On Sunday evening, post-Gay Pride Parade, Zubair took me out to EN Japanese Brasserie for my birthday dinner :D My first visit to this restaurant was back in late April, when we stopped in for an order of the fresh tofu, served warm. It was amazing! On that occasion, we came in during the late afternoon, and were the only diners in the very large restaurant. I guess it should have been no surprise when we returned two months later on that Sunday, and the hostess said, “ahh so good to see you again! didn’t you two stop by for tofu months ago?” A sweet surprise ^_^
This meal was equally gorgeous…above is a shot of the bar, right when you enter in the restaurant…
…and this is the dining area.
We started off with sake…
…the Ksumi Tsuru recommended by the waitress. And then proceeded to eat, huzzah!
First, the fresh-made tofu, served warm with wari-joyu
Pouring, pouring…this dish is just so lovely, it makes me happy just to look at it!
Next, the goma dofu agedashi. This dish was ten million times better than we anticipated. Four cubes, two each of fresh housemade black and white sesame tofu, lightly fried. The tofu is served in a dashi broth with a variety of Japanese mushrooms. When you bite through the crisp fried crust, molten tofu shoots outs…potentially dangerous, but oh-so-delicious. It was like eating hot black and white sesame cream. Definitely the most interesting dish of dinner.
We also shared the spicy chu toro roll, which featured marbled tuna belly mixed with okra…
…and the reisei uni chawanmushi, off the seasonal menu. Uni custard topped with more uni. I swear, along with pasta and pizza, I’d kill to have uni every day of my life ^_^
Finally, soba tea pudding, clean and haunting in its’ simplicity. The texture was memoerable, a supple cross between that of Chinese almond tofu and panna cotta.
Oh man, I always forget how much I love Japanese food, a staple cuisine in Hawai’i, though of a different sort. To bad we don’t have places like Kozo Sushi in New York…accessible, fresh and affordable enough to eat on a daily basis. Oh well, on these rare occasions that I have sushi in New York, I appreciate it all the more :)
EN Japanese Brasserie
435 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014