[New York] Kura
Kura | Yelp
Address: 130 St Mark’s Pl (East Village), New York, NY 10009
Date visited: 2013.04
Total bill: $84 + tip for one
Verdict: Anything Miyake-san hands you is good
Will return: Definitely
No signs, no windows, no menu. Good luck finding this place. Actually, I hope you don’t so I can eat in peace. I am kind of kidding but not really.
I feel conflicted writing this review because the next thing I know, I will have to make a reservation weeks in advance to eat here. I think everyone who has eaten here wants to keep it a secret from the public.
Kura is purely omakase style, meaning you leave your meal entirely up to Chef Miyake-san, who will serve you a combination of sushi and cooked dishes over multiple courses. The omakase starts at $65 (and up), which is unheard of in New York and elsewhere for the quality you are getting. You can choose what price point you want to start at and they will tell you when you are close to hitting the limit. At that point, you have the option to increase your price ceiling or stop. Of course, the higher your price point, the higher the market value of ingredients will be used (real talk, the $65 tier isn’t going to get you lobster sashimi but a higher tier will). Know this: no matter what price point you choose, you will always get the freshest and highest quality ingredients. That’s the point of not having a set menu–what’s being served is what’s freshest that day. I wouldn’t be surprised if they raise the prices next year; I will still go.
I opted for the $65 tier during this visit because I had already been stuffing myself with macarons earlier. I ate solo but I didn’t feel like I was alone. Chef Miyake-san and his left-hand (who is actually the owner SURPRISE) love to talk to customers.
Dassai Sake (Glass $12; price varies depending on selection)
You can get sake by the glass, carafe, or entire bottle. If you are unsure, just ask the owner for a recommendation. He suggested pairing this Dassai sake with my meal. It was sweet, smooth, and a perfect complement to my meal.
Tuna with Mountain Yams
I didn’t think I would like this but I did. Mountain yam is either a hit or miss for me because it has a slimy consistency after it is grated. It can taste really good or really weird, usually the latter, depending on what it is paired with. With a hint of wasabi, the mountain yams in this dish tasted great. After you finish the tuna, you can drink the remaining mountain yam from the bowl.
Fifteen years of speaking English and I still cannot describe what umami (鲜味) is but it was in this soup. This miso soup was cooked with fish bones, which made it very 鲜, and contained a piece of Spanish mackerel.
This was made with mountain potato, shrimp, and egg and was slightly sweeter than regular tamagoyaki. My only complaint was that I would have liked this to top off the sushi pieces at the end. I got another egg dish soon after this so it was a little too much egg in a short span. Just a minor order detail.
Green Tea Soba Wrapped in Spanish Mackerel
This dish was served warm and it was fantastic. Hands down the most beautiful dish of the night. Definitely a highlight.
Marinated Aji (Jackfish)
This piece actually came from a larger dish that was given to the couple sitting next to me. I literally saw Miyake-san turn the whole jackfish into sashimi before my eyes. This is why you sit at the bar.
Akami (Tuna) Handroll
Miyake-san handed this right to me. Simply delicious.
|Pressed mackerel with a layer of translucent seaweed on top|