Monthly Archives: July 2015

EN Japanese Brasserie

One of my best friends from Japan came to visit me in NYC. He currently lives in Kyoto, and he wanted me to take him to a Japanese restaurant offering Obansai. Obansai is a traditional style of Japanese cuisine native to Kyoto. The cooking/dishes are mainly comprised of vegetables and seafood – and are prepared very simply. I thought it was a challenging request when compared to the availability of sushi, ramen, and bento – Obansai is a quite a new concept for Americans and not so sure if it is fully accepted as most people would confuse this style with traditional bento.

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After some research I discovered that En Japanese Brasserie offered a surprisingly impressive variety of Obansai. I heard from other local Japanese friends that En is always busy on the weekends so I booked a reservation in advance. The seating area is spacious and contemporary, and the environment replicated a feeling of being in Japan but on a much larger scale. Upscale restaurants in Japan have similar designs but are generally confined to a much smaller footprint.

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We ordered an Obansai plate with three choices: Hijiki (hijiki seaweed, snow peas, green beans, shirataki, and soybeans simmered in soy), Nasu & Zucchini Agebitashi (fried Japanese eggplant and zucchini, chilled and marinated in dashi, with katsuobushi), Buta Bara to Renkon Kimpira (soy-braised thinly sliced pork belly and lotus root). We both were fully satisfied with the taste and then ordered the Stone Grilled Beef and a selection of sushi for entrees. Since this is a food blog I think I need to describe the food with detail vs. of only saying you liked it. But, we really did not recall anything other that we liked all of them. I think because this is we enjoyed the whole package as a great Japanese experience.

En is pricier than other Japanese restaurants but the quality of the food and elegant, cozy atmosphere are well worth it. I highly recommend this restaurant for entertaining out of town guests or for special occasions.

http://www.enjb.com

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Price: $160 for our selection including tip and drinks

Neighborhood: West Village

Dress code: High-end casual

Dining alone: Yes — bar and counters are available, however, I recommend enjoying this beautiful restaurant with others

Takeout: Yes

Nishida Sho-Ten – 1st Anniversary Specials

I happened to find Nishida Sho-Ten when I was walking in Midtown last winter. The design of the shop reminded me of a local noodle house in the neighbourhood where I grown up.

The shop’s website says “once you step inside Nishida Shoten, it feels like you’ve traveled in time to a whole different era! Bringing back a lot of memories for Japanese people, our retro ramen shop has been modeled in the style of a ramen shop from the Japanese Showa period, 50 years ago. Ramen was born in Japan, and furthermore, so was the Showa era.” Now in Japan, things from Showa era are popular, from food to fashion. In a sense, Nishida Sho-Ten is the most cutting-edge Japanese restaurant in NY.

Few month after, I finally made it. As I do in other ramen restaurant, I had a Miso ramen, but this time I had to debate as there were plenty different noodles that I had missed for a while. I will come back here to have a Hiyashi Chuka!

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With the retro looking, I thought the restaurant had been doing business here for a while, but it has just started last year and they are currently offering 1 year Anniversassy Special until July 26. They offer their signature ramen Kuro Kakuni and Shiro Kakuni with only $8!

http://nishidasho-ten.com

Price: Most ramen dishes are priced less than $15, toppings an additional $1-2, and appetizers less than $10

Neighborhood: Midtown

Dress code: Casual

Dining alone: No probrem