Saturday, January 29, 2011

Road Trip: NYC Food Bible (Part II)

We were determined to "locate" a Japanese restaurant we visited a few years ago.  But it was proven to be an impossible task to find a restaurant in NYC without its name (yes we forgot the name).  All we remembered was that the restaurant was located close to Astor Place and that didn't help either since Astor Place is a.k.a. "Little Japan".

Part II of the NYC Food Bible features some of the Japanese restaurants we visited in this trip.

Sushi Yasuda is known for its fresh sushi and sashimi and I have to say the food was excellent.  Here are our appetizers: refreshing cucumber salad and lightly fried bite size chicken

My sashimi platter... the portions were small but fish was very fresh and plum wine was the perfect match in this case.

Before desserts, the attentive waitress brought us toothpicks and well designed folk for our desserts.

This green tea mochi was a total "must-order" .. .that's if you like green tea.  A shot of the front window before we left the restaurant.  I love the Japanese take on holiday decor: simple and yet festive.

Aburiya Kinnosuke

I really enjoyed my dinner at this restaurant and this was Chris' pick for my birthday dinner.  I love the "east meets west" decor at the front entrance.

Appetizers: Souzai 3 Shu + Edamame (in chic weave container)

Aigamo Ponzu (roasted duck breast) + Sukui Tofu

Sashimi Mori 3 with 3 kinds Shoyu + Sagari Yaki

This Oyako Seiro (salmon roe rice with egg) is the tastiest bowl of rice I've tasted.

Haven't seen a fish served this way for a very long time.  The waiter told us this fish was freshly caught and then shipped from Japan to US (in the same day).  One of many specialities in the store.

Just as we were debating whether we should order desserts, the waiter brought this in:

Chris must have mentioned to them it was a birthday dinner and so the Chef decided to give us a dessert platter for my birthday... on the house!  You have to give it to the Japanese when it comes to food decoration.  Look at these desserts, they were arts and yes you can eat them!

 so what's in wrapped in the leaves you ask.. . mochi filled with vanilla ice cream!

Rai Rai Ken:

This authentic ramen restaurant totally reminded me of my ramen experience during my last visit to Japan.  The restaurant was small but certainly live large!

Appetizers: Dumplings + BBQ Pork (Japanese style)

Look at these Shumai!! Almost look like sea urchins in white!

The two ramen we ordered:

and what's for dessert you wondered?  Almond Tofu!


I totally love the decor: the wood front entrance and the red wall with ramen bowls.. Ippudo also made ramen look sexy.  Just look at this "tree" in the middle of the room and the giant white wall with japanese characters.  Someone please translate that for me...

Seared Tuna and Miso Ramen:

I will have to say the food was OK here ... I prefer Rai Rai Ken because I didn't have to wait in line for 2 hours for a bowl of ramen and the food was similar in quality (as far as I can tell).


This is a restaurant specializes in soba noodles... and we couldn't resist to order some salmon sashimi and tofu appetizers.

Soba with Tempura:

Udon with Pan Fried Duck Breast + green tea ice cream dessert

Before I wrap up this long entry, I need to show you these tasty octopus balls and japanese pastry:

So which restaurant was it we were searching for initially?  Hasaki: we will be back ...  next time!


  1. Hi Tim,
    I'm a long time fan of your decorating - as I mentioned in my FB comment to C. I just now came to your blog because I wanted to show a friend of mine in LA your womb chair - had I know there would be food AND design porn here, I would have ventured over much sooner. Keep up the good work!


  2. Thanks Michelle! I love writing my blog ... started off writing just about design.. but hey, there are lots of good things in life too.. so why not writing about those special moments or treats as well!

    glad you like what you're seen so far... come back more often, I have a few new exciting ones coming up in the next few days!

  3. Definitely I will! I have it on my feed now. :) Some day, I want to ask your advice on what to do with our GIGANTIC living room but I'm working on our bedroom currently (which is a lot easier) now so I'm not quite there yet. It's huge with white concrete walls and a 9 foot window wall - I can't figure out how to make it feel more homey/warmer.

  4. wow. .. . lucky you! i would love to have such big blank canvas in my space to do whatever i want with it! send me some pictures when you get a chance .... or if you have the floor plan.. . love to do furniture arrangement!

  5. It's sad that you were unable to locate that Japanese restaurant you were searching for. Still, you went to some wonderful places so the trip wasn't a loss. The place and the food both had a gorgeous presentation.