Archive for 'Japanese'

Japan Week Will Bring Ekiben To Grand Central In March

Of the various cultural events surrounding Japan Week in March, the most exciting is that ekiben, bento boxes sold at train stations throughout Japan, will be featured as a part of the cultural events held in Grand Central Terminal on March 19-21. A corner of Vanderbilt Hall will be devoted to ekiben, which traditionally contain local specialties from the region they come from. Various NYC restaurants — including a few from Midtown — are providing ekiben that highlight the food from different regions of Japan. Check out a preview of what you can expect on the Japan Week website; no word on pricing, but nonetheless, this should definitely be worth penciling into your calendars.

Rio & You Has Shuttered

Over the holidays, Japanese eatery Rio & You closed its doors after six years on 45th street between 8th and 9th avenues. If Rio & You was Bittman’s secret Japanese restaurant as suggested in the commentswhich we’re pretty sure it wasn’t — he’ll have to find a new spot. December 23 was their last day.

Rio & You Serves Up Traditional Japanese Fare, Makes Up Prices as it Goes

Rio & You, a Japanese spot just out of bounds on west 45th street that has been in the neighborhood for a number of years, was mentioned in the comments of the Mark Bittman post a few weeks ago. I’d never eaten there, because the lunch specials are expensive, but the other day on my way to Schmackary’s I stopped to look at the menu outside and saw a number of regular dishes seemingly in budget. Ramen (or, “Larmen,” as it is written on the menu)? Udon? Donburi? Well, if you insist!

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Men Kui Tei Does A Pretty Decent Oyako Don

While I am still majorly bummed about Katsuhama pricing their oyako don out of the ML budget, I’ve been trying to find a new go-to spot. Recently, I hit up Men Kui Tei to check out theirs — don’t count out the rice dishes at this probable Bittman secret favorite restaurant — even though ramen is half the menu, they do very well with most everything they offer. So how did their oyako don stack up?
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Red Moon Offers Standard Asian (con)Fusion Fare

The Night Hotel on 45th street between Times Square and 6th avenue always seemed like a sketchy place, more like a gentleman’s club than a hotel. Recently, though, I found out that if you enter the very dark, goth hotel and walk straight back, past some pretty risque art, beyond reception on the right and the elevators on the left, you’ll arrive at a gated bar and a small swanky looking restaurant that bills itself as Japanese cuisine. Boasting dishes like pad thai and green curry as well as sushi and katsu, Red Moon is not, in fact, just Japanese cuisine, but yet another Asian fusion joint. Still, with its $10 lunch specials, Red Moon still seemed worth checking out.
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Checking Out Sapporo’s Updated Menu

Sapporo has once again undergone a menu makeover, as we mentioned a couple of weeks ago. And Sapporo regulars from the Yelp community have been complaining that the gyoza are not the same, neither is the miso ramen. Not a good sign. I’ve been by a couple times now for takeout, now, and have had mixed experiences with both new and old dishes.
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Where Is Mark Bittman’s Secret Japanese Restaurant!?

Last week Mark Bittman took on white table cloth restaurants in the New York Times, an article that wouldn’t normally catch our attention. Except for the fact that he spent the entire second half off the article extolling a Japanese hole in the wall in Midtown that he loves so much he refused to tell anybody what it was called. Thankfully he leaves enough clues that we should be able to figure it out…

My place right now is a Japanese hole in the wall. (I’m keeping it that way by not naming it. Sorry.) There’s no celebrity chef, no publicity, no hipness other than that exuded by the young servers. It couldn’t be less trendy and to prove it, I’ll tell you that: a) it’s in Midtown, and b) it’s populated almost exclusively by expat and visiting Japanese. I suspect it’s in a Japanese guidebook to New York.

How did I find it? It’s across the street from the back door of what was once my building. It’s ugly: the tables are Formica, with standard cafe chairs; the napkins are paper; and the cash register, which is at the back of the kitchen, is wrapped in plastic to keep the grease off the keys.

More, after the jump…

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Hibachi Heaven Is A Welcome Addition To The Japanese Food Truck Scene

Is 2012 the year of the Japanese Food Truck? Between Domo Taco, Okadaman and now Hibachi Heaven, we have been blessed with a plethora of good new Japanese food options that extend far beyond bentos and sushi. When I first heard about Hibachi Heaven back in June, I was excited, because flat-top cooking is very food truck friendly. Then, when I read Andrea’s first look from when they first opened, I was a little underwhelmed. Finally, I found the truck in Midtown the other day and decided to try for myself.
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Iroha Brings Decent Bentos To Times Square

Since their regular lunch sets have always been out of the ML price range, I’d only been to Iroha for dinner, mostly for sushi. However, back in April, Iroha launched take out bentos at lunchtime. While reasonably priced bentos that don’t compromise quality are found in abundance on 41st street between Madison & Fifth, they can be a little harder to come by in northern Times Square.

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55th Street Menchanko-Tei Has Merged With Katsuhama

We on this blog are no strangers to hearing the news that one of our favorite noodle joints, Menchanko-Tei, has temporarily closed. Again. Most recently, the 55th street location closed for “renovations”, but here’s an interesting development: the 55th street Menchanko-Tei is now permanently closed, and its menu has been absorbed by its neighboring sister restaurant Katsuhama.
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