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Kotobuki -- New Japanese in Brooklyn

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Kotobuki -- New Japanese in Brooklyn

R Bergen | Jan 17, 2001 09:46 PM

It's hard to believe but I've been three times now over the past three weeks, and this has to be the best Japanese
restaurant that I've been to in Brooklyn. The hard to believe is that it is in Red Hook on Columbia, near Sackett.
I sure hope that they become known, because they are in a food no man's land.

I tried their sushi for the first time tonight and it was exceptionally good. Just a simple appetizer of 8 pieces, toro, white tuna, yellow tail and salmon. But while pretty basic in choice, the quality of the fish freshness and tenderness and
clean flavor was a real pleasure.

We started out testing their cooked foods, because we have found the dishes at Osaka very much wanting. They had a the typical shrimp and vegatable tempura, and a soft shell crab tempura. The shrimp is a standout. Perfectly fried with a whispy, crunchy coating of tempura batter. No oily after taste -- Osaka cooks it in oil that is too cool and it is heavy laden in contrast. Comes with a mixture of vegtables, carrot, cauliflower, onion, potato, etc. the usual, but not cooked the usual.

The soft shelled crab was not as successful, good taste, but doesn't seem to lend itself as well to tempura cooking.

Have also had the beef yakatori, and the chicken teryiaki. The chicken was served with asparagus spears on top and baby bok choy underneath.

Had a whole grilled spicey red snapper. It was Thai rather than Japanese, and was a pleasure to eat. The fish is taken off the bone and cut into strips, then the fish and the skeleton are deep fried and reassempled, [you can nibble and eat a lot of the meat and bone as it's quite delicate with a good spicey, no apologizing, thai spicy red sauce served over it.

Also had tofu sushi, sounds strange to me, but it has a slight skin to it, and the owner overcame my uncertainty as I don't have a strong fondness for tofu. But I'd eat it again any day. A wonderful mix of textures, with the tofu over rice. The slightly crisp edge, and pleasant flavor. If you're not crazy over tofu, like me, you might have to try it to believe it.

At the moment we have only eaten the more traditional, typical dishes, pretty much testing it out on things we know well. But can't wait to start digging into the more unfamiliar items on a good size menu. There may be more tofu sushi surprises, and let me tell you that was a surprise.
They are planning to add more Thai dishes to the menu.

The room is nice and cosy and well designed, and the owner is unusually personable and eager to please.

Can't remember the name of the Japanese restaurant in Park Slope on Flatbush G--- something, and Inaka and Osaka just don't compare at all. So as there are many on this board that are willing to trek to the hinterlands, I hope you'll seek out Kotobuki. They deserve to continue, and I'd be surprised if you were disappointed. They also do dilevery in Carrol Garden,, Cobble Hill and are just starting to send out menus in the Heights.

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