435 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014
Yaaaazzzz!!!! Another spot we can now frequent!
My last trip to En Japanese Brasserie was likely 8 to even 10 years ago. Honestly, if there’s ever a choice between an intimate venue that seats 15-20, to a big grand venue that seats a hundred or more, I will always opt for the former. I just prefer smaller venues where you see the same faces, where you remember them, they remember you, that whole Cheers vibe. My exception is probably BLUE RIBBON IZAKAYA. But we go there so much, that even though they have a massive staff, we always sit in the same two seats, and have the same chef (was Takahashi-san and is now Karma-san), and the same members of their wait staff, serve us. So even though Izakaya is a larger restaurant, it’s still has that mom & pop shop feel to us.
In terms of type of food, En Japanese Brasserie is quite similar to BOHEMIAN, except not as specialized, and on a much broader scale:
- Drinks – Both have full bars, En Brasserie has a more extensive sake/wine list, but mixing wise, I still pick Bohemian
- Oysters – En Brasserie has Kumamotos as part of their “fixed” menu, but they usually have a couple others for you to choose from as well. Bohemian will usually have one east and one west, or sometimes just the east so here, I pick En Japanese Brasserie. I prefer West Coast oysters. For the East Coast lovers, know that Kumamotos are one of the mildest, easiest to eat of all West Coasts, so it’s good or everyone.
- Appetizers/Small Bites – En Japanese Brasserie probably have 5 times the options compared Bohemian. So whatever you’re craving, they’ll probably have something for you.
- Sashimi – Same deal, En Japanese Brasserie have at least double the options compared Bohemian. They have some fixed items, the staples, some salmon, tuna, yellowtail, but a ton of specials too! Tonight, we had the AJI (Great), KINKI (Good), UNI (Great), Engawa (Good), and HAGASHI TORO (Disgusting). Quantity/variety wise, En Japanese Brasserie takes the cake, Quality wise, based on most recent meals at the two restaurants, En Japanese Brasserie has a slight leg up.
- Mains – Very similar, the two will both have some fish, poultry, and steak options. I haven’t tried ANY mains at En Japanese Brasserie other than the steak, so I can’t share too much here. In terms of steak, I don’t know that I can every pick one over the other, a whole wagyu steak (the way Bohemian does it), or a wagyu steak grilled, and served sliced super thin like sashimi (the way En Japanese Brasserie does it). They’re completely different styles, but both are great, and from day to day, you really can crave one over the other.
- Dons – Old Bohemian would have kicked En Japanese Brasserie’s booty! But in the recent 2 years Bohemian have been failing me big time on this category. My beloved Bohemian palm sized uni-ikura don seems to be a thing of the past. So this one goes to En Japanese Brasserie as well!
- Happy Hour menu – Who doesn’t love snacks and drinks on a discount??? Bohemian doesn’t have this…
What we ordered tonight:
- KAISOU SALAD (assorted seaweed) $15 – OMG – this was TERRIBLE. It was practically equal portions seaweed and sesame oil! I’m obviously exaggerating, but you get my meaning…
- AJI SASHIMI (Horse Mackerel) $35 – Although a very common fish, this was VERY good. Seems small though… I feel like normally, there’s a lot more slices/cuts when we order a whole AJI. Fried bones were good too.
- KINKI SASHIMI (Orange Roughy) $50 – KINKIs reminds me of a cross between an AKAMUTSU and a KINMEDAI, but MUCH oilier, MUCH fattier, and MUCH more difficult to find in NYC. This particular serving was very nice in the sense of density, oil and fat, but a bit fishy. Why was it fishy? I don’t expect a place like En Brasserie to stock the super rare (to NYC) fishes, they kind of have a different clientele, so I was pleasantly surprised with this one. $50 for 4 slices of fish is not high for a rare fish, BUT is a bit high for this quality though.
- UNI from Mexico Sashimi $60 – VERY NICE. $60 for this quality and quantity of UNI is AMAZING! We almost ordered a second tray. Yes, that good!
- ENGAWA SASHIMI (Fluke Fin) $18 – They served us equal portion of both the sun and shade sides of the fin, very good!
- HAGASHI TORO $30 – This was disgusting! I really don’t know that this was truly HAGASHI, or at least, they didn’t do a good job cutting it. HAGASHI TORO is a very specific cut of TORO, NOT taken from the belly, but instead, from the tail. The chef would have to cut between and remove the tendon and sinew, to yield the tender, fatty HAGASHI TORO. This one was CHEWY! Meaning chef did a bad job. This one was also FISHY, meaning not well kept and old! Waste of 15 bucks a piece!
- 8oz WAGYU Platter $130 – This was actually a really, really rare serving of WAGYU, just more white than red due to all the fattiness (fat is white). The most we’ve ever spent on steak was $500 for 12 oz of Japanese wagyu, so comparatively, 130 for 8oz is a steal, and worth every penny! Very similar to Bohemian’s pricing.
- Garlic Fried Rice $10 – How is this FRIED rice??? It was steamed rice with a couple of pan fried garlic coves wedged in. As in, not even tossed, just wedged in after the rice was scooped out. Rice wise, fine, but no one in their right mind pays $10 for steamed white rice. I want a refund.
- Donuts $10 – Believe it or not, yes, we had room for dessert. These were fine, nice and fluffy, but nothing special. Not a gooey center, not a nice dipping sauce. Hindsight, I wouldn’t waste the calories (said the girl that just gorged on the fattiest red meat you can find, and pricey white rice)
- Strawberry Panna Cotta $10 – Panna cotta was great, nice mild flavors and perfect firmness. The strawberry gelee was a great topping, just wish it was more firm