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October 15, 2012

Sakagura (NYC)

We had the most amazing Japanese food in our first night in NYC at Sakagura, a hidden gem 10 minutes away from our hotel. I mean, literally, it was hidden in the basement of an Midtown East office building, and we had to go down a few flights of sketchy stairs to reach this sake bar. Perhaps it was because we were exhausted (from a day of Woodbury shopping) and famished (it was almost midnight), but we found everything here to be truly exceptional.
Maguro yamakake- fresh tuna sashimi served with grated mountain yam
This was our first taste of how amazingly fresh the sashimi was, and we couldn't get enough of it! The grated mountain yam added a creamy dimension that complemented the tuna well. 
Chikuzen ni- assorted cooked roots vegetables and chicken
After a day of road trip food (i.e. fast food + junk), I really enjoyed the healthiness of the dish. I regretted not ordering a few more healthy options!
Kamo roast- slices of chilled roasted duck wrapped around scallion, accented with basil sauce
Jaga dango- mashed potatoes coated in sweet donut batter, fried crisp
This was really bizarre- like a savoury donut with mashed potatoes. I wouldn't say that it was my favourite dish, but it was certainly very innovative and interesting.
Tamakoyaki - sliced egg omelette with bonito broth, wrapped around grilled eel
My only complaint was that there was barely any eel in the omelette!
Bi stick- deep fried shrimp roll with seaweed and oba leaf, served with miso sauce
Karaage- deep fried chunks of chicken marinaded in sake and ginger infused soy sauce
This was superbly juicy and delicious! No sauce required at all!
Grilled mackerel
Gindara yuan yaki- grilled fillets of cod fish steeped in sweet soy sauce
This was pure buttery deliciousness in my mouth! The gindara was undoubtedly memorable and one of the best dish of the night.
Sake oyako don- fillets of fresh salmon sashimi and salmon roe steeped in soy sauce, served atop a bowl of rice
We all loved the freshness and sweetness of the salmon, but I didn't like the fact that the rice warmed up fish considerably. I prefer eating sashimi chilled.
Sanma onigiri- cooked rice balls with shiitake mushroom, pickled radish and mountain vegetables, wrapped with a whole baked pike mackerel
We ordered various rice balls because the guys needed something more filling. I didn't try too much of it. 
Onigiri- rice balls topped with spicy cod roe and salmon roe
After the tuna and salmon courses, we knew we couldn't be satisfied without sampling more sashimi! So we decided to order a $53 sashimi platter, which included red snapper, yellowtail, toro (fatty tuna), salmon, and uni. Between the 6 of us, we each had half a piece of each fish, and we were all extremely impressed. The quality of the fish was simply out of this world (except I ended up eating all of the uni because nobody else liked it). Definitely worth the splurge!
We were pretty full but couldn't leave without having something sweet. The first dessert we tried was the black sesame crème brûlée. This was also fantastic and not overly sweet.
Sake manju- sake lees bun stuffed with red bean, served with green tea sorbet
I couldn't taste the sake in the bun, but I also enjoyed this dessert. The green tea sorbet was particularly intense, which I love! All in all, we had an extraordinary meal that was truly unforgettable. I don't think I'll ever look at sashimi the same way again.
Sakagura on Urbanspoon

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