In the months leading up to my recent trip to Brazil I met a steady stream of food-savvy Brazilians visiting and dining in NYC. I collected lists of restaurant recommendations from many of them and continued to stay in touch with a few. Since São Paulo is home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan, I wanted to check out a couple Japanese restaurants. The same three names popped up consistently on the lists I was given. Two of them I couldn’t make it to because of closures or scheduling. The third was Tsuyoshi Murakami’s Kinoshita. My buddy Marc Z from Gastronomium had just flown back to SP from his NYC/LV trip and invited Rocky and me to join him for lunch there.
We chatted and caught up for a moment then got the party started with some cocktails and an omakase menu.
An oyster with quail egg yolk, salmon roe, okra, ponzu, and tabasco. The oyster ‘shot’ had a nicely rounded hit of savory layers with just a little spice.
Salmon with vegetable tempura, flying fish roe, and olive oil soy vinegar sauce. The savory aroma was very nice and the dish was tasty, though the featured salmon was covered up by the other components.
Tuna with seared foie lobe, teriyaki, and olive oil. What little flavor there was in the fish was again overshadowed with stronger flavors. The foie was well-executed and the plate as a whole had nice salt.
Torched salmon with butter soy lemon sauce. The fish had good flavor and a good fleshy bite with nice texture from the torching. The pool of sauce had a pleasant saltiness to support the fish. There was also something sweet in the dish that was fantastic.
Fatty tuna sashimi and uni with lemon and salt. A fine plate. The tuna had great taste and texture. Their house soy sauce was pretty solid.
Kinoshita sushi. The tuna, foie gras, and teriyaki was decent enough. Salmon with white truffle oil was strong on the truffle taste. Yellowtail with fleur de sel was very nice with pure fish taste. Hokkigai surf clam had great density with a good chew. The uni was fantastic and sweet. Accompanied by a subtle Japanese soy sauce.
Shrimp tempura with a sweet apple onion carrot sauce and some mustard on the side for a light spice. A tasty enough plate, though nothing crazy special.
Soba noodles with egg yolk, vegetable tempura, wakame seaweed, okra, and mushroom dashi. A tremendous savory bowl of cold noodles. The closer I got to the bottom of the bowl the more superb and full flavored the dish was.
We were asked if we wanted any more savories before dessert. It seemed like the right thing to do to have a few more bites and another half bottle of Krug.
Uni in lime with wasabi. At first Marc Z and I both agreed the lime was too strong for the uni. Then we agreed again that a little wasabi balanced it all out really nicely.
And another oyster shot. Delicious.
Mochi rice cake and coffee ice cream. The mochi was filled with Valrhona chocolate and was well-balanced and great. The ice cream had an honest coffee flavor though was slightly icy in texture.
A pretty solid lunch with great company. Big thanks to Marc Z for the generosity.
Date of visit: January 7, 2014
Kinoshita. Rua Jacques Felix, 405. São Paulo, Brazil +55 11 3849 6940 www.restaurantekinoshita.com.br