An anonymous comment posted last Sunday enticed me to try Ushiwakamaru Ushiwakamaru:

“I had just gone to Ushiwakamaru the night before and that became the best sushi I’ve had in New York…”

Well, that set my expectations quite high and I was very excited. I decided on the 15 piece Omakase, sushi and sashimi, which turned out to be a roller coaster for me. Some pieces were great, most were good, and a few were pretty disappointing. Starting with the green tea, it annoyed me because it was barely warm, but then the sashimi portion arrived and I was curious about the three tea cups placed in front of me. The first was salmon roe and a delicious pile of salmon roe it was, soothing juices of the sea, not too salty, fun to pop on your tongue a few at a time.

The next was so interesting, baby sea eels swimming (not actually swimming, they were dead) in some marinade. I couldn’t taste anything other than the marinade though so it was more appealing because of the cool I’ve never tried that before factor, but I don’t really desire it again.

The uni was a big disappointment for me. It wasn’t creamy and it had a muddy fishiness that I only know how to discribe in Chinese as tu shing. Can someone translate that for me?

The next few pieces of sashimi were laid on a plate together. The Striped Bass was fresh but even better was the stuff beneath it. It looks like cellophane noodles but it’s actually noodles made from seaweed, which were chewy and crunchy. Loved it.

The Snapper was very average.

So was the Horse Mackerel.

The fresh shrimp was pretty good. I prefer the raw one over the cooked ones.

Next was a long plate with 8 pieces of sushi and here is where I’m a moron! I forgot to take a picture of it cause I was too busy talking to my friends but actually it wasn’t that impressive look-wise. The Sea Eel (cooked) was rather boring, just cooked in a little sweetened soy sauce. The White Shrimp was very good, soft and dissolves in your mouth. The giant clam was just ok, didn’t seem too fresh. I was annoyed to get another piece of Horse Mackerel since it already appeared in my sashimi portion but this cut tasted better than the sashimi slices. The fluke was no better than any cheap local sushi joint. The yellowtail was good. I can’t remember the Esaki snapper anymore. Good thing I wrote each piece down. The Toro was certainly fatty but didn’t really wow me as I expected after all the hype.

At some point, the waitress dropped off an extra piece, a fried shrimp head. It was fried nicely, not at all oily, and who could resist an extra piece.

In the end, I found myself disappointed in the wasabi which was just average. I just expect supposed top places to have all those little details in check.

I was pleasantly surprised by the dessert menu though. A Japanese restaurant with interesting desserts? We all liked the Green Tea Mille Crepes, so light and delicate, such excellent assembly. I was definitely impressed except I really wish it tasted more like green tea.

The Sesame Ice Cream was also wonderful. It has the aroma of toasted black sesame and the texture was creamy, balanced with just the right mild sweetness.

The red bean and rice cake dessert (forgot the name) was good but so skimpy, with only 2 little pieces of rice cake in the whole serving. To give a little perspective, that spoon is only slightly larger than my thumbnail. Come on!

Overall, the fish did not wow me but it was pretty good with some interesting items. The desserts were actually more notable, but I’ll reserve final judgment until I can come eat at the sushi bar. (I was with a group that didn’t want to sit at the bar cause it’s hard to talk to each other that way.) I’m also hoping that it was a fluke (haha) that it leaned towards more white fleshed fish which are not my favorites.

Important side note: My friend Lily pointed out that they print your full credit card number on the receipt they keep, which I think is illegal. Make sure to scribble it out! Identity theft is prevalent and it sucks!!

posted by jessica at 10:28 PM Filed under Asian, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.