when it’s super crowded, don’t get discouraged, I promise you their sushi and grilled seafood and veggies are worth the wait but one other option is to get their takeout bento box of sashimi and sushi to go.
You can buy a takeout box (or boxes) of sushi, no one would judge you I promise, and then take it someplace else. ❤
• Each of the areas is operated independently, so you aren’t allowed to bring food from other areas into another section.
Also, if you’re not into sushi/raw fish so much, that’s okay too, you could always go for the hotpot option. They have a hotpot dining area located upstairs for the seafood and soup lovers.
Price: The seafood pot starts from NT$980.
Addiction Aquatic Development
No. 18, Alley 2, Ln 410, Minzu E Rd
Open daily: 6am – 12am
Nearest Station: Zhongshan Jr. High School Station/ XingTian Temple Station
On the way to ADD. Nigel contemplating on using this bike rather than getting a cab