Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NYC: Sushi Azabu

Day 3 of my Seven Michelin Star Restaurants in Seven Days series brings us to Sushi Azabu, a traditional edo-mae style Japanese restaurant. Edo-mae sushi is a combination of fresh raw fish, and cooked rice which is seasoned with vinegar, pretty much the sushi that you've come to know and love today. However, don't expect to find California rolls or anything of the sort here.

Sushi Azabu is located in TriBeCa, tucked away underneath the basement of Greenwich Grill. So, when you first come looking for this gem, don't expect to find a sign for Sushi Azabu - just go into Greenwich Grill and you'll be directed to the stairs where Sushi Azabu is hidden.

Entrance to the basement 

Sushi Azabu is actually quite small so making a reservation by phone is recommended. Also note that right now, due to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, they are only taking parties of 4 or less and there's limited seating on the booth tables. The counter seating has been reopened, so go ahead and book a reservation to try their Chef's Omakase or other delicious sushi today!

Behind the Sushi Counter

The calm and serene underground seating - with no more than 4 tables available at a time

Unlike a lot of other sushi restaurants, I really liked how easy going Sushi Azabu felt. Since they only serve a certain amount of people per night, it will never feel overcrowded or hectic. It was a great place for me and my party of 4 to enjoy a night of good food and conversation.

Taken from their website directly:

"All of the sushi chefs are Japanese and trained in Japan, and 70-80% of the fish is imported directly from Japan, four times a week. We only use a unique blend of sushi rice imported directly from Japan, using the previous years KOMAI harvest to avoid the overly-high water content associated with fresh harvests of rice. The soy sauce is a house-made, sweetened and reduced NIKIRI soy sauce that we infuse overnight with mirin, kelp, and dried bonito shavings." - Sushi Azabu

House-made soy sauce and our Nigori Sake, my favorite

So to kick off dinner, we actually decided to not do the Chef's Omakase, but instead we ordered some Japanese small dishes, all were so delicious.

HIJIKI NO UMANI  - Hijiki Seaweed Simmered with Soy Sauce and Sugar

GIN-DARA SAIKYO-YAKI - Grilled Black Cod Marinated in a Special Sweet Miso Sauce - RECOMMENDED**

WHITE FISH CARPACCIO - served sashimi style with tobiko and endives served over fresh green

Grilled Hamachi Collar

In addition to the wonderful small plates, we ordered some sushi a la carte, only to sample some of the dishes that we wouldn't come with another course we ordered later...

A LA CARTE SUSHI - salmon roe, unagi, o-toro, blue fin tuna, local uni

Finally, we had the Koi Course, easily the most affordable, bang for your buck, thing you can order here. which consisted of 10 pieces of nigiri - eat prepared with a dab of wasabi and a light coat of soy sauce brushed on top of it. As I was enjoying each bite, I was having a slight Jiro Dreams of Sushi moment. Side note: If you haven't watched the movie, I suggest you do! It definitely gives you more appreciation of the work that goes into a perfect piece of nigiri.

KOI COURSE - 10 Nigiri - grilled salmon, amberjack, snapper, fluke, king salmon, salmon
KOI COURSE PART II - 2 tuna akami, scallop, shrimp

We actually ordered 2 KOI COURSES! NOM - RECOMMENDED**

As we were grubbing on the nigiri, we were also given their delicious miso soup which was served with a shrimp head. This was unlike any other soup I've ever tasted as the shrimp added some sweetness to the broth, and you bet I slurped up the shrimp head afterwards!

The BEST Miso soup ever - comes with the Koi Course :)

After our delicious sushi, we ordered their Matcha Meringue dessert - Green Tea mousse with Bananas and Strawberries. It was so light and fluffy and delicious to eat.

Matcha Meringue Dessert, SOOO goooood

Overall, I really enjoyed the dinner we had here. It's a clear winner as a 1 Michelin Star Japanese Restaurant - not only is it affordable but the ambiance and food is enough to coax you into a relaxation and happiness.


Summary


Good For...
Low-key relaxed sushi

Must Order Again
Koi Course
Grilled Black Miso Cod

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Sushi Azabu | Yelp

428 Greenwich St
(between Laight St & Vestry St)
New York, NY 10013

(212) 274-0428
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