Situated in the midst of a busy, traditional fish market, Addiction Aquatic Development (AAD) is Mitsui Group’s latest venture and one of the most exciting culinary destinations in Taipei. Founded in 1992, Mitsui Group now runs some of the highest rated Japanese restaurants in Taipei that are best known for their fusion of minimalist design and top quality cuisine. AAD aims to “restore vitality to the fish market” and stands as Taipei’s answer to Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market, which has long been one of the top tourist destinations in Tokyo. The cornerstone of AAD is the idea that the freshest and arguably best seafood should be consumed straight from the morning catch. This philosophy is spread out across all 10 areas of AAD where an emphasis on both the quality of the food source and the meticulous preparation and presentation of every dish ensures an unrivaled experience whether you are visiting AAD to eat, to purchase, or simply to admire all that’s on display.
AAD’s airy, modern design retains the festive openness of traditional markets and takes away the grunge and grime – leaving you with a refreshing perspective on the potential of the marketplace that doubles as a dining destination. Thoughtful design details include lights inspired by fishing nets and retro fishing lamps, plain earthenware plates and bowls that bring the focus onto the food. Besides selling fresh fish, AAD also has a wide variety of fresh produce that is delivered directly from the origin and reasonably priced. The spirit of Mitsui Group is very tangible and instantly recognizable here, but unlike other Mitsui properties, AAD is much more relaxed and can be visited at any time of the day, even if it’s just to pick up a quick bento on a lunch break.
Below is our how-to guide for navigating AAD with a handy, numbered map to help you:
At the entrance (area 1), you are greeted with an impressive display of water tanks holding live fish, crabs and shellfish, which generally caters to restaurants and wholesale buyers. This is their live aquamarine area and only recommended for gawking purposes – we don’t recommend hauling a 5kg fish home unless you really know how to prepare it!
From here, proceed up to the fresh produce supermarket and swing around to the seafood bar (area 3). Ask for a raw oyster and a wine or champagne pairing.
Insider’s tip: Ray Cheng, Visual Director for Mitsui Group, recommends the house wine. It goes well with everything on the raw bar menu and has been carefully selected and is reasonably priced.
Next, move onto area 4 – “the instantly consumed delicacy” bar, which mainly serves sushi and sashimi. This is the main attraction at AAD and is known as 立吞, which literally translates to standing and swallowing for a quick bite. If you are visiting on a weekend, it gets busy so we recommend taking a number from area 4 first, then head over to area 3 for oysters so you can wait leisurely.
Insider’s tip: Uni (海膽) is a must here, but make sure to go early, as their uni supply often runs out early in the afternoon! Live scallops prepared over a charcoal grill are also a good choice, along with their tuna and scallion hand roll. Order a warm glass of sake or miso soup to go along with these cold foods.
After a taste at the standing sushi bar, we recommend heading over to the outdoor grill (area 10) for lunch or the upstairs hot pot (area 13) for dinner.
Insider’s tip: Crab is the main event at the outdoor grill, especially the Norwegian golden crab (in this season), but it can get costly, so we recommend coming with a larger group of friends and splurging on an entire crab. Great summertime options also include abalone, clams and mussels. Make sure to order a glass of ice-cold beer to go along with your order!
Insider’s tip: At hot pot, opt for the seafood platter and some sake on the side. At the end of the meal, make sure to have the remaining soup transformed into a warm and filling porridge for the perfect ending to your dinner.
On your way out, check out the homemade desserts available in their market and the wide variety of produce available for purchase. We recommend taking a peek at their impressive selection of Japanese sake and picking up some hot foods or a bento box to take home (areas 5 & 8). And don’t miss out on their lifestyle store, which sells all kinds of homeware and cookbooks for you to take home.