First Look (And Taste) at Dainobu Japanese Deli
Dainobu, the new Japanese bento place/grocery store on 47th btw. Lex+3rd, quietly opened a few weeks ago and it looks like they are going to be some serious competition for Cafe Zest (on the same block).
Taking a page from the Yagura playbook, Dainobu is half grocery store (with all kinds of wet and dry Japanese ingredients) and half lunch spot.
In the front they have pre-packaged sushi, bento boxes, rice balls, and more.
In the way back they have soups and curry, and plan on adding more hot prepared foods.
I wasn’t necessarily planning on eating anything until I spotted something pretty amazing…
A soft shelled crab sushi roll for $5.50!?! You know how I feel about soft shelled crab, and this is about as cheap as it gets for a roll that will run you close to $10 at some sushi restaurants. Putting aside the soft shelled crab (which was pretty good), the rice was surprisingly well made for pre-packaged sushi. Still not as good as fresh made sushi, but for the pre-packaged take-away stuff, Dainobu might be my new goto place. And the price is definitely right.
There was one misstep though… I got all excited when I saw one of the rice balls labeled “raw salmon”, thinking that finally somebody had made a rice ball with raw fish (they’re almost always made with cooked salmon or tuna). Unfortunately they forgot one important word… eggs. It was raw salmon eggs- which I don’t mind, in theory, but it was still kind of disappointing.
Either way, it was a fine first effort and I will definitely be returning to Dainobu.
Dainobu, 129 E 47th St (btw. Lex+3rd)