If you wander by an unmarked door in Midtown East, please just pass by.
Don’t listen to the loud pop music playing, and ignore the fabric door waving in the wind. Just walk on by it.
Please don’t walk into this tiny, bustling, dark restaurant filed with small private rooms and booths with partitions separating the tables. Please ignore the fact that almost everyone here, from patron to server to chef is Japanese, and ignore the wonderful warm towels that are offered to you, a truly Japanese touch.
Don’t get these edamame, which are so unique that they made me gasp with delight. Smoky and blistered in spots, with a really nutty, roasted flavor inside. They are unlike any edamame I have ever eaten and I really want to recreate them at home.
Berkshire pork belly
You should definitely skip this pork belly. Served in an almost embarrassingly large portion, it is all tender meat, crispy fat, and luscious, melting texture. Shellacked in a salty, umami miso sauce and topped with sharp greens scallions, it covers all the tenets of flavor. Fresh and deep and warm and soft…it is unmissable.
Stewed beef and potatoes
This ain’t your grand-mere’s beef stew. Thin, gyudon style beef in a light, consumme-like broth with sweet carrots and flavor-saturated russet potatoes. Very light but intensely beefy, too. The vegetables are tender and vibrant with sweet, earthy flavors that compliment the rich meatiness.
A dish with a name this simple couldn’t possibly be special. It couldn’t have the chicken arriving on a cast iron plate, still sizzling, so you can finish searing the barely translucent flesh yourself. It couldn’t have the smokiest, crispest skin on the planet. It won’t come with a fresh wasabi sauce that is spicy, verdant, and perfectly lip searing in all its shiny jade glory. You probably won’t fight over the last pieces with your girlfriend.
This rice won’t be memorable. It won’t be perfectly cooked, with each grain the ideal mixture between fluffy and sticky, studded with woodsy, tender, meaty mushrooms. It definitely won’t round out the meal well.
I mean, if you do go here, the meal definitely won’t be worth it. It won’t be a fair price for the amount and quality of food. It won’t be a perfect place for a date. It won’t have wonderful service and you definitely won’t feel like you are in Japan for a few hours. You won’t enjoy yourself so much that you almost cry when you leave.
You definitely won’t want to go to Aburiya Kinnosuke.
And if you do…keep it a secret.
Because it’s my new favorite restaurant and I want to be sure that I can always get a reservation.