When Yuji Ramen was still operating in the Whole Foods Market on Bowery, I used to stop in with moderate frequency for the fantastic mazemen ramen. I had wanted to join in on one of the omakase nights they used to hold, but I never managed to work it out. A couple weeks ago I received an email advertising that the seats were about to go on sale for the next rounds of the newer incarnation of the Yuji Ramen Omakase in their newer Brooklyn space, so I figured I would give it a try.
This past Sunday Rocky and I made our way out to Williamsburg to see what Co-Chefs Tara Norvell and Yuji Haraguchi are cooking up at their restaurant Okonomi. I was initially a little miffed by the lack of a wine list or BYO option, but ended up very pleased with how well each of the singular beer and sake offerings flowed seamlessly with the meal. With the beverages in place, we were ready to get the party started.
First up, Local Red Drum. Lovely local fresh fish to begin. Accompanied by plum soy sauce and a fairly spicy yuzu condiment.
Cured Alaskan Salmon Mazemen. With Camembert, shiso buds, and tare soy sauce. The noodles had an amazing bite and the shiso a nice pop. The fish was beautifully complimented by the sweetness of the tare.
Ikura. The roe from the same fish as the previous dish. With soba ramen orecchiette and grated pear.
Whole wheat ramen ravioli. Filled with uni miso. Topped with Maine uni and orange. Again, the dough was wonderfully textured, with great sea urchin taste.
Slices of delicate tilefish, cooked in a dashi of the fish, topped with crispy fried skin from the fish. An excellent expression of the tilefish.
‘Chips and Dip’. A chip of fried ramen dough. Alongside a Spanish Mackerel tataki with ginger, scallion, sesame, and quail egg yolk.
Nori ramen ‘agnolotti’ filled with monkfish liver and topped with fresh grated wasabi. Superb marine richness balanced by the wasabi.
Broth of chicken, pork, drum fish, and mackerel. With noodles, scallion, and nori. Purely wholesome. The broth hit on multiple savory levels without being overly fatty or salty.
Shiso tofu panna cotta with fresh pear. Light, herbaceous tofu kicked up with the acid and texture of the pear.
A super fun and remarkably tasty dinner in a relaxed and intimate setting. I’m excited to return to check out Okonomi’s Ichiju Sansai breakfast.
Date of visit: October 12, 2014
Okonomi. 150 Ainslie St. Brooklyn, NY www.okonomibk.com