Dear Food Diary:
Sometimes not having a reservation leaves room for wonderful new findings. While in Williamsburg last time, we wanted to check out Zenkichi, but without any tables that night sans reservation, our disappointment was greeted with it’s adjacent sister Bar Akariba (sake and oyster bar).
I was in love, literally, the minute we walked in. Cozy, quiet, sophisticated and romantic. Perfectly lit. The candles, the soft jazz and beautiful decor.
A vast selection of sake and shochu. Their menu items come from the Zenkichi kitchen. A good selection of raw and cooked choices. From sake accompaniments/snacks, to grilled and simmered, rice bowls and tempura. Some identical, others are exclusively for Bar patroons. My tummy wasn’t feeling oysters and sake, plus it was freezing outside, so I settled for green tea and cooked dishes instead.
Shrimp & Nasu Tempura Shrimp and cod fishcake tucked in between sliced Japanese eggplant with a side of green tea salt. Superbly fried. Light and crisp. The sweet shrimp with salty cod and that creamy ripe eggplant is a mouthful of textures and flavors.
Since my tummy wasn’t cooperating that night (how romantic, I know *sigh*), I had to settle for Hot Udon . As good as any great udon I’ve had. Chewy noodles, wakame seaweed, bonito-dashi broth that’s infused with umami and the allure of a perfectly poached egg. Very simple, done very well.
It’s always pleasant to see that the ambiance and food were a match, sort of the way an online date’s profile picture matched them in person. I can’t wait to go back for another date night. I’d say extra “mochi” points if you bring your lady here boys…
77 N 6th St (between Wythe Ave & Kent Ave)