Monday, August 27, 2007

NOBU versus Tsushima

I dined with two different friends this week, and for several conspiring reasons ended up at Nobu and Tsushima. They couldn't be more different, and although I enjoyed both meals very much, I am almost certain to return to Tsushima for a 4th time, and might not give Nobu a second try.
Nobu, had delicious food, creatively prepared, but its rituals are arcane and seem to get in the way. The menu and pricing is confusing and the portions can be ridiculous. I ate almost every morning in Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market when I visited Japan last year. I ate like a king for the price of a 1/2-ounce Toro appetizer at Nobu. While the small Tsukiji restaurant was nothing much to look at, and I had only unadorned sashimi, I never felt confused or uncomfortable even thought the staff knew absolutely no English. Not a word. At Nobu, I felt both emotions throughout. In Tokyo, I simply rattled off the fish names I knew, and the fish appeared with a deferential "Hai". At Nobu, any question, was greeted with a kind of "you poor thing, let me help you" look. Some info on Tsukiji can be found at: The fish market itself is a wholesale market, but great sashimi is to found nearby in all directions.Tsushima, which does not have a website is just outstanding. Please don't order a California roll here; I don't think they would know how to accommodate you. This is like going to a Tapas bar, except, of course, the menu items are Japanese. There is a seasonal menu for the month. I would suggest ordering about 6 or 7 dishes off this menu - you just can't go wrong. Recent examples include BBQ Abalone, Grilled Pork, and Spanish mackerel. Tsushima,,+new+york,+ny, (212) 207-1938

No comments: