Category Archives: Event & Festival

NOBU – NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2016

I am exited to hear Nobu participating NYC Restaurant Week this summer both for lunch (M-F) and dinner (Sunday). Probably Nobu is one of the most famous Japanese restaurants in the world. Nobu New York, the flagship restaurant of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, is collaboration between Nobu, actor Robert De Niro, producer Meir Teper and restaurateur Drew Nieporent. Nobu started his career at Japanese restaurants in Tokyo and his life around the world to create a new trend in Japanese cuisine at his first restaurant. The dishes make Nobu an innovator of new style Japanese food. The design of the restaurant evokes the beauty of the Japanese countryside with its natural textures, birch trees, wood floors and a wall made of river stones.


One of the weekdays I asked 3 office mates to join me to have a long lunch break at Nobu. It was a somewhat hard to book a table for 4 as most all lunchtime availability had been taken. I could see how much New Yorkers are exited to take advantage of dining in Nobu during the annual Restaurant Week.


For starter, they offer choice of: Sashimi Salad with Matsuhisa Dressing, Black Cod Miso on Limestone Lettuce and Fluke Sashimi with Dried Miso. Black Cod Miso is a signature dish, so I wanted my friends to try, but Sashimi Salad looked so good so all of ended up. For main, there are 3 Choices of: Umami Charr with Heirloom Tomato Salad, Chicken with Anticucho or Teriyaki Sauce and Assorted Sushi. You can pick a dessert either “Rhubarb Jasmine Tartlette” White Chocolate Jasmine Tea Cream with Rhubarb Raspberry Compote On Sucree Tart or “Caramel Miso Tartlette” Dry Miso Caramel Cream with Apricot Lime Compote On Chocolate Tart.


I have dined at several Nobu restaurants both inside the US and overseas. I am amazed by every aspect that the restaurants offer. For the 3 colleagues, this is their first experience dining at Nobu and they definitely enjoyed it.

Price: three-course prix fixe dining deals for lunch ($29) and dinner ($42).

Neighborhood: Chelsea

Dress code: Smart Casual

Dining alone: Yes, there is a nice sushi counter

Great to special occasions

Japan Week 2016

Japan Week is back at Grand Central Terminal on March 10-12, 2016! This year, discover Hokkaido and Northern Tohoku, home to natural and man-made wonders that even seasoned travelers miss.

However, for food lovers, I really need to highlight the Conveyor Belt Sushi section that called “kaiten-zushi” in Japanese, chefs place freshly prepared sushi on a rotating belt so that diners can easily reach for their favourite dishes. Kaiten-Zushi has been a prominent part of Japanese culture for decades, and they are demonstrating at Japan Week. Don’t miss the unique opprotunity!


(Picture from Japan Week 2015)


Date : March 10-12, 2016

Place: Grand Central Terminal Vanderbilt Hall

Say No to Gloves

As I mentioned in my previous entry, here in NYC there has been a huge argument over a new NYC regulation that risks ruining a treasured culinary heritage of sushi.  A potentially new requirement to wear gloves — “Food shall be prepared and served without bare hand contact unless the food will be heated to a minimum temperature”, says the code. In fact, the Health Department recently shut down a famous sushi restaurant partly because of violations of this provision.  As a Japanese sushi lover who grew up on sushi prepared by the naked hand, I have to say that sushi chefs use their hands to make sure the sushi is fresh — with gloves they simply can not feel the texture or best part of the fish needed for the preparation.


2016 will be the year to fight this potential requirement.  According to the Daily News article, the NYC Health Department has demonstrated reasonable flexibility on similar/related issues like this in the past, and I hope they will demonstrate good judgment with this issue as well.  As a Japanese who has eaten sushi nearly all of my life, I can attest that nearly all Japanese people would be dead by now if the concerns of the NYC Heath Department were true. Fingers crossed that sushi chefs in NYC will prevail.


Final Year of Tsukiji

Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu!  – Happy New Year 2016!  I am eager to see what the Japanese food scene will look like in the new year and what new discoveries await!  To start I would like to inform you of major news from Tokyo as well as a potential change for sushi masters in NYC.  I will use my first blog entry of 2016 to talk about the Tsukiji Fish Market relocation later this year.


With the relocation, you most likely will not hear the name “Tsukiji” any more. The Tsukiji Fish Market opened in 1935 and has become one of Tokyo’s most popular spots for tourists to observe tuna auctions early each morning. In all, about ¥1.8 billion (or approximately $15.4 million) worth of fish, seafood and vegetables change hands each day at the market.



The Market has outgrown its current location and vast improvements to modernize the site would have been extremely costly while still having the limits of a relatively small location.  From a tourist perspective, Toyosu is across the Sumida River in a location that is not walkable from Ginza, and hence much less accessible.  But relocating the market to a modern facility will provide an approximate 40% larger space with state-of-the-art refrigeration.  This is a huge benefit as it will allow the Tsukiji quality to remain as it is today while taking advantage of the latest technology — so we all can eat the freshest seafood!  And the workers will be able to remain focused on dealing with the fish rather than dodging curious camera-wielding tourists looking for the perfect photo opportunity.  While the current location simply could not sustain the demand as popularity has grown over the years, it has an old-time atmosphere that I hope will not be forgotten as the new Toyosu location creates its own history.


Japan Day 2015 @ Central Park

Japan Day @ Central Park is a highly anticipated annual event in spring that celebrates Japanese culture with New Yorkers. Japan Day kicks off with the Japan Run, followed by the Kids’ Race. Like traditional Japanese summer festivals, it provides food and activity tents as well as a stage program displaying a wide range of Japanese culture, including both traditional and contemporary performances.

Japan Day is officially supported by Mayor Bill de Blasio, The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, the Central Park Conservancy, the Consulate-General of Japan in New York, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, The Nippon Club and many Japanese and American corporations.

Since its establishment in 2007, this family-friendly event has captured the interest of New Yorkers with over 50,000 people attending each year, and we have been thrilled to watch Japan Day garner the praise of the public. (


WHEN: May 10, 2015

WHERE: Central Park, Main entrance is 69th Street and 5th Avenue.

COST: Free



Japan Week 2015 at Grand Central Terminal

Japan Comes To Grand Central Terminal!

Japan Week is a promotional event encouraging travel to Japan. It is a cooperative effort between the Japan Tourism Agency, Japan National Tourism Organization, and diverse businesses in both US and Japan. Japan Week provides traveler information, introduces various foods and culture on destinations across Japan.

This year, Introduction of Depachika is a highlight. Depachika is food markets typically in the basements or lower floors of department stores in Japan, sell snacks, sweets, bentos and all kinds of street foods.


February 18 –20, 2015
Vanderbilt Hall

February 18: 11AM to 8PM
February 19: 10AM to 8PM
February 20: 10AM to 7PM