Like the Walrus and the Carpenter in “Through the Looking Glass,” Ron and I both enjoy raw shellfish. We had oysters for our first anniversary dinner and I saved a shell as a memento. I continued to collect a shell from each of our anniversary meals for a couple years until I realized it wasn’t a good idea to accumulate detritus from every special occasion we celebrate together (though I did clean and bleach the shells after I brought them home). We marked the seventh anniversary of our first date recently with a trip to Oyster Bar in Xinyi District’s Bellavita mall and I only snapped photos of what we ate, even though I was tempted to discreetly hide a whelk shell in my purse.
Like most other restaurants in Bellavita’s food court (including a bakery that sells a cake covered with gold dust), the Oyster Bar is pricey, but they have a large selection of European oysters that cover a wide spectrum of flavors, from delicate to robust and briney. We ordered crab cakes from their selection of seafood tapas. They were big and tasty, but at over NT$300 for two cakes, I think we would have been better off ordering a couple extra oysters.
While at the Oyster Bar, Ron and I realized we could not remember what we had done for our wedding anniversary in May. I looked through my photos and saw that our day started off with a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet and steak lunch at the Palais de Chine hotel near Taipei Main Station, followed by a friend’s wedding buffet at the Far Eastern Plaza Hotel. No wonder we couldn’t remember what we did. We ate ourselves silly. I told Ron that we should do the exact same thing for all of our anniversaries, so we won’t forget. I’m OK with that, as long as it involves raw seafood.