Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sakagura


Mao
 Share

Recommended Posts

In terms of price, Saka Gura is like many places where you can graze or "do tapas." Everything looks inexpensive, but the addition can become quite large when you indulge yourself. It's not an elegant high priced place, but it's certainly not a cheap ethnic spot either. Overall, I though it was fair value for the money spent. Although it wasn't similar to any particular restaurant in which I've eaten in Japan, nor were there specifics that were responsible for this, I found it the most authentically Japanese place in which I've eaten in New York. Maybe it's just that it was in a basement of a truly nondescript office building.

:biggrin:

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Suzanne, good idea.

I really like the sound of this place.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[rhetorical]Why can't every restaurant have an online menu?[/rhetorical]

They do have an online menu.

http://sakagura.com/

Many thanks, Khao! (though it still doesn't answer the rhetorical question... :wink: )

Are rhetorical questions meant to be answered?

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are rhetorical questions meant to be answered?

Of course not, which is why I was defending the original question's status as a rhetorical one!

That was just a rhetorical question, 201 dear.

Suzanne, I think so.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dined at Saka Gura last Sunday with my girlfriend and a friend of hers. I have eaten there a fair amount over the last 12 months (perhaps 7-10 times), and find both that the place can be expensive or reasonable really depending how much you wish to drink and that the food is not always consistent, but can be excellent. Certainly in this price range I think the only Japanese restuarant that may be as good in the city is Aki in the Village. Saka gura is NOT Jewel Bako, Sushi of Gari or Kuruma, but at its price range one doesn't expect a lot of stuff flown in from JFK from Tokyo mkts .

Anyway, a couple of random things. First, as a general rule, unless you go there a lot and know what you are doing, its almost always best to order sake from the smaller menu that features the sakes that they have gotten in most recently. Typically they will give you two menus for sake, one of which is much larger, more comprehensive and breaks sakes down by region. Really, unless you know the deal avoid this list, because sake is like wine or beer--once the bottle is open--its probably only good for a few days max, before it should be used for cooking. The smaller menu is what is fresh and hasn't been open for weeks, and is what they just got in. Second, the menu seems to have changed a bit from the last time I was there. There are the usual interesting combos on the back but the main menu items are both more unsual and seem to feature some of things you used to see on the back like the mille feuile. I will second or treble the opinion of the 3 miso eggplant as being superb. Its not subtle--its rather sweet--but I thought it was a knock out in textural softness and sweetness. I also tried the egg concoction that Cabrales did and thought it rather mediocre. As a rule, I avoid eating Uni now except at the best sushi places because too often it is not super fresh and to my palate comes across as excessively briney, whereas really fresh Uni can be buttery and very sensual, almost teasing. Ducasse does not get fresh Uni. I also ordered the pork discussed above and agree that it was mind boggling--sweet but very brothy in my tender version. A few months ago I went for a meal there and was disappointed with the exception of some softshell crabs that were out of this world. I believe the place employs 3 chefs by the way. I have never had a bad meal there, but have certainly experienced mediocrity. Seems to depend on the night. I have had the fluke several times--somtimes good, sometimes bad, depending it often seems to me on fresh the seaweed is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

mao, good post and good point. I would never drink sake from a bottle that was not just opened. Even at a sake bar, either order what is probably flowing or what no one ever orders.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I received a postcard announcing 2003 Sakagura's Sake Tasting Event on February 1 (Saturday), 7-10 pm, for $24. The Japanese name is "Kikisake Kai-Setsubun", with the last term denoting a "curious Japanese festival based on the old Chinese lunar calendar".

The event is described as featuring 60 different kinds of Junmai (pure rice) sake, with "complimentary traditional Setsuban dish[es]." The reservations number is 212-953-7253.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saka Gura is one of my faves. I should point out that they used to have killer lichee sake martinis. Alas, they are no longer being served. This may also be the case with the bourbon. They may only be serving sake now.

A funny Saka Gura story, the guard for the office building told me that it isn't uncommon for drunk Japanese ex-pats to bang into the faux-marble walls in the lobby, bow to the wall and say "so sorry, so sorry".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

I was excited to post pictures of SakaGura but Alas FatGuy beat me to the punch like three years prior.. But anyway, I will still post them..

Wanted to show the interesting entrance to the place.. Its in this unassuming office buildings basement.. Its always fun to see the surprised looks on peoples faces when they discover this place.. Last night it was me and my girlfriend who went.

gallery_15057_1348_489115.jpg

For peoples first time I really try to confuse them by walking down 44th and cutting through a parking garage that goes through to 43rd street...

Here is the lobby of the building

gallery_15057_1348_754194.jpg

gallery_15057_1348_1054273.jpg

After walking down a flight of stairs you come to the entrance..

gallery_15057_1348_172753.jpg

We sat at the bar while waiting we ordered a Poochie Poochie sake.. Its a light sparkling sake.. And a beer..

gallery_15057_1348_848600.jpg

We also ordered a cold Japanese Eggplant and asparagus with bonito flakes and some vinegar from the specials menu.. Excellent.. The bonito added a really great smokey flavor..

gallery_15057_1348_864492.jpg

We then were seated.. In the back room its really pretty and private back there..

gallery_15057_1348_75940.jpg

We ordered a junmai of some sort and a few more beers..

gallery_15057_1348_202920.jpg

This dish was a cold cheese tofu dish from the specials menu.. Really interesting.

gallery_15057_1348_480740.jpg

Tomago with eel.. I love their tomago there..

gallery_15057_1348_160307.jpg

Sliced Squid with garlic.. They have the squid separated into the three different parts.. Its really good.. Great presentation.

gallery_15057_1348_942696.jpg

Cold duck wrapped around scallions served with a little basil sauce.. This dish is one of my favorites.. Light refreshing, fantastic.. It has changed a little since the last time i was back but still excellent..

gallery_15057_1348_57377.jpg

Pork stomach.. Excellent.. The meat was so so tender and the sauce a little vinegary a little saucy.. This might be one of the best pork dishes i have ever had..

gallery_15057_1348_309993.jpg

Stewed beef tongue,.. The beef tongue is so soft and has absorbed the sauce.. There is radish in their that is cooked and absolutely perfect.. One of my favorite dishes too..

gallery_15057_1348_791334.jpg

I forgot what the heck this was.. The sake has kicked in and we are on bottle number three at this point..

gallery_15057_1348_272705.jpg

This was a fried white fish in a vinegar sauce.. Outstanding too..

gallery_15057_1348_661764.jpg

The grand finale! Beautiful beef on a hot stone.. First there was fat placed on the stone so the meat wouldn't stick

gallery_15057_1348_377001.jpg

The we grilled..

gallery_15057_1348_485391.jpg

Since the dessert chef left and is now in charge of her own place downtown, i was excited to try the desserts.. However, me and my girl were full to know end..

Edited by Daniel (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont know who the dessert chef was last night.. And I was so full i didnt even look at the menu.. I couldnt even look at food.. But the old dessert chef opened and was put in charge of a place that is known for the incredible tea service.. She is also the one who first made the green truffles they have at Saka.. I went there a few months ago when it first opened and it was good, ended the night at decible..

The name of the new place seems to escape me but its something like Chahn or something like that..

Edited by Daniel (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bud Light presents: Real men of genius!

Today we salute you Mr. Food enthusiast/photo journalist.

Not only do we get to read about all the great places you have been to eat but we get to see all the dishes with your excellent photography skillz.

You eat cheese steaks at 9am while we are sulking over our obligatory captain crunch. ("Extra Cheese Wiz"!)

Your clothes are saturated with the smell of Bubbas smoker while we are left with the stench of choice beef on the Foreman grill. ("Big Bubba Coming through")

You drink 4 bottles of Sake from 4 different regions of Japan while we sit at home drinking a Bud Light and reading the Egullet forums, awaiting your next post. (“Sake Bomb!!!”)

Therefore today we salute you Mr. Food enthusiast/photo journalist.

Thanks for the great posts Daniel. :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HAHA.. I like the references from my last few posts.. I am glad you are enjoying my writings.. I just like the fact that someday as I am on my lipator, or whatever they give you for cholesterol, and as i sit next to the wall socket waiting for my electric heart to recharge, I will have these memories to look back upon.. :biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The sake can vary....

The dishes however are small but reasonable.. The most expensive thing was the beef which was i think 20 bucks.. The pork belly was 4.50 though.. And all the other dishes were from 6 to 12 bucks i think.. I know two of the bottles of sake were like 47 bucks each.. The bill was 225 i think and it certainly could have easily been half that without drinking as we did.. a small sample menu www.sakagura.com

Edited by Daniel (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I went last night first I had Buta Kakuni pork belly great dish pork meat is very tender and the fat melts in your mouth had a very marrowish taste. I then had the Jagadongo mashed potato in donut dough fried good dish served with salt dish on the side for dipping. To drink I started with Umenishiki Daginjo a super premium unpastuerized sake this was served in a wood cup and was nice savory and light. I then had the Dashichi classic a traditional sake made with no latic acid for anybody who likes sake this is one to go for. I found it to be complex with nice astringent notes. The dessert menu is great it is a mini photo album. I had the coffea jelly with vanilla ice cream a wonderfull

combo it offered two very nice contrasting textures and it allowed you to tweak the amount of each componenttt it was served with a small shot of milk.

Please ignore spelling and grammer this is being typed on a treo still waiting for new powerbook.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To drink I started with Umenishiki Daginjo a super premium unpastuerized sake this was served in a wood cup and was nice savory and light.

Umenishiki Daiginjo is a very fresh and clean tasting sake. Great summer sake by the way.

Leave the gun, take the canoli

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 11 months later...

I have loved Sakagura for years, but had not been back in a while. I walked in last night with my fiance at about 8:45 PM with no reservation. We were seated within 10 minutes and I quickly wondered why it took me so long to return.

Sakagura remain one of the greater culinary escapes in Manhattan, it has none of the feel of a typical New York restaurant.

The food and the service remains excellent. I had the following:

Maguro tartar - Very good quaility tuna formed into tall disk, one half covered in black tobiko, the other half in a golden colored tobiko, topped off with a bit of radish sprout. Simple, good.

Nasu dengaku - Three halves of grilled Japanese eggplant each topped with a different type of miso (green, yellow and red). This was nice, eggplant was cooked perfectly, I thought there was a bit too much miso brushed on each, but a swipe of a chopstick solved that. It was interesting to be able to contrast the three different types.

Onsen tamago - A cold dish, great for last night. A poached egg in a small bowl containing a lobe of sea urchin roe and salmon roe sits in a shallow pool of a dashi broth sweetened with mirin. It is a great combination and the sea urchin was wonderfully fresh and sweet. The dish is served with small wooden spoons.

Gyutan - One of my all time favorities at Sakagura and pictured in an earlier post in this thread. Chunks of beef tongue braised until very tender in a sauce that I beieve is flavored with miso, but also I believe mirin, because it is a bit sweet. The thick round of daikon it sits on top of is cooked through and infused with the flavor of the sauce.

Sashimi - We had two types, kampachi, a type of jack fish, often called "young yellowtail' and tai or snapper.

Onigiri - Thick triangles of warm rice, we ordered ours topped with salmon roe, accompanied by sheets of nori to wrap them in.

Fluke with ponzu - A plate of thinly sliced fluke with a ponzu flavored sauce.

I forgot the name of our last dish, but it was another great item for a warm night. Cold soba noodles came in a bowl, along with sea urchin, salmon roe and and a carafe of a mirin sweetend dipping broth.

By this time my fiance was fading, so we skipped on dessert and sipped some toasted green tea while waiting for the bill.

The total along with an overly indulgent, yet delicious $23 glass of sake whose long name I would be hard pressed to remember unless I was looking at the menu again, was $132.

There are so many other dishes I wanted to have (braised pork and eel and cucumber being two) so, I shall be returning soon. Sakagura is like Casa Mono, in that it is best to go with a group so that you can try a number of the relatively small dishes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...