456 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
After reading about Takashi’s uni and raw beef combo (pictured above) on Serious Eats, I emailed the article to my best friend, who I knew loves meat. I actually don’t love meat, but I had to try this place. It also added to the hype because it was highly rated by Yelpers and I always check Yelp.
My best friend ended up picking me up from my internship on my birthday, put us in a cab and brought me here as a treat. I didn’t even know she had planned this, but was very excited!
The interior is very much like a korean BBQ place, but cleaner and with less smoke. Fair warning, this is not vegetarian friendly at all. It’s not a very large place. There are seats by the chef’s counter and tables surrounding it on one side. We sat right by the window, which was a little chilly, but we were glad to have gotten a table so quickly.
For those that are willing to try anything, the most intense items are probably the “calf brain creme” and “testicargot”.
Yeah, we weren’t feeling that. Our table seated 4 and had a grill built into the wooden table, right in the centre. Since we were just two, I think we sat right in the middle, on either side.
Our waitress was good at explaining the menu, but we knew we wanted to try the Niku-Uni — chuck flap topped with uni on a shiso leaf and nori sheet. We also ordered a few raw items to grill, nothing out of this world, but fresh and tasty. Our last dish was a beef and tendon stew with daikon, which was so flavourful and tender. We both thought it’d be excellent over some rice. (It was a very tiny pot, almost like a ramekin.)
Our appetizers came as soon as we sat down. They were very standard banchan of kimchi, mature bean sprouts and raw cabbage with the store’s “secret sauce”. We LOVED the raw cabbage. Usually at home, I stir fry the cabbage till it whittles, but having it raw, with it’s nice crunch and taste of freshness was nice. It certainly help cut through some of the monotony and grease of having so much meat during our meal. And the sauce was very nicely matched. It was one of those ginger-orange dressings, but not overly sweet like some places do it.
We held the Niku-Uni in one hand, dipped the nori into a little soy sauce and took our first bite. Neither of us spoke or looked at each other. (The thought of eating raw beef still creeped me out a bit.) The verdict? It was…smooth…and creamy…and the shiso leaf and dot of wasabi added a nice kick to such a rich protein dish. I prefer to just have uni without the beef. BFF says the uni had too much of an after taste for her.
For dessert, we had their homemade madagascar vanilla soft serve. They offer toppings like azuki beans, mochi, green tea syrup, salted caramel etc. The menu read us well — we couldn’t choose and ened up with “the works” of toppings. Our waitress offered to bring us both sauces: the green tea and caramel.
When the ice cream came, we were nicely surprised. We thought it’d be any other ice cream dessert, but boy were were wrong. Now we even think of JUST going for the dessert. It’s that memorable.
Firstly, the sauces are amazing. We tasted them separately and couldn’t decide which we liked better. They were both very bitter actually — very concentrated. But it tasted great over the sweet vanilla ice cream. The consistency was just perfect. Combined with the different toppings — the rice flour mochi, the red beans and specks of gold flakes.
I would for the ice cream dessert. And if I were in the mood for some quality grilled meats and the crunchy cabbage appetizer.
It’s just one of those places you need to try in New York.