Thursday, January 08, 2009

Hidden Gem

I was a tad unsettled the first time I walked into Sakagura two years ago. One evening, our friend Randy led us into a nondescript office building and down into a stairwell that led to a charming little Japanese restaurant. We sampled the sake (they serve over 200 kinds) and nibbled from a plate of cold soba, but nothing more. I remembered the place more for the Japanese toilet in the ladies room—you know those tricked out ones with a bidet that you can set to wash you with cold/warm/tepid water delived in a stream, as a rainshower blast, and whatnot.

Last week, on my last day at my former workplace, my dear co-workers took me to lunch at Sakagura. Midtown Manhattan, which was so foreign to me then, has become my stomping ground because of my work at the UN. I was pleasantly surprised at the experience. On my last visit, I took Sakagura to be a tad overpriced—I still feel that it is, for dinner at least. For lunch, there are wonderful dishes to be had at reasonable prices.

I was craving a warm dish because it was a snowy day. I picked the Ebiten Toji Don ($17), shrimp tempura topped with organic eggs served atop a bowl of rice. It's pretty much like katsudon but with shrimp tempura rather than breaded pork cutlets. It was fantastic.

My co-worker Vanessa, who is a regular at Sakagura, ordered her favorite: the Sake Ikura Don ($16), fillets of salmon sashimi and salmon roe steeped in sweet soy sauce served atop a bowl of sushi rice. The salmon was extremely fresh and the serving was very generous.

We were all careful to save room for dessert, which Vanessa had been raving about. Vanessa, who is Parisian, had been talking up the wonderful French desserts at Sakagura for ages so we were determined to try them. A chocolate soufflé and some green tea ice cream were ordered, but I believe my pick was the best: black sesame crème brulee with black sesame ice cream ($7). The nutty, toasted taste of the black sesame was so novel in the crème brulee and ice cream. The topping, which was like a sesame brittle, was absolutely yummy as well. I was tickled pink with the creativity and thoroughly enjoyed the harmonious tastes.

Thank you once again to the wonderful ladies at Codification for the treat! I hope we can do it again soon.

Sakagura is located at 211 East 43rd Street #B1, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.


x dee said...

Hello! I just had to comment on this. The food looks delicious! I've made it my mission to forcefully recommend to my friends that we eat there! ;)

The Chiconomist Celine said...

Hi x-dee! It really is a good deal for lunch. Portions are smaller (but priced the same!) during dinner time though so I'd be weary of going there at night. Enjoy and let me know how you like it!

x dee said...

Thanks for the tips Celine! I can't wait to check it out!

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