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Hibino review

s
Simon | | Apr 22, 2014 04:40 PM

Went here on a Sunday, as the conclusion of a long urban hike from Manhattan that crossed a bridge, circled Red Hook, and was preceded by wine and oysters at Henry Public next door...

-- it's a cute rustic space

-- staffed by friendly Japanese...there is a surfeit of staff really: we counted 8 servers/hosts/behind-the-counter-chefs...

-- the vibe, at 5:30 on Sunday, is almost comically dominated by young parents: literally the first five tables in a row in the restaurant were each grabbed by couples w/ (well-behaved, sushi-loving) toddlers...just describing, not judging ;)

-- the shrimp toji maki (shrimp/paste fried in yuba skin) was delicious and a large portion, though i could have done without the silly dots of bland sauce on the plate: we instead asked for yuzukosho and received just that, along w/ some ponzu w/ chili flakes...which was perfect for the dish...

-- appetizer special of grilled saba w/ asparagus...delicious and absurdly cheap at 5 bucks...(pic attached)

-- sashimi plate...26 bucks for "15 pieces" -- this was solid...

-- anago box sushi...eh...very disappointing...mushy strings of tamago on top, mushy eel, etc...

-- uni sashimi...we got a x2 order...and were surprised to see it served as a tiny cup of liquid...hardly any distinguible slabs of uni, but rather like a bottom-of-the-barrel watery mush of leftover uni...like a slimey vaguely uni-ish bit of dip...disgraceful...i would have sent it back in other circumstances, but we were having a great time and enjoying the place so we just averaged it in w/ the cheap yummy grilled saba and wrote it off...

-- tuna box sushi...eh...better than the anago one, but i really love box sushi as i used it to eat it often in Japan and this wasn't as good as they could do...

-- we liked the wines by the glass, esp the Albarino...

-- tofu custard dessert...tasty but served rather stupidly in a narrow jar that makes you dig through pure whipped cream to get a little taste of tofu...

Overall...i like the place and will go back...but i'll order carefully (i.e. perhaps concentrate on specials like the appetizers)...despite the flaws of the last few courses, it was still a tasty and fun meal...curious to hear other current impressions...

 

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