Restaurants & Bars

Ichi Riki in Elmsford - report

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Ichi Riki in Elmsford - report

Cliff | Jul 14, 2003 11:22 AM

We've eaten many meals at this popular Japanese place over the past year, the most recent being last night's. A few thoughts follow. Sushi is generally good and fresh, although not on a par with the better Manhattan places. Cooked food is highly variable. For example, yosenabe is served in a large earthenware crock, full of fish and shellfish in a tasty steaming broth, and is a relative bargain. Many other cooked dishes are overcooked. Tempura is too greasy. And, most importantly, there are two menus, one for the Japanese clientele, another for gaijin. The menus do not share the same lineup, and the non-Japanese version is dumbed down considerably. If you want hamachi kama or ramen, for example, you won't find them on the English menu. In fact, many of the waitstaff aren't Japanese; this led on one occasion to a protracted discussion on what hamachi kama actually is, and the befuddled waiter had to call a Japanese colleague to smooth things out. Service can be lackadaisacal at times, but on other visits has been adequate. Most of the Japanese waitstaff is reserved for the Japanese clientele. I find it annoying that the "real" Japanese selections are reserved for the Japanese, since they aren't mentioned on the English menu (they are cheerfully served if you ask specifically for them). All in all, a hit-or-miss proposition. You can do well with the right waiter and the right choices.

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