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Suibi (Okinawan-style restaurant)

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Restaurants & Bars 5

Suibi (Okinawan-style restaurant)

Skillet Licker | Feb 5, 2006 02:32 AM

This spirited and bustling izakaya is on 53 Street just east of 3rd Ave.

First off, practically everyone in there was Japanese; and like in most mostly-Japanese restaurants, the servers were all Japanese girls. Can't complain about that.

As for the Okinawan slant, there's plenty of authentic Okinawan pork-based dishes - stuff that you just won't find elsewhere. They even offer Okinawan beer (forgot the name, but wasn't impressed anyhow). And there's a big menu of mainstream Japanese dishes as well.

Best of all was the kakuni-style ribs which interestingly coupled the hallmark kakuni flavor and texture with the meaty short rib format. The translucent Okinawan seaweed, though a bit sweet, was also excellent. The bitter melon with egg and pork over rice was better than the version I had at Aburiya Kinnosuke. And although I'm sure it was totally authentic to Okinawa cuisine, the pork was actually spam. Spam, in case you haven't had the pleasure, is hammy and revolting.

A special of the night was a small dish of tofu made by incorporating into it a kind of peanut paste, and then placed in a kakuni-like broth. It was awesome and singular.

Also worth mentioning, for novelty sake at least, was another small tofu dish. This one was little cubes of tofu dabbed with sauce, sprinkled with scallions, and crowned with the saltiest-spiciest miniature whole anchovies you've ever tasted.

For a meal-finisher we opted for sushi largely because the sushi chef seemed very busy all night. We were delighted by the mouth-sized rolls of ikura and eel-avocado. The ginger, by the way, was super-gingery and fresh and leagues above the norm.

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