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Manhattan Tasting Menu

Honmura An Tasting Menu -- long


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Honmura An Tasting Menu -- long

Simon | Oct 16, 2005 06:12 PM

Tried the tasting menu at Honmura An on Saturday...we got there just a couple minutes after 6pm yet the coveted window-seat two-tops were already a table just a few feet away so still enjoyed the view...atmosphere is elegant upscale Soho-meets-Ginza...

The tasting menu was 70 per person and included:

-- a trio of vegetable starters: shredded burdock root (subtly spicy and delicious), a bite of eggplant w/ grated radish, watercress w/ sesame paste...

-- soba sushi w/ snow crab: a real surprise winner: clean, delicious snow crab mixed w/ hint of fresh wasabi mayonnaise (something i never would have ordered ala carte but here it worked); using soba instead of rice (i was skeptical) gave it a nutty flavor and hearty texture that held up fine against the coolness of the crab and spice of the wasabi, and the whole roll was wrapped in tender yuba (instead of seaweed)...

-- sashimi: two pieces each of red snapper (succulent) and of maguro (it was very fresh, but my pieces were poorly cut w/ unchewable fish sinew running through them: a common and annoying problem even at very fine Japanese restaurants that do not specialize in sashimi/sushi)...

-- grilled butterfish (excellent)

-- softshell crab (particularly tender and light)

-- cold soba (we substituted hot soba, hers w/ duck, mine w/ giant Tsukiji fish market prawns)

-- mango sorbet

Service was superb and professional, except for the fact that the busboys tend to be overzealous in removing the plate of one diner while the other diner is still eating that course, making the meal feel slightly rushed: granted it was early Saturday and they need the tables for the prime dinner hour, but for a meal for two that came to 200+ dollars (including two glasses of excellent pinot noir and bottled water), we would have prefered a more measured pace...

Overall: it felt rather decadent going there...although the food quality is excellent, you are really paying a premium for that fashionista Tokyo-in-NY vibe and the nice windows overlooking Mercer St. (strictly in terms of food, i'm comparably happy w/ the 36 dollar country-style omakase at Tsukushi)...i eat soba very rarely, so i'm curious how fellow chowhounds would compare Honmura An's soba to the one at Soba-ya (also much loved by Japanese in NYC, and much cheaper)...and i'd also like to hear if people have been as satisfied w/ Honmura An's ala carte menu as i was w/ the tasting menu...

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