Review: EN Japanese Brasserie

New York City,
20 December 2013

The year was coming to an end, and so was my time in NYC. Due to various issues (mostly insurance-related) I had to leave NYC. I had moved most of my things to Virginia already at this point, and this was the end of the last-clean-up trip to NYC. It’s sad to leave so much behind, so much of my life has happened in the last 7+ years here in NYC and around…

But I had made arrangements to check out EN Japanese Brasserie on the recommendation of a good friend (and food master) in London. I was meeting a good friend of mine for this “final” NYC meal. Traffic was a nightmare so I actually hopped onto a NYC bus for the first time in nearly a decade… I met my friend, who manages one of the best cocktail and brown liquor bars in NYC…and got a surprise. Turns out another friend is with him, my former sommelier.

So instead of the 2 of us going to dinner, turned out to be 4. EN Japanese Brasserie was happy to accommodate us. But I was honestly a little ticked off when they told me they were not eating much because they were headed to a tasting menu afterwards! WTF?! I was really ticked but didn’t show it.

They told me where they were going and that I could join them, but after I found out I said no. I made a lame excuse, but I had no bloody intention of having my final NYC meal at the hands of someone that helped cause my downfall and my current situation. No friggin’ way…

So we had an okay time there. My friend the wine expert was also a sake expert, so he picked out some gems while they were still there. I did the food order, and they were loving it. The highlights at this part were the marinated beef tongue, the shishamo (grilled smelt), some nice anago (see eel), and karasumi (cured mullet roe). We wound down and they headed out; I made an excuse that I wanted to stay to drink more…

That’s kinda true, but I wanted to really eat. They stole most of the food, so… And I fucking took the bill too… Oh well, it is MY time now. I ordered a nice bottle of sake and ordered a few dishes after they told me the table was mine…how cool.

The first dish that came out was a full plate of the karasumi — this time for me!


I love these things. Been eating these since I was little in Hawai’i. As a lover of bottarga, which is what this is really, this is just a total treat. I’d eat these over beluga any day.

Then the next dish I picked up was a little more substance, the miso oden, a stew with an assortment of ingredients like beef tendon, shrimp fritter, chicken ball, etc. Fun and love the broth!


I was loving this. But I needed to prepare for the last course, the one I really bloody wanted. Just look at this picture and you can tell why…


Wow…this was a Grade-A5 proper Wagyu from Miyazaki. This was cooked well, nicely just seared. No funny business. I just let it melt in my mouth…


Oh, this was beautiful. It was really like being in heaven for 20 minutes as I savoured each piece. Oh, joy…this is what I really wanted. <Teary>

It was a little sad after the last piece…it just doesn’t get much better. I enjoyed more drinks and stayed around until the restaurant shut. This was an awesome experience. Even if it was ridiculously expensive, it was what I needed for a “last meal” in NYC. This is how I will remember NYC dining, with a hell of a smile. I know I’ll be back here, it’s one of my favourites now!

Goodbye, NYC…

EN Japanese Brasserie
435 Hudson Street
New York, NY


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