Zenkichi Williamsburg Changes Its Omakase Menu for the Fall

September 21, 2012 12:32 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Zenkichi
Even as a Williamsburg resident, I can attest to the fact that It's easy to miss Zenkichi, a Japanese restaurant with one of the most incredible menus at a seriously terrific price point. Its wooden storefront, with no sign, makes the property almost look condemned on the outside. A trip inside shows that such a first impression couldn't be farther from the truth. (Photo: Zenkichi)

Even as a Williamsburg resident, I can attest to the fact that It's easy to miss Zenkichi, a Japanese restaurant with one of the most incredible menus at a seriously terrific price point. Its wooden storefront, with no sign, makes the property almost look condemned on the outside. A trip inside shows that such a first impression couldn't be farther from the truth.

It's like stepping into a Miyazaki movie, only without the fear of being turned into a pig if you eat the food. You're given your own private booth with a buzzer to ring to summon your waiter, and only then do you encounter your server. Other than those instances, you and your friends or loved one (it should really be a loved one, as this place is so romantic) are free to talk amongst yourself.

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Although it's very hard to talk about anything but the food. For sixty-five dollars, you're given a traditional eight-course tasting menu called omakase. The items on the menu fluctuate, with the only thing remaining fixed being the dessert (your choice of grapefruit agar, frozen black sesame mousse, silken tofu with red bean, or chocolate hazelnut pudding-- all of them stellar).

Recently, they updated their tasting menu for the fall. It now includes their stellar miso soup, a chilled plate consisting of the sashimi of the day, an oyster zuke (the highlight of the cold meal for its ginger and sesame oil marinade), and perfectly seasoned namako goma ae, or sea cucumber. They say that substitution is possible, but you don't want to miss trying one of the best cucumbers I've ever eaten.

Next, they move into the Zenkichi Salad, which is your standard green salad that has a nice dressing. After that, the soft-shell crab kills it, especially with the ponzu citrus sauce. Next, the saikyo miso cod and the roasted duck show off the capable hands of the chefs in the kitchen. The meal ends with grilled salmon and ikura (cured salmon roe) over rice.

For $65, it's a steal. Utterly perfect and brilliantly executed.

Grab your partner and go, go, go!



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