Tim recommended Zenkichi 77 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211 to us a while back, and then gave me two or three gentle reminders. That’s how you have to do it because I’ve got way too many restaurants swarming around in my head. I’m so glad I finally made it to this interesting labyrinth of private booths spread on three floors. It’s too dark (hence, the pitiful pictures) and the benches are uncomfortable, but I’d go again. The food and service exceeded what I expected for the price: a lovely eight-course omakase for $48 per person.

We started with a miso soup, the first I’ve ever had with yam in it and the first Lon ever enjoyed.

The second course included four treats. The sashimi of the day: super fresh Kumumoto Oysters. I could have slurped 20 of these. The Uni topped Soft Tofu with a light dashi broth was a wonderful mix of two different types of creaminess. There’s a rich and lightly briny layer (the uni was not potent) and a clean and smooth custard like layer of housemade tofu. The Hamachi Tartar was topped with tiny crunchy rice crackers. The cabbage salad was the only to fall short, watery and bland.

Kumamoto, Uni Tofu, Hamachi Tartare, cabbage salad

Next, a salad with baby spinach and arugula tossed with bits of mushroom and chunks of chicken in a sweet gingery dressing. The kick added up over time but it felt like a nice cleanse. The tender pieces of grilled, free-range thigh meat was a great topping. Everyone thought it was an excellent salad.

The fourth course was a fancy looking tempura, a roulade of minced shrimp, shiso, and mashed lotus root. There was a wonderful harmony (despite my dislike of shiso) that these different textures and flavors created. The soft center, the lotus bites, with an outer layer of crunchy coating. It’s served with two dipping options, a green tea salt, and a more standard dashi broth. I alternated between bites, enjoying both.

chicken, shiso, and lotus tempura green tea salt

Next, a Miso-Glazed Black Cod. We’re pretty sick of seeing this dish everywhere but it was executed nicely, a sweet crust on flakes of creamy white fish. It was not overly sweet, or overly oily, two common pitfalls of this dish.

Miso glazed Black Cod

In our sixth course, the fried eggplant melts in your mouth. While the fried mochi offers resistance. They were served in a broth, an excellent flavor, but a tad too salty and a tad too oily.

Eggplant and Mochi

Our last savory course was a few slices of red snapper over rice. It’s served with wasabi and Japanese pickles. There was nothing wrong with this dish but it isn’t very exciting.

You get to choose your dessert from four choices and since there were four of us, we got all four. We came up with an excellent game of take two bites and pass clockwise. The desserts went around three of four times before we finished and the verdicts were in. The two favorites were a deep black sesame mousse topped with ice cream, and the chocolate pudding that was reminiscent of a brownie, including walnuts. They were both rich in flavor but restrained from the common glut of sugar.

black sesame mousse with green tea ice cream chocolate pudding

The other two, though not favorites, were wonderful desserts as well, that just fell to steep competition. There was a strawberry and adzuki custard, fresh and summer-y. There was also a “pear cheesecake”, a cheesecake-flavored custard with strips of pear.

Strawberry and Adzuki custard pear cheesecake

I was really impressed with the generous portions, the beautiful plating and plates, and how they used good ingredients. Our server was excellent, always responding immediately to our buzzer (that’s how customers request attention there), describing each of our courses, seeming genuinely interested in taking care of us.  I was a bit surprised, having not expected all this for $48 per person. The omakase menu changes every 5-to-7 weeks, and they also offer a la carte, so I will likely be back again.

posted by jessica at 10:16 AM Filed under Asian, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.