2/6/11

Sushi Omakase Style

If I was stranded on a desert island and had to pick one food to eat forever, it would probably be sushi. It's just so good. And New York City offers unlimited options for planning a raw-fish dinner. In my neighborhood, I usually head over to Chinatown East for their fresh, $1 a piece sushi option or for a nicer meal, my boyfriend and I will make a reservation at the Gramercy gem, Azuki Sushi for an affordable meal with free hot sake. 

I love trying new places as well. So when the lifestyle site Daily Candy offered a Tasting Menu for four at Haru Gramercy for $60, I gathered three girlfriends and we had a Wednesday night outing. Ever since taking a sake class at New York Vintners, I can't get enough of the rice-based brew and I love sharing my knowledge with friends. I started with a flight which included four sakes -- Reiko, Nigori, Karatumba and Suishin. If you've never tried Nigori, it's basically unfiltered sake so it has a cloudy appearance but is full of flavor. I'd highly recommend. One of my friends ordered a sake cocktail called the Momotini. With sake and peach puree, this drink is a little awkward to order, but luscious and relaxing to enjoy.

Sake Flight
The Momotini
The meal was served omakase style, basically Japanese for chef's choice. We started with sushi fish tacos. Served with lime, these tacos were a nice fusion dish that brought back wonderful memories of family vacations to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico while fulfilling my desire for excellent texture and succulent flavors.

Sushi Fish Tacos
Next, our server brought out a platter of different appetizers -- Crispy Calamari with spicy peanut sauce, Grilled Spicy Garlic Shrimp marinated in hot chili sauce, Tuna Tataki seared with avocado salad and spicy soy vinaigrette, and Shrimp Spring Rolls. With four of everything, we didn't have to fight over any of the food and still were able to try a bunch of different things. The shrimp were delicious, served with soba noodles. The avocado served with the tuna was perfectly ripe, just the way I like it and the tuna was so fresh, it could have been swimming yesterday. The calamari was light, unlike typical fried and breaded calamari. I think the pieces could have been coated in panko instead of batter. The spring rolls were full of flavor and I was happy to have some veggies with this meal.

Appetizer Platter
After clearing our appetizer plate, our server brought out this beautiful and colorful platter of sushi. With a mix of traditional tuna and salmon sushi pieces, we also got two unique rolls. The first was the Kiss of Fire Roll -- with super white tuna, salmon, jalapeƱo peppers and wasabi tobiko wrapped around crunchy spicy tuna and more jalapeƱos. This was definitely spicy, but super innovative, again bringing in the element of fusion. The second roll, although I don't remember what it was called, was filled with crab and topped with two different kinds of roe. This was a nice compliment to the other roll as it calmed the spice.

Sushi Platter
Not to end the night without a New York moment, we spotted Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern sitting alone at the sushi bar clad in a neon orange winter hat and surely eating something exotic.

Celebrity Spotting: Andrew Zimmern at the sushi bar
For $15 a person, this meal was a spectacular deal. The quality of the food was top notch and the service was attentive and personable. With several locations throughout the city and in Boston and Philadelphia, it's nice to know that an excellent sushi meal is just around the corner. Have you been to Haru? What do you think?



Haru on Urbanspoon

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