Archive for '41st btw. 5+Mad'

Chiyoda Sushi (aka more Japanese fun!!!)

Right before Thanksgiving I posted a little feature about Pumpkin dishes at Chiyoda Sushi.  As promised, here’s a full look at what has become one of my new favorite places in Midtown.  It’s located on 41st between Madison & 5th (just east of Bryant Park) right next to Cafe Zaiya- another of my favorite places.  In fact, Chiyoda is like a slightly nicer version of Cafe Zaiya, with bento boxes, pre-packaged sushi, and all sorts of little odds and ends.  It’s slightly more expensive then Zaiya, but the food is much more refined.

Some places I like to blather on and on about… and some places are best left to the pics:

More food porn, and the +/- after the jump…

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Pumpkin Three Ways from Chiyoda Sushi

I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of Thanksgiving.  Yes, I am a fat man.  Yes I love to stuff my face.  Me & Thanksgiving sound like a match made in heaven.  But as you can tell from this blog, I love ethnic food, so turkey and stuffing just don’t do it for me.  American Thanksgiving is boring.  Thankfully, America is full of immigrants, not satisfied with putting just turkey out on the table.  My step-mom cooks great Italian food- so Thanksgiving at my Dad’s includes Lasagna.  I think I would like Cuban Thanksgiving too.  One of my co-workers (who is Cuban) said they have roast pork, in addition to Turkey.  I’ve never been to a Chinese Thanksgiving, but if they had roast duck (or General Tso’s chicken) in addition to their turkey, I’d probably like that too. 

I didn’t plan on writing about Thanksgiving this week, but on Friday I found a little treat that was perfect to write about this week- and of course it was at a Japanese place.  On Friday I was walking down what is becoming one of my favorite streets to eat lunch in Midtown- 41st btw. Madison & 5th.  There are only three places, and they are all Japanese- but each place offers up it’s own distinct experience of take-out Japanese fare.  There is Yagura (a no frills supermarket with a small and cheap selection of made to order bento boxes), Cafe Zaiya (a slightly nicer, always packed bakery with pre-made bento boxes, rice balls and tons of other treats) and Chiyoda- the place I decided to pop into on Friday.

When I first found this amazing street, Cafe Zaiya was like a dream come true.  Fun, exciting and packed with tons of amazing foods at super cheap prices.  Chiyoda, in contrast,  seemed like a slightly nicer sushi place, that was trying to mimic the success of Cafe Zaiya by offering a limited selection of rice balls and bento boxes in addition to pre-made sushi.  In the past few months they have undergone a subtle makeover, and have now come into their own- offering upscale (but still inexpensive) treat, including small dishes like an avocado and salmon tartare, interesting looking Omusubi (rice balls) and an assortment of delicious looking salads, tempura, odon and more… all available to go.  But more on Chiyoda another time… this is my Thanksgiving post!

I found three delicious looking Pumpkin treats at Chiyoda… and decided they would make for a great pre-Thanksgiving post.  Check it out… after the jump:

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Cafe Zaiya

Work is tough.  Work is not fun.  And quite frankly, I don’t understand why more people don’t use their lunch break to relax- or even better, have some fun!  Of course most people’s idea of fun is probably different from my idea of fun.  My idea of fun, is lunch at Cafe Zaiya- the funnest restaurant in Midtown! (As declared by me of course… I’m clearly a very strange person.)

Cafe Zaiya is Japanese- but not in the way that probably first comes to mind.  They are not a Ramen place, and they don’t specialize in sushi (although they do have sushi as an option).  It’s more of a Japanese bakery, that also has a nice variety of bento boxes (or Japanese boxed lunches).  Clearly their specialty is baked goods.  They have Cream Puffs (or beard papas as they’re known by some) made fresh and filled right before your eyes.  They also have Mochi Donuts, Yakimochi, Mont Blanc’s and other delicious looking Japanese Pastries and cakes.

Now for many of you, I’m sure delicious pastries is all you have to hear to make this place worthwhile.  Lord knows I’m all for eating pastries as a substitute for real lunch.  As a matter of fact, my dream lunch would be a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts if I thought I could do it without dying (either from stomach ache or sugar coma).  But in reality, pastries and donuts a lunch does not make (did that make sense?).

Lucky for us, they sell a ton of savory lunch choices as well… mostly in the form of pre-packaged bento boxes,  ready to be paid for, and eaten as soon as you walk in the door. 

For the rest of the fun, pictures and the +/- keep reading, after the jump… Read more »