Posts Tagged ‘sushi’

28th October
written by Arthur

I’m exhausted and energized in that way you only feel in Las Vegas: the feeling of a untold number of hours without sleep away from the sun or any other indication of the true time. I’m tiered from the near sleepless thirteen and a half hour flight from New York to Tokyo, but as I emerge into the Narita airport I’m vitalized. I’m in Japan. It’s just a short layover extended an hour or so by my connecting flight’s delay–still I’m at least partially in Japan.

I’m not hungry, but it would be a crime against myself to not eat something. The first place I pass is a McDonalds. I’m always curious to see what this sandwich franchise chooses to put forward abroad. The most interesting here is a (from what I could gather with no English as a guide) a double quarter pounder on black/gray bun with a black sea weed sauce. Japan really gets into Halloween by changing up its sandwiches. Seriously, this a Halloween thing. The picture of the burger on the board is next to a grinning jack-o-lantern and above a witch fly a broom. Still, I pass McDonalds. I consider a noodle place or a spot offering something called a spicy hamburger and potatoes (which is depicted as a burger patty, mashed potatoes and what looks like gravy) or some curry. My unhungry stomach is not persuaded. I keep walking until I stumble on a sushi restaurant. I’m skeptical of the sushi spot. Wouldn’t ramen be a better airport food? But ramen just seems like too much food so I grab a seat at Sushi Kyotatsu. I made the right choice.

Sushi Kyotatsu

Sushi Kyotatsu

I ordered a beer an look over the menu. I decide on a sampler and a side order of sea urchin. The food arrives fast. I mean really fast. Before my sleep deprived brain can fully take in the restaurant or the half dozen or so men behind the sushi bar. The plate looks great. Everything in a neat little place. I notice that there is not wasabi to be seen. (Legit sushi establishments pack as much wasabi as they think a given bite needs onto the nigiri  or into the roll and don’t let the diner mess up the meal with their own seasoning.) There is soy sauce at the table which I pour, but, after trying a few virginal bites, I decide to go without.

The meal is amazing. Hands down without a doubt the best tuna roll I’ve ever eaten. Flavor (tuna, small bit of wasabi, a little hit of rice wine) is all there. And the texture is perfect. The salmon nigiri is among the best I’ve had. The high quality cut of fish nearly melts in my mouth. The sea urchin is more of a choped solid than the goo I’m use to–a wholly different texture– and of course the flavor hits the mark. The other fish, the roe, and the egg don’t disappoint. At this point I’m full. I don’t need another bite. But I scan the menu for something else to try. Tragically, they are out of octopus so I adventure and order the sardine which is also incredible. The sardine tastes like nothing out of a can has a perfectly prepared amount of wasabi and soy sauce on the nigiri.

This country takes their fish seriously. I can’t wait for the day that I can venture out of the airport and see what Japan really has to offer.

27th December
written by Arthur

Blue Ribbon Sushi's Bar

Unlike most of the rest of the 2011 top ten, I didn’t get around to posting on these bad boys. Because I neglected to make a post (my way to remember delicious things) the details of my meals at these fine establishment are lost to my faded memory.  But both are amazing sushi spots that deserve a place in the top ten.

When dining on high end sushi, I usually pass-up the rolls for the nigiri or sashimi.  It just seems that the great flavor of fresh high quality fish gets lost in whatever else is in the roll.  But Kiku Sushi manages to use their high quality ingredients to throw out rolls that offer up amazing flavor and texture combinations.  Good enough that I’d advise treading lightly on the usual usual soy sauce wasabi mixture.

Whereas at Kiku I was impressed with the sushi rolls, Blue Ribbon threw down fantastic nigiri and sashimi.   (I’m sure they make great rolls as well, I just haven’t had the chance to sample them.)  What stands out in my memory is that sea scallop.  The thin cuts were artfully served in the scallop shell with a sauce I made from the liver.  Both the servers and sushi chefs at the sushi bar were friendly, talkative, and informative.  The only draw back of Blue Ribbon is that I can’t afford to be a regular.

9th January
written by Arthur

So I realize it’s been a while since there’s been a post…. ok a long time, since Randy Moss played for the Vikings.  But it’s time to get back to it.  Anyway, on to the sushi talk!

It’s easy to find cheap sushi in New York, though it’s not necessarily so easy to find good sushi on the cheap.  All too often I’ve been tempted by seemingly amazing sushi specials, only to find tough, low quality cuts of fish or fish past its prime.  Cherin Sushi, however, offers delicious, fresh, and creative rolls at a bargain price.

As you get to the door of Cherin, through the front window you see a simple black rock garden.  Once through the door, you find yourself in a comfortably Spartan, long, dimly lit room.  The sushi bar itself is at the far end of the long room.  With only two seats, the small sushi bar, hard to see from most seats in the restaurant, may be Cherin’s biggest drawback.  It’s always nice to have the option to sit at the bar, talk with chef, and see the sushi being made.  Especially if you’re a regular talking to the sushi chef can sometimes get you the best cuts of fish and off the menu creations.

If you swing by Cherin any evening Monday through Saturday you can get in on a sushi early bird special.  Mondays, the specials run from 5 until midnight, Tuesday through Thursday the special is available from 5 to 8, and Friday or Saturday the special ends by 7:30.  Get your soy sauce and wasabi ready for the “Diet Special”: three rolls or one roll with six sashimi pieces for $9.95; or grab the “Dinner Special”: four rolls or one roll with nine sashimi pieces for $12.95.

Sure, the specials don’t include some of the fancy rolls; but they do have some deliciously innovative sushi on the list.  Among the standard rolls, Cherin’s menu has some awesome house creations: the Sushi Surfer roll introduces banana to eel (an odd-sounding yet surprisingly tasty union), the Jenny roll puts a pineapple and shrimp combination in your chopsticks, and the Crunch roll adds some apple into a standard cucumber roll.  And during happy hour, be sure not to miss the generously priced beer and hot sake.

Even if you think it’s lame to eat dinner before eight o’clock, don’t skip over this place.  The non-happy hour prices still include quality rolls for less than the pre-package stuff you find in stores.  But wait, there’s more.  Cheri is BYOB with no cork or cap fee and has a great liquor store with top-shelf bottles of sake just down the block.




Cherin Sushi
306 E. 6th St.
New York, NY 10003

Monday-Thursday: 5pm-midnight
Friday & Saturday: 5pm-1am
Sunday: Closed