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EN Japanese Brasserie - Review (long)


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EN Japanese Brasserie - Review (long)

NK | Sep 12, 2005 02:00 PM

Went to EN on a Saturday night for a friend's birthday dinner. We were 6 of us, and we sat at the lounge area.

This was my first time, and I was pretty impressed with the interior and the size. The place is quite beautiful... When you enter the restaurant, you will be greeted with "Irasshaimase--!" which is always very nice. Since I was expecting all the staff to be Japanese, it was a little disappointing to see most of the wait staff were non-Japanese, including ours, but I guess for a big place like that, it's hard to hire so many Japanese??

Anyway, the food.
Overall, I was disappointed... The food was okay, and we paid too much for it.

Since we were a party of six, I don't know if I remember everything we ordered, but here's my review on some of the things...

We started with Tofu - both cold and warm. They were pretty good, I have to say. Especially the warm one was excellent. The best thing I had all night. We actually ended up ordering it again later.
Then we had a Yuba salad. It was nice, but the sesame dressing was overpowering and boring, and they used watercress instead of mizuna, which is what it said in the menu. We also had a tuna and avocado salad. Nice, but again, nothing spectacular - as a Japanese, that's like a quick meal at home when you are feeling lazy... Something I looked forward to was the Saikyo miso cod. But the fish didn't have the right firmness, and the miso tasted blah... Disappointing...

Fried Ebi shinjo (shrimp paste) was okay, but the batter tasted flakey.

I think the worst dish of all was the fried chicken. We had high expectuations for fried chicken served at a place like EN. Soggy. And the taste was bad too - it was like something you get at an american bar, and not 'kara-age' you expect at a Japanese izakaya... Very disappointing.

But sashimi was pretty good.

And shiso fried rice was very heavy. Had a very heavy buttery taste, which is surprising because in Japan, people order rice/noodle items the end of the meal to finish off to sort of cleanse your palate, almost as a refreshment. It wasn't refreshing at all...

Oh my god, I can't believe I had so many complaints.
I guess I'm complaining because it definitely wasn't worth what we paid which was $75/person (including tip and some alcohol....). Yikes.

I was reading the review on Kasadela earlier, and I would definitely like to try it. My current favorite place is Aburiya Kinnosuke. The food is much much better there.

Thanks for reading.

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