Michelin, oh Michelin, why must you ruin my life? Kanoyama used to be one of my favorite go-to spots. It’s incredibly reliable in terms of variety, freshness, preparation, and service. Everything that matters! Today, we strolled in at our usual time, right before 7. We’ve NEVER had a difficult time getting seated, until now that is.
Michelin have recently given Kanoyama their first star. This mean flocks of new comers, folks that never batted an eye at this wonderful eatery swarming in, and congesting my wonderful little spot, and taking what could be MY seats! Annoying!
We wanted bar seats so we can have the Omakase, but they were “booked”. That has NEVER happened before. Doubly ANNOYING! They know us there though, so they asked if we were willing to wait roughly 20 minutes, and perhaps have an appetizer or two while we wait. We complied. Sat at a table and ordered a dozen oysters and the AMAEBI plate. YUMMMMM. They paced us well with the dishes, such that shortly after we wrapped up, we were moved to the bar.
Our Sushi Omakase tonight:
- HIRAME (Flounder) – I LOVE fresh whites as starters. Dressed oh so lightly with just soy, fantastic!
- HATA (Sandfish/type of grouper) – This is very similar to our more commonly available in NYC, ISAKI (Grunt). Dressed with a splash of citrus, and topped with soy. Slight chew, but perfectly fresh and perfectly good.
- KISU (Whiting) – Very, very slight chew, and really fresh. I am loving the grouping of all the light whites as the entry to the omakase!
- SAYORI (Needlefish) – Served with ginger and SHISO, perfect pairing! I love a fresh SAYORI! This one was really good but not enough crunch…
- MADAI (Seabream) – Served with a small squeeze of citrus and some soy. This was really very good, but I would have preferred salt instead…
- KANPACHI (Amberjack) – Served with just a touch of soy. YUMMMM!!! A fresh piece of KANPACHI has a beautiful crunch on the bite and yet gumminess to the tongue. Just marvelous!
- BURI (Adult Yellowtail) – Boo! This is what happens when you get such marvelous servings to start. This was the first not so great piece. Slightly fishy, and zero crunch. No idea why we had the radish topping. No idea what that’s supposed to do, it was a distraction more than a compliment.
- KINMEDAI (Golden Eye Snapper) – SO ODD – Chef sent this back to the kitchen to be ABURIed (torched). Why? I loved the ABURI and loved the salt.
- HOTATE (Scallop) – What a peculiar looking HOTATE serving! It was still very good though. Chef put the same kind of salt on the KINMEDAI, but I haven’t figured out what kind of salt it is… Very good.
- SHIMA AJI (Striped Jack) – An absolutely marvelous cut of SHIMA AJI.
- NAMADAKO (Live Octopus) – While I LOVE NAMADAKO, but it’s a naturally chewy fish, so it HAS to be served as sashimi and not sushi. I don’t poo poo it when served as sushi though. Especially if they score it correctly. As in usual Kanoyama style, it was served with plum sauce, which I’m not a huge fan of. Still delish though!
- HOTARU IKA (Firefly squid) – Served with a tiny bit of scallion, ponzu jelly mixture, this was very good. I still really miss Chef Takahashi’s HOTARU-IKA with miso sashimi platter though…
- NORESORE (Raw baby ANAGO – Sea Eel) – VERY GOOD. Kanoyama is so consistent with incredibly good fish, served “right”. The only place I think of that does this better is USHI…
- KURUMA EBI (Japanese Tiger Prawn) – SO incredible! KURUMA EBI SCREAMS Asia to me. Harder to find in NYC, but widely available throughout the fancy cities of Asia. KURUMA EBI is one of those rare shrimps that is poached, yet incredibly sweet, succulent, and all around delicious!
- CHUTORO (Medium fatty tuna) – FANTASTIC!
- OTORO (Super fatty tuna) – Not a huge fan of OTOROs, a bit too fatty for me, but this one was very, VERY good. Zero chew, zero funky tinge/aftertaste that you get from lesser Tunas.
- HOKKAIDO UNI – So unattractive looking! BUT – it was fantastically nutty and oh so yummy!
- SHIRO ME – No idea what this is. Had the chef repeat it to me like 6 times, so couldn’t have him repeat what it was in English too… This was a bit fishier and more bitter than expected..
- NEGITORO (TORO with Scallions) – YUM! While I do prefer something to cut the fatty tuna, like the TAKUAN (marinated radish), but this was still very, very, VERY good.
- KINMEDAI – Repeat time! I NEED to ask Chef what he’s doing with this. This doesn’t look ABURIed (torched), but it clearly has some sort of cooking-ish…
- Ocean Trout – I didn’t order this, but boyfriend says it was very good…
- Onion Soup – This was FANTASTIC! Does not come with the omakase, but I saw others having it, and I requested it. I loved this soup!!!
- Green Tea Ice Cream – It’s ice cream. It was good.
I have always loved Kanoyama, ALWAYS. If you haven’t been, and are now trying for the first time, well… sorry… you’re not going to have to deal with the crowds. If possible do try the SUSHI omakase, it is a GREAT deal, and it really is worth every penny. The “tasting menu” is different though. It’s got tons of cooked stuff, which I haven’t tried. The a la carte is not AS fabulous, but still really great, and even more affordable.