Archive for 'Sunrise Mart'

Got An Umami Tooth? Try Sunrise Mart’s Tonjiru Soup

I’ve always been fascinated by the science of taste. Back in my elementary school days, I learned the “taste map” on the tongue consisted of sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. But apparently this wasn’t the full or accurate story. In college, I first heard the taste map was bullshit, and they had introduced the new the flavor “umami“. “What the hell is umami??” I wondered. It was described as the savory but not quite salty flavor of meat.

It took me a long time to wrap my head around that. Almost all meat I’ve eaten is embedded with salt, making the separation of favors nearly impossible in my mind. But last week, sadly craving Yagura (RIP), I decided to stop by Sunrise Mart (41st Street btw. 5th + Madison) since I like their bento boxes. Instead, I tried something there that was almost pure umami. This was the $6.50 ($7.02 with tax) tonjiru soup special. As soon as I put it in my mouth, I was mesmerized by the umaminess of it. I finally fully understood what umami tastes like without a salt mask.

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Sunrise Mart Bento Boxes Aren’t Bad for the Price

A few weeks ago, I noticed a coworker eating a lovely-looking Japanese style Katsu pork curry at his desk. I thought he might have gone to one of my favorites, Go! Go! Curry, but it’s a bit of a jaunt from our office. He had gotten it at “one of those Japanese places” across from the NY Public Library. Cafe Zaiya and Yagura have been around forever, but Sunrise Mart (41st btw. 5th + Madison) was most intriguing to me so I made a note to come back.

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Sunrise Mart Serves Burgers With Crispy Rice Buns!

Sunrise Mart One night while walking to the train after work, I noticed signs on Sunrise Mart (41st btw. Madison+5th) advertising their “New Rice Burgers.” What’s a rice burger? Basically instead of buns they used two pan fried pieces of flattened out mushed up rice patties. This wasn’t my 1st experience with this sort of sandwich/burger. There used to be a food truck in LA that specialized in using rice as buns and surprisingly did a pretty darn good job at it. After seeing the signs for it at Sunrise Mart, I was curious and decided to check it out.

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Sunrise Mart Makes a Pretty Good Sandwich


I’ll admit, that when I first heard that Sunrise Mart was coming to Midtown, I was excited more for the grocery options than for the lunch items. I’d always loved the selection of hard to find Japanese ingredients at the East Village location and was psyched to have them so close to the office. Jeremiah’s opening report and later Donny’s review of the Oyakodon got my attention, so when I stopped in a couple weeks ago to do a little shopping, I was sure to scope out the rest of the menu.

With all the great Japanese food on the menu, what surprised me was how many interesting sandwiches were available. I decided to take a closer look and sample a few of them. Check them out after the jump.

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OyakodonPalooza: Sunrise Mart and Yagura vs Sapporo

Sunrise Mart

Come tax season it’s a tradition of mine to visit Cafe Zaiya (41st btw. Mad+5th) every time I go see my accountant (his office is just around the corner, lucky guy). But now with the addition of Sunrise Mart, deciding where to eat on 41st St just got a bit tougher- although on my most recent visit the fact that I hadn’t been to the new Sunrise Mart yet made the decision a bit easier. I walked straight to the back and ordered their oyakodon, the Japanese rice bowl with chicken and egg. I wanted to compare the version at Sunrise Mart to the version I had at Sapporo few weeks ago.

And then I realized I should probably go to Yagura too (the ugly duckling of the Japanese stores on that street).  After all, they serve oyakodon as well. So how do all 3 oyakodons compare to one another? Will I ever get tired of eating oyakodons? Let’s fine out.

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Sunrise Mart is Open and Wonderful

The new Sunrise Mart location (41st btw. Madison+5th) is open, and not only is it a Japanese grocery store, it’s also a fully functioning restaurant. Sunrise is a worthy addition to the Japanese Trinity of Cafe Zaiya, Yagura and Mai Cuisine (I guess now it’s a tetrad or a quadrumvirate). Sunrise’s unique combination of a full store and a full restaurant make it one of a kind (in Midtown). Get a look at what they have to offer after the jump.
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Sunrise Mart Coming Soon to (Where Else?) 41st

Sunrise Mart 41st & 5th Ave

Thanks to Luncher “Donny” for this great tip and photo. The Japanese East Village supermarket Sunrise Mart will be opening up a new location in the old Book Off space on 41st btw. Mad+5th- just west of Mai Cuisine and Cafe Zaiya. In other words the famous “Japanese Trinity” on 41st is about to become a foursome. I’ve wandered the aisles of the East Village location many times picking up cool and interesting ingredients to cook with, but I hear there are also some lunch-able snacks there as well. Any Sunrise Mart fans out there? What are we in for?