Monday, June 28, 2010

The Yuzu Touch

It's been so hot in New York that all I want to eat is sushi. Having being spoiled by growing up in Vancouver, it's hard to justify the typical sushi prices in the city and so I'll take it any which way I can get. That's why Sunrise Market is great. It's truly Japanese and support the entire Japanese community here in Manhattan.

They have sushi, among other prepared meals available as take away. It's definitely the cheapest way to eat sushi in New York! I also bought this amazing tofu there. It's from Hokkaido and I've actually bought it in Japan! My friends there introduced me to it one time at Takeshimaya in Niko-Tama a few year back! It's so exciting to see it make it's way to NYC! It's so delicious and tastes pretty much like dessert, super fresh! I topped it off with the featured ingredient of this post... Yuzu-kosho! As you all probably already know, I love Yuzu taste. It's great with chicken especially but it can be used in soups, on tofu, and I get a little crazy and mix it with shoyu (soy sauce) instead of wasabi for dipping my sushi! It's not ideal for tuna but its great for the salmon! It adds a lovely citrus taste.

Unfortunately you can not buy the yuzu-kosho at Sunrise. This little jem of a jar comes from Japan, it was a gift from a friend of mine there. I use it sparingly but try to experiment with it on food as much as possible!

NIgiri Sushi and Tofu (from Hokkaido) can both be purchased at Sunrise.

Sunrise Mart
29 3rd Ave (between 10th St & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY

Friday, June 18, 2010

No More Wait for Ramen!

All my trips to Ippudo have finally paid off! I was WAY TOO excited to receive my "Black Card" this week at Ippudo. The manager, named Lighting, very officially presented me with the Black Card. I had been told that I was getting one but I hadn't been into the restaurant in a few weeks. The important thing is that the Black Card means NO MORE WAITING. The lineup at Ippudo on ANY given night is about 2 hours these days, it's crazy. You present the card when you come in and they slip you in as soon as possible. Now that's customer appreciation at it's best! I have been getting black card perks already there for some time but it's nice to be official. The card also allows you to get any toppings on your ramen for FREE and also there's a few other small special perks included too!

Ippudo Ny
65 4th Avenue (nr 10th st)
New York, NY
(212) 388-0088


En is a restaurant that I have been wanting to try for a while now. It always sounded great but it was WAY over on the west side, not usually where you find the authentic Japanese restos... so I never made much effort to try it. My girl Momo-chan wanted to take me there as a treat so of course I was SO excited to try it! It was awesome. We had some lovely starters Kyoto-style... including a wonderful daikon-grilled buya dish and hijiki salad.. all so yummy. The highlight however was the agedashi-dofu... they do this crazy... almost "wrong" (but so right) version of agedashi-dofu... basically fried tofu... one white tofu and one black sesame tofu, but oosing with soft creamy tofu on the inside. It's more of a dessert really. It's way TOO good. We also tried the black miso cod, also ridiculously yummy and some dessert. It was kind of an over-indulgent dinner but wonderful! I want to go back and try their tasting menu!

EN Japanese Brasserie
435 Hudson Street (at leroy)
New York NY

Thursday, June 17, 2010

An Austrian Afternoon

It was a delightful Sunday afternoon of visiting the MET with friends which ended nicely a lovely brunch Viennese-style at Café Sabarsky. This lovely café is inside the Austrian Museum called Neue Galerie and feels like an old tea room. I could have stayed all afternoon. The food was great. Portions and nice and manageable and you can enjoy a started salad and dessert even! I had the classic Wiener Schnitzel which was excellent and some of the frisée salad. The bratwurst was also delicious. It all went so nicely with my glass of perfectly chilled Austrian white wine. We ended on a sinful piece of chocolate cake called the Klimttorte and an Viennese-style espresso served in a classic silver tray. I really enjoyed and look forward to trying more on the menu next time.

Café Sabarsky
1048 5th Avenue (nr. 86th St)
New York, NY
(212) 288-0665

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Respect for Nature

One of the fundamental ideas behind Japanese cuisine and food culture is the idea of respecting nature. Kajitsu was a truly Zen experience and I can hardly wait to tell you about it. Itadakimasu! (which literarly translates to "thank you earth for this food")

Chef Hirata took me for an amazing dinner at Kajitsu! I have been dying to try it since I discovered it almost 6 months and it was more special than I could have imagined. It's one of my favourite experiences so far in New York. The food is all vegetarian, and is based on an old style of Japanese cooking from Kyoto called Shojin-ryori. All the dishes were so unique, so delicate and so careful considered.

There are two options for their prix fixe menu, one a 4-course for $50 and the other a 8-course for $70. Of course we got the 8-course! The menu changes monthly to reflect the seasonal vegetables and the dishes we were served were chilled and incorporated a lot of asparagus, shiso and yuku, basically those things being some of my favourite tastes! This candied plum was soaked in a special sugar water for 2 days! The taste of all the food was remarkably strong for a vegan menu. The ingredients were used to their fullest potential. They served a homemade chilled soba with okra and shiso which was incredible. I was pretty much blown away over all. The ambiance is very simple and minimal and there's nothing fancy about the place. In typical Japanese style everything is intentional and nothing is wasted.

The sake was wonderful and they served the new flush of tea from Japan called Shincha. They are only serving this tea this month because of the season that doesn't last long. The first flush is bright green and there's nothing quite like it. I was just in Japan a month ago and in particular I was in Shizuoka where they produce some of the country's best green tea and it's even special to get Shincha there!

414 9th street (btwn 1st Ave + Ave A)