245 W 51st St, New York
So, I’m currently curled up on the couch, coughing violently, with what I suspect is a slight fever, and feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck. But (light at the end of the tunnel) I’m also off to Japan in 43 days… this is rolling around SO quickly!!! This whole low FODMAP thing is a bit shit when I feel like a burger or a donut, but one of the other foods I frequently crave (and can actually eat at the moment) is Japanese! Yay! Every now and then I get crazy cravings for Japanese food. But good Japanese food, not like Japanese-by-numbers crap. I had one of those cravings in New York earlier this year, and did a bit of research online (AKA I Googled for 10 minutes before getting bored and hungry and settling on the first one I saw) and we ended up going to Nippori for dinner before seeing WICKED – conveniently located across the road, by the way!
Nippori is a gorgeous little place, small but beautifully set out, with the very high standard of customer service you would typically associate with such a nice Japanese restaurant. After being invited into the warmth from the New York winter cold and greeted like old friends who hadn’t visited in months, we were immediately seated and handed our menus. Everything looked to be pretty good, and the food envy started almost straight away, watching meal after meal being brought out of the kitchen and placed on surrounding tables. We decided to order a few plates, in the interest of being able to try as much as possible; we ended up with:
Top left: one of the specials of the day, a perfectly braised pork belly with onion, bean sprouts, and the most magnificent sauce. Perfect choice!
Top right: pan-fried pork gyoza, one of my favourites. Nippori did gyoza particularly well, great flavour without that unsavoury aftertaste you can sometimes get with dumplings.
Bottom left: assorted sushi platter. The fish was fresh and buttery, fell apart as you ate it, and the rice was really well seasoned. One of the better sushi platters I’ve had.
Bottom right: oyako don – this chicken, onion and egg on rice dish is a favourite of mine to order at home at Shiki Japanese, and despite being a little different and a lot more expensive AUD$9.50 vs USD$13.00), it certainly didn’t disappoint. The spring onions gave it a great taste, and the sauces they used were perfect with the chicken and egg. Loved it!
It wasn’t the cheapest place to eat, but then again, nothing really is in New York (particularly in the theatre district!). It was more than worth it though; good Japanese food is always something I’ll happily justify spending a little more on, and it’s a place I’d definitely recommend if you’re craving some good Japanese food in New York, too. And while we’re talking Japanese food, any exceptional recommendations for Tokyo??!