I had the opportunity to head to Chef Joe Conti’s test kitchen prior to the open of his yet-to-be-named Japanese omakase restaurant downtown. The great thing about this meal is that I was able to taste a lot of different cuts of A5 Wagyu beef. The highest marbling score there is. Unreal. Since there were a bunch of courses, I’ll get right down to business.
Torched mackerel with pickled daikon.
Fried river fish, uni and river crab.
Giant shrimp/prawn carabineros. Simply seasoned with salt, but their insides cook into a naturally spicy and fatty butter-like substance that will provide you with wet food dreams for the rest of your life. It coats your tongue like a rich prosciutto almost. For real, this is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my whole fucking life. They get to about a third of a pound each in weight, too, so they’re substantial. Favorite part of the meal – even better than the beef!
Wagyu skirt steak (8/10) and pork skirt steak. Amazing. Here, the pork out shined the beef just because it was so unique to see this cut here in the states. I want more of it!
Wagyu sirloin (9/10), tenderloin (10/10) and rib cap (9/10). All amazing, but my favorite, oddly, was the tenderloin. It was so buttery soft and tender that it would be impossible to compare it to anything else that came across our plates.
Here’s the tenderloin up close:
Italian panko Parmesan breadcrumb “gyu katsu,” aka deep fried beef strip loin. Amazing. 8/10.
Eel with shiso.
Cold udon noodles.
Ice cream: chocolate, green tea with chocolate chips, and salted caramel. Still some refining to be done here, but over all a great closer plate.
I can’t wait until this spot officially opens. I think it’ll be in the West 4th Street and 8th Avenue area. Keep an eye out! They’re already booked solid for the first few months after they open.
Chef Joe’s place is called Shuraku, located in the west village. They opened to great success, and I finally got around to bringing my wife there to try the great food. The meal was excellent, and my wife loved her birthday dinner. Here’s what we had:
During the course of the meal we tried three different sakes. The one pictured with the bottle was my favorite, aged for 17 years in barrels. It had a mild smooth scotch flavor to it.
Course 1: tofu.
Course 2: A5 wagyu beef sushi.
Course 3: oyster and king crab.
Course 4: yakitori
Course 5: fish cake with dashi
Course 6: beef and seafood grill.
Course 7: udon with roe.
Course 8: yuzu cheesecake and strawberry yogurt ice cream, with green tea.
SHURAKU JAPANESE GRILL
47 8th Ave
New York, NY 10014