Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sake and Japanese food in Brooklyn

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:50 PM Permalink

Mr. Vidiot and I are always trying to find new places to try out regional cuisine. It doesn't have to be weird or particularly exotic, although we'll do that too, but really, it just needs to be authentic.

Well, we found a place that serves real Japanese home cooking. It's called Kappa Sake House and it's at 388 Fifth Avenue between 6th and 7th in Park Slope. It's not American Japanese food, where you get a california roll with too-salty soy sauce. It's not all sushi either, which it does have, but it has stuff that we've never tried before like Saba Shio (broiled mackerel with Japanese sea salt) which had a delicious salty crust and the meat was tender, moist and flakey. We also had the Tsukune (home-made chicken meat balls with original Teriyaki sauce). She served the Tsukune with a poached egg. The teriyaki sauce wasn't the overly sweet sauce one is is used to from standard American-style Japanese restaurants and you wouldn't think a poached egg would add flavor, and maybe it doesn't, but it certainly enhances it.

Additionally, she has an excellent sake and Japanese beer menu and she will help you pair your food choices with your drink. (She suggested the Saba Shio and Tsukune because we were drinking sake and she was right.) She's extremely personable and we felt comfortable just talking to her and getting her advice on the different sakes (there are so many to try!) and what Japanese home cooking really is.

I know many of our readers live in NYC and many others visit. This place should be put on your list of restaurants to try.

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At 1:27 AM, Anonymous George Adams said...

I'll try that the next time my wife and I are in the city. I know how to make Japanese food but it's always nice to have the real thing.

At 3:18 PM, Blogger The Vidiot said...

I think you'll enjoy it. then, walk up 5th avenue to Bergen, make a left on Bergen. It's a long-ish walk, but there's lots to look at. Anyway, left on Bergen, and on 4th avenue, there are a few decent bars and a few more blocks down Bergen, at the corner of Hoyt is one of the best bars in Brooklyn called The Brooklyn Inn.

At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spent two and a half years in Okinawa, Japan. I arrived just at the beginning of 1978 and left in the fall of '80.

While the U.S. Govt. had already administratively turned the Ryuku Archipelago back over to the Japanese (thereby nipping [no pun intended] the fledgling Okinawan independence movement in the bud), when I got there, the local roads were still ostensibly operated on the "American" side of the road.

Around six months after I arrived, all that changed with a blinding flash of auto-insanity and a battle station's full of honking horns as the new Japanese overlord was intent on wholly absorbing those coral islands as a permanent tail on the hegemonic ass of Japan. That's when I learned to drive like an Englishman (... well, sort of).

Anyway, about eight months into my tour, I was able to secure off-base housing at government expense. As a consequence, I was able to sample the "Japanese" lifestyle (with a Ryuku flavor) much more extensively than if I were perpetually stuck in the Kadina Air Base enlisted dormatories during the seasonal tyfuns. I loved it there.

Anyway, as the dollar was VERY strong during that time, I ate most of my meals (when not almost perpetually slaving overtime on the flightline) at the more indigenous restaurants (outside and around Gate 2 and heading into the direction of Naha).

That was a good time.



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