we went to sugiyama last night, had the 8-course modern kaiseki dinner, and it was fantastic! I do not have words to describe how much we liked the food, the place and the chef himself, he seemed to have so much fun while preparing the food...
Many of the things that we tried were first-times for both of us.
*As an appetizer, we had monkfish liver and somenthing else, first time I try it, and it will NOT be the last. Sooooooo good, such a flavor, wonderful silky texture.
*We liked the Zensai (Delicate arrangement of seasonal Japanese fish and vegetable), especially the jellys, a fish one and a passionfruit(?) one, and the baby crab, that you eat whole. It had such a delicate flavor!
*The assorted sashimi was extraordinary: tuna (decorated with edible gold leafs), hamachi (imported from Japan!) and red snapper, and a West Coast Oyster. We enjoyed it so much; but I found out I don't like oysters that much... taste is great, but texture... I wouldn't repeat (but at least I tried!)
*The soup... ah the soup! I had never had something so special before. The broth was very clear, but it had this smoky flavour, and also sea... As a curiosity, the put a tiny bit of Yuzu, the japanese fruit, which I had never seen/tasted before. It also had noodles, some funny-looking and funny-textured sea-weed and a piece of tamago. I am not sure about this last one, though. It looked like it.
*Then we had Ishiyaki: Choice of tenderloin or seafood served on hot stone. Hubby had seafood, I had the tenderloin. The most interesting thing about this course was the stone itself. They have a big stovetop behind them (that you can see and feel the hotness from where you are sitting at the bar!) and two of the fires are in big burning flames and 8 or so round stones on them, so they are red RED hot when they get it! They put it in front of you, and you cook your thing.
And we had more food, but I was starting to be full... of the rest, I especially liked the monkfish liver (again, but a little different), the miso soup and the dessert.
We had SO much fun. Next time we are coming back there, we'll have the omakase, to see if it is even more fun...
We have to leave New York (after almost three wonderful years), and probably our last dinner (or one of the last ones) will be there... I will be posting another mail asking for suggestions for our last month.