Saturday, February 04, 2017

Kyo Ya (East Village Manhattan) 01/2017

The entrance is even more obscure at night! 
No body could discover this place by accident. Not only does it have no sign of it's name outside but also it is in a basement. Once you do get there it is immediately clear that you are in a Japanese restaurant. Decor is fairly minimalist.

Lighting also simple

Furnishing is also plain and inoffensive. They have seating for 36 including a private room.

They offer an a la carte menu 

and a kasei or degustation menu, for which you have to book at least one day ahead of your visit, of nine, 10 or 11 courses priced at $90, $120 or $150 so it's quite expensive.
We chose the 10 course menu.
The table was simply set with the 10 course menu on the table.

The courses were:
"Zatsuki," Arugo Arare, a slice of fish (teal) deep fried in a crunchy coating, lightly seasoned. 
A nice start
"Sakisuki", translates as Drinker, Kintsuba Yaki Goma, Sesame Tofu and Yaki Uni with sea urchin and wasabi followed
Third course was "Oshinogi" - Grilled Saba and Pickled Cabbage Sandwich

A nice combination of tastes and textures.
"Owan" - Rencon and brown rice Potage, Age Cauiflower manju The soup is chicken soup based but has no resemblance to that.
The manju was a gluey dumpling made with cauliflower and potato but neither was recognizable,

It was an interesting and very moorish soup.
"Otsukuri"  (Sashimi) - Fresh Oyster and Sushimi of the Day - Chef's Selection came in two parts. 
The large oyster, from Washington, decorated with an edible petal in a delicious sauce, 
Followed by six slices of different fish, Abalone, Spanish Mackeral, Tuna, Striped fish, White fish and Salmon Trout  accompanied by a Sea Urchin paste, a Jelly Fish in sauce and a dipping sauce as well as Chrysanthanum, Wasabi and Seaweed. 
If you wished there were small nori sheets to make your own sushi roll as well.

This dish was as good as it looked.

Sixth course was "Yakimono" (which translates as grilled, fried or broiled food) - Kan Buri. Yellow Tail, Yellow TailKuwa-yaki with Soba gome and Julienne Winter Vegetable Salad

Another joy to the palate.
Followed by "Nimono" This refers to a dish that is simmered, it generally consist of a base ingredient simmered in shiru stock flavoured with sake and soy sauce .Fried Turnip, Aigamo Jibu-ni, Brussel Sprout Kuzu, An Kake. with a slice of duck breast.
A strange sort of soup not dominated by the turnip or the sprouts.
Eighth course was "Tomezakama" - Winter Seafood, fish, crab, scallop and salmon caviar, and Winter Fruit with Yamakake Vinegar.

Still continuing to surprise and appeal the addition of the vinegar made the dish.
It was served with Red Miso Soup and Pickles.

"Oshokuji"  Oyster and Gobo Kamakaki,

This is a substantial rice dish that is laced with oysters and ensures that no guest leaves hungry.

We took what we could not finish home, wrapped in a leaf!
The last course was 
Dessert - Chickpea Zenzai with Sweet Potato, 
Pumpkin Ice Cream.
Neither of these were very sweet which was a good way to end this meal.
This is Japanese Haute cuisine. The menu is, for us, very unusual. Although there are many ingredients to every dish and the plating is very attractive flavours were very mild. There were some unusual combinations but the dishes were quite conservative with nothing absolutely outstanding but everything very good, Small amounts of sea urchin feature in several dishes, wasabi is offered with discretion. 
There is an attempt to connect the food to the food being served in Japan at this time. It was the equal of the best Japanese food we have ever eaten.
We enjoyed a couple of carafe of sake through the meal. 

Worth its Michelin star
Score:17.5 /20

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