Tag Archives: japanese

Go Go Curry – 05.05.2011

Happy Curry de Mayo GO! GO! Curry!


Zen Restaurant – 03.03.2011

Zen Restaurant
31 St. Marks Place
New York, NY

Zen is located in the heart of St. Marks amongst the multitude of asian eateries; and much like the people, all the storefronts look the same:  yellow and foreign.  Step into Zen and you will be transported to a no frills NYC-style Japanese joint.  A dime a dozen or a yen a dozen rather.

A pitcher of Kirin draft will set you back $12, not too shabby.

Zen’s signature Tonkotsu Ramen ($8.50).

Another noodle waterfall.

Ramen is the reason Eatclub meets and ramen is what we ordered.  The waitress recommended the Tonkotsu ramen:  original garlic salt flavored noodle soup with meat, mushroom, egg, and baby bamboo (shinachiku).  Eatclub has eaten enough ramen to be critical and to be brief, this ramen was slightly above average.  The noodles were wavy and chewy, the best thing going for this dish.  The meat (charsui) was average, the egg was overcooked with a greenish tinge, and sadly the broth let me down.  Perhaps it was the garlic salt base but a ramen called “tonkotsu” has to deliver in-your-face porkiness.  Instead the soup was thin and bland, especially when compared to more complex blends such as the broths at Ippudo and Kuboya.  However, if I ever had a hankering for ramen in the East Village, I would consider going back to Zen, especially with good company and a thirst for Japanese brew.

Noodles and beer. In that order.

Signature ramen’s soup was just meh.

The storefront, it looks like a bad 3-D Japanese/English ransom note.

– ramen boy

An extra seat is available single ladies.

Santoka – 01.30.2010

Santoka Ramen
Mitsuwa food court
595 River Road
Edgewater, NJ

The Mitsuwa Japanese marketplace has a expansive food court offering more authentic Japanese food than your average Beni-hana but most important of all, they have Santoka ramen.  Stop by for imported Japanese products and high quality meat and produce.

Clockwise from top:  Toro Shio Ramen ($11), Karamiso Ramen ($9) , natto w/ rice ($2)

Slimy savory salty natto is not for everyone but its surprisingly mild taste is a tasty treat.

Spicy miso ramen with charsu is my favorite and at Santoka, it delivers.

Wavy noodles are a ramen-guy’s best friend.

The special shio ramen comes unadorned.

The adornments of roast pork, pickled bamboo, seaweed, scallions, and naruto.

Morimoto – 02.14.09

Today we have a guest commenter, my gf whose comments are in green below.

88 10th Ave
New York, NY 10011
(212) 989-8883‎

– – – – – – – — —
So for Valentines’ day, I suprised (suRprised!!!!!!!!!) my gf and took her to Morimoto in NYC.
For those of you who don’t know who Morimoto is, shame on you!! J/k. Morimoto is a legend
in the realm of cooking. He was one of the iron chefs from the original iron chef show in japan
whose cooking style always fascinated me.
He is currently one of the iron chefs of the iron chef america show on food network.

So how did his restaurant fair? Who’s cuisine will reign supreme??? Read on!


kakuni (appetizer)
ten hour pork, congee, soy-scallion jus
perfection. pork was “punch myself in the face” good. first time i wanted to cry when i ate something
in a very long time. steve’s face literally froze in shock

seafood toban yaki ( main meal)
half shell lobster, king crab, mussel, clam, diver scallop, red miso-sake broth
what made this dish perfect is the broth. never tasted like it ever in my life. ever. second time i cried… in one meal. broth was indescribly amazing, it was impossible to tell what was even in it from tasting it

chef’s raw bar combination
oh-toro sushi
unagi sushi
yellowtail sushi
clam sushi
tamago sushi
saba sushi (boston mackeral sushi)
fluke sushi
what a steal/value. $35 for all the sushi listed above.
some were really amazing (tuna) some was dissapointing (mackeral)
but overal, you can tell the stuff was really fresh.

spicy yellowtail roll
salmon roll
maguro (tuna) sushi
freshest piece of fish i ever ate in my life. i did not know tuna could taste like this,
it was like it just jumped out of the ocean onto my plate

tobiko (flying fish roe)
king crab sashimi
tai sashimi (japanese red snapper)
$4-7 (for each peace/roll)
same as #3. the red snapper stood out for me.

negitoro roll
chopped toro, scallion

ginjo sake – 10 oz $31
wow. sooo smooth. i could only finish one cup before i started getting woozy (10 oz = about 4 cups)
shiso leaf – $12
eh. sort of like a mojito with more alcohol

tofu ‘hot & cold’
soy milk souffle’, tofu cheesecake, maple ice craem
maple sauce
never would have thought tofu could have been used in such ways.

– – — – —
overall food
i was blown away by the food. closest thing to perfection.

– – –
hard for me to describe. 2 floors, very chic, simple, yet elegant
bathroom stalls were also amazing (including toilets from japan)

when you go to these places, expect to pay alot.
however, there are some steals (i.e. the sushi deal, the sushi rolls)
that you can find if you want to skimp out on.

impeccable service.

overall experience:
originally i was going to place 9.5/10, but i caught a sighting of the man himself, morimoto.
according to the waiter, he is usually there on the weekends. if you like seafood,
you HAVE to try this place. guarantee you will not be let down.

in fact, i was fortunate enough to take a picture with the man himself (i know, it’s dark)


– – – – – – — – — – — – – — –
side notes:
one of the sushi specials was fugu.
for $50 a piece! but i remember that fugu, as the waiter told me, is the poison fish from japan:

a chef needs to train for a minimum for 7 years in japan to be certified to serve fugu.
unless morimoto himself cut it for me, i would have been very nervous for anyone else to cut it.

check out the chelsea market adjacent to morimoto.
the lobster place seafood market (rated a 27 on zagat) has the freshest pieces of fish i’ve ever seen.

they sell autographed copies of morimoto’s cookbook at the restaurant.

reserve in advance – for valentines day i had to call 1.5 months in advance, and even then there was only one time slot left.

sit at the sushi bar if u want to see the chefs at work. they use blowtorches!

Sharaku – 09.24.08


14 Stuyvesant Street
New York, NY

Before we even headed off to our main event at Sharaku, YM and I went on a Japanese tangent and visited Otafuku just down the street at 265 E. 9th Street.

This place is the size of a large closet with barely enough room for 2 people to walk by each other.  Their specialty is takoyaki, fried balls of batter with a slice of octopus inside garnished with ginger, scallions, sweet sauce and mayo, and a healthy sprinkling of bonito flakes.  Be prepared as its taste may not be for everyone:  it is hot and gooey with a fishy seafoodiness from the octo and bonito.  Being that I never tried an authentic takoyaki from Japan, I have no basis to measure by other than it is tasty Japanesey street food, I think.  Also included in our combo was yakisoba (fried noodles) and it was just so-so.  Overall, if you need a quick bite to eat and are looking to spend a few bucks for a snack, give Otafuku a shot.

Cool and hip Japanese fast food

The yakisoba, skip this

The takoyaki is atomic hot (temperature).  Let COOL first…

Rating 6/10 takoyakis

Entering Sharaku, you will notice it’s clean and little cramped.  The space rises more vertically than horizontally with more seating on the second floor.  SInce this review is a double header, Ill keep it short:

View of sushi chef looking down from sushi heaven

Grilled Yellowtail neck

Broiled miso black cod, bad picture but very tasty

Don kat su (breaded and fried pork cutlet), slightly below average

Japanese place in St. Marks that is not too cramped.  Host was asian but waiters were chicos, go figure.  Miso Black cod was excellent.

Cod, lamb (is that japanese?), sushi, and yellowtail

Don kat su

The sign in the bathroom

I give it 6.5/10 handrolls


Steve’s Review
a. Broiled Black Miso Cod:
yummo! this dish was fantabulous, and is the cheapest of the 3 places that I had black cod miso.
larger portion too! highly recommended!
buttery smooth texture, sweet and flaky.

b. Pork Tempura
average. nothing special.

c. Sushi – couple of rolls that i dont remeber
again, average, nothing special, at least for nyc standards.
compared to say.. philly sushi, or chicago sushi.. its phenomenal, but..yeah its relative.

d. grilled lamb
suprisingly, very good. surpsingly b/c of my previous experience of lamb (having to slaughter lamb in person in new mexico,
seeing the look of death in the eyes of the sheep while we slit the throats, and the smell of the guts “shudder”
along with having to eat lamb’s brain that was cooked in a pit and covered by dirt.. i think you would be scarred too)
very tender, didn’t taste like lamb

e. grilled yellowtail neck with a wedge of lemon
quite delishious. not dry, not raw, done just right.

f. vegetable tempura
thought it was pretty good, but nothing special.

Overall Food:
this place is hit or miss. order the yellowtail, lamb, or the cod.
not spectacular, not bad. abv average.

for a japanese place near st marks, pretty nice.

pretty good value

place is worth checking out. at least twice. a hearty eat club recommendation.

Sharaku – 08.28.08

14 Stuyvesant St.
New York, New York

RSVP with me or Steve K.

Menupages review


Sorry, next time.

Go Go Curry – 05.05.08

273 West 38th Street
New York, NY 10018

Go! Go! Curry!

Line out the door with Yankees bouncer

Nothing like curry on your birthday

All this for 5 bananas, pesos, bones, clams, bills…

All combos are $5 except for Grand Slam Curry

First the bad:
– I don’t think I saw a bathroom.
– Their unadorned worship of Matsui is downright creepy.
I bet if Matsui would allow it, the owner would
have no problem licking Matui’s toe-jam clean. After a double header.
– Not many seats available (then again, this is nyc)
– No visible garbage can, so people left their dishes there when finished.
– The sausage dish came with only 3 sausages.

Now the good:
– Value: 10/10
Eat club’s first perfect rating. No where in the city will you find
a greater deal than what we got (as long as you skip the sausage, and shrimp dish).
Since it was the one year anniversary celebration, all dishes on their menu was $5, regardless of size.
On the other 364 days of the year, the value is still superb (9/10)
– Speed of service – our food came out wicked quick.

– The size portions only equate to the amount of rice given with each dish.
– katsu curry 8/10
aka breaded, fried pieces of pork
phenomenal, especially if you consider how much you get
– chicken curry 7/10
hit or miss. with white meat, it’s very easy to overcook and overdry the pieces of chicken flesh.
– curry + rice + lettuce 7.5/10
after the consumption of meat, you will inevitably have leftover rice, curry and lettuce.
when you combine all 3, i was surprised how tasty this concoction was.

-If you set the right expectations, you will not be dissapointed.
-Come on the 5th, 15th, 25th of every month (another matsui reference) coupon for free topping
– after uh.. matsui hits a home run, the next day, the entire menu is discounted.. 55 cents.


(Freeze frame at 0:13)

Afterwards came Red Mango and then street meat at 53rd and 6th…HALAL!

Red Mango, mochi mango and captain crunch (drool)