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Megu Review- Not worth the hype?

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Megu Review- Not worth the hype?

Chico | Jun 1, 2004 10:12 AM

Visited Megu a few weeks ago. This restaurant is over the top- from the moment you walk in it feels like you are at the front desk of a Four Seasons hotel- not just a restaurant. The space is impressive- they put a ton of money in it. I could barely recognize that it used to be Obeca Li. Huge choruses of “yashay-masay!” when anyone enters the dining room was amusing at first. However, the service didn’t seem too polished. The few recommendations the server made were off the mark. I hate it when I feel like I know more about the food than my servers- especially on my first visit. Reminded me in that regard of Morimoto in Philly- servers doing their best to go through the motions but not the seamless help of a fine dining establishment. T

The menu is an immense tomb- with different headings- aka jewels of the sea- treasures of the sea, etc…. It also included a welcome, a glossary, a map of japan, all in thick parchment paper and gold type.

The food…..well, I have to tell you- I wasn’t so impressed. Don’t get me wrong, it was quite good- but definitely not great- for the extremely high prices. I feared this going in but knew I had to check it out once.

In the same order we received our dishes- here is the rundown.

-Oh Toro- very good, and well sized for a Japanese style piece. However, for $18 I was expecting amazing. I would much rather have 3 pieces at yasuda and have had similar or better toro at other nyc restaurants at half the price. However, the seared salmon belly was awesome- cooked on top of their special charcoal. Have many of these- especially at $4/pop. We had seconds and contemplated thirda.

-Black Diamond three different types of negitoro roll. This, for $25, did not hold a torch to Yasuda’s nego toro or any other negitoro rolls I have had a top flight places. (Sorry to focus on the prices, but the place was ridiculous- which I am not complaining about- just pointing out!)

-Special Red Snapper Miso soup was quite good- my chef pal who I was dinign with loved the fresh dashi. It was a very light soup with some serious depth.

-Hamachi carpaccio was very good, but not revolutionary. The shishito pepper seed/kernel on each slice was unique. The spicy teriyaki dipping sauce was tasty but overpowered the hamachi, which was better just in the light citrus dressing.

-Chu-toro and avocado ravioli. This consisted of marinated tuna (def not toro) between two slices of avocado. Very difficult to eat and something you could get at your decent neighborhood sushi place. The wasabi avocado dip on the side was tasty but more like something you would serve with chips at a party. A true waste of $38. By the way- this dish was highly recommended by our waiter. Thanks buddy.

-Charcoal grilled Teriyaki Foie Gras Skewer. This was awesome- easily the highlight of the meal. A huge portion of foie- lightly grilled and glazed and served on personal mini grills to keep warm. I will return sometime for these and the salmon.

-Fried chicken in a miso glaze…don’t remember the specifics and it is not up on Menupages. This was a chicken thigh, grilled and sliced into 6 pieces. It was quite tasty. However, so is most fried chicken. There were some grapefruit hints in this which were quite interesting.

-Panko Fried Whole Sanma with hidden miso sauce. This consisted of a battered, deep fried Sanma- which is about a ten inch long fish. Very bland and the hidden miso sauce was either lacking or non existent. A few bones were annoying. We asked for a reprise of the Hamachi carpaccio dipping sauce.

Bottom line- Megu is an over the top place, which would be great to entertain out of towners on expense accounts. If you are a fanatic of Japanese cuisine like I am, you may not be overly impressed, and if you don’t like it, you will feel that it is the most overpriced restaurant in the world. When I was there, many people were simply ordering sushi platters at the tables. If and when I return I will steer clear of the sushi and delve deeper into the charcoal skewers.

Anyone else check out this place?

Chico

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