I wish I went to Kyo Ya (94 East 7th str. tel. 212 982 4140) before diving into the mysterious kaiseki experience in Kikunoi, Kyoto last spring. Maybe I would have enjoyed Kikunoi more. Degustating kaiseki dinner without certain preparation and knowledge is the same as going to a 3 Michelin stars restaurant for the first time. And I guess this is what happened to me in Kikunoi.
Kyo Ya is something in between the very traditional kaiseki and the Japanese food we are used to. Not forgetting the perfect Japanese ingredients and kaiseki aesthetics of course. When eating in Kyo Ya or Sugiyama, or other kaiseki restaurants you just comprehend how versatile, rich and deep kaiseki and Japanese cuisine in general is.
Kyo Ya has 29/30 in Zagat (More than Per Se or any other restaurant in Manhattan- it is not the first time I see Zagat doing such bold moves :)). I don’t know if I would place Kyo Ya higher than Per Se, but surely I would rate Kyo Ya as one of the best and most memorable restaurants in NY.
Some of the dishes of that night…
Yuba and Uni Yoshino style. Sea Urchin and Tofu Skin in Crystal Clear Sauce. Sea urchin roe for the Japanese is like foie gras for the French. It fits with so many products and temperatures.
Selection of sahimi. Some of the finest sashimi i have ever had.
Aigamo Soy Demi-Glace. Roasted Duck Simmered in Sauce
Ebi Shinjo.Shrimp Mousse Balls with Lightly Fried Rice Crackers in Broth. Tempura in a broth revisited. Loved the dish.
The picture of Seasonal Fish Nitsuke (Simmered Seasonal Fish in Sweet Soy Sauce) turned so bad, but this was one of my favourite dish of the dinner, so I had to post it!