Monday, August 15, 2011

ZENKICHI - Japanese cuisine Tokyo Style

I enjoy Japanese food.  It has its own unique flavor.  It is known for its sushi, hibachi (grilled) cooking and light broth one pot dishes like the well known sukiyaki and shabu-shabu. With Tokyo's population presently reaching a record of 13 million people, there is a new Japanese cuisine that is popular in Tokyo - modern Japanese food.  It's not fusion, but there are some influences from abroad.

Zenkichi opened in November 2006 by a homesick Tokyo-native. Zenkichi is a modern Japanese brasserie providing an authentic dining experience of popular Tokyo establishments.
Zenkichi is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York.  It's a quick subway ride from Union Square station and the first stop in Brooklyn from Manhattan.  I've been showing Williamsburg as a Real Estate Broker so I knew where to look for the restaurant which is about 2 blocks from the station.

The restaurant is very unassuming from the outside.  Previously, I learned that when a restaurant is special in Japan, you will not see large signs.  Zenkichi is that way with a small menu from the outside.  But when you get in, you will be surprised.  I felt like a walked in the heart of Japan.  I had to take the photos below.

You can imagine yourself transported to Old Japan with modern Japanese cuisine.

I love the use of bamboo, stone, pebbles and floor lamps.

Perhaps, I appreciate the authenticity of the decor because I happen to to be a Real Estate Broker as well - so I can't help look into details that are striking.

When you get to the restaurant, there are 2 ways you can eat.  You may either order ala carte menu or try their prix-fixe version.  We tried the ala carte.

From Left to Right, we had salmon roe with fresh scallop on tasting spoons, kampachi (yellow-tail family), Anago Omelet with seawater eel , and Fluke & Konbu*
        Fluke sashimi with shiso leaf &
        salt konbu seaweed
Pictured on the right is Cold Fresh Tofu.
This silky homemade tofu is served with light dashi sauce with a little broccoli.  It's very tasty.  You should try this.  We liked the light delicate flavor.

Note:  On the left are individual private rooms for 2, 4 or 8 people.  They are like booths that separate you from the people sitting next to you to provide privacy. 

Right:   たこわさびTako Wasabi
Wasabi-cured octopus

We couldn't make up our minds which of the chicken dishes we should have.  They were both excellent.  Left-Right: Nagoya Teba Wings - crispy chicken wings with special blend of Japanese spices.  And on the right is Rocksalt Jidori - simply grilled free-range chicken enjoyed in 3 ways: by itself, with lemon, or with yuzu pepper.

Left: Grilled, Roasted & Simmered Eggplant
Grilled Nasu Dengaku
Grilled Japanese eggplant topped with house-blend white miso.  Delicious!!
Right - Grilled yellow tail collar (my favorite fish)

Above:  Camembert & Shrimp Corn Tempura.  Lightly dipped in tempura batter.

As they say, a great meal won't be complete unless you have some special drink.  The sake that paired well was Eilo Fuji Nama - Junmai Ginjo Draft.  It is very light and does not over power the food.

シーフードグラタンSeafood Gratin
Oyster, uni sea urchin, shrimp, Japanese mushrooms:
oven-grilled in béchamel sauce

The dessert was notable!  We had 
黒胡麻のフローズンチョコレートムースFrozen Black Sesame Mousse 
Chocolate-based silky frozen sesame mousse.

I'm definitely impressed with this neighborhood restaurant.  The food, service and ambiance were definitely a treat!  And the price was right.  Worth going out to eat to have a great experience.  A short walk to the park after with views of Manhattan!

Even the signs were unique. 

NOTE:  This is a good place to be with someone or dine with a small group.

77 N 6th St
Brooklyn, NY 11230
Neighborhood: Williamsburg - North Side
(718) 388-8985

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