Fried pork-belly skewers were eerily similar to corn dogs. Tamarind baby-back ribs were slick with grease but not sauce, and octopus with cilantro was far from tender. But robata-grilled yellowtail was fresh and juicy, and fried duck tongues were as cute as you’d want, crunchy and cheerful and dusted with chili powder. The squid-ink “pasta” noodles were made from fish—slippery and firm, they took well to bottarga. […]

Here is where Takayama’s influence is deeply felt, in perfect little pieces of nigiri or delicate temaki on crisp nori. The rice is pillowy, with just enough vinegar to provide counterpoint to the soft, silky slabs of mackerel, scallop, salmon, amberjack, even maitake mushroom. Perhaps a bit of cynicism can be detected in the uni-toro nigiri: it sounds good, but these two worshipped ingredients really don’t belong together; the metallic taste of the tuna belly overpowers the delicate sweetness of the sea urchin, plus, one piece costs sixteen dollars.

Shauna Lyon, Tetsu, Tables for Two, New Yorker Magazine, 26 February 2018

Added to diary 24 February 2018