excellent new years meal at Kyo ya (long)
As a late christmas gift\new years gift my dad took me out Kyo ya on New Years for their traditional new years kai seki. I noticed many CHers stray away from dining on New Years, but the meal I had was excellent.
1st course- Salt cured Tasmanian Salmon Trout and Marinated Roe (8.5\10)- The salmon was cubed and placed on top of a circular piece of sliced daikon along with roe. All of this sat on top of a nice light citrus sauce.
2nd course Steamed Whipped Turnips with Snow Crab, Sea Eel, and Winter Vegetables in Crystal Clear Broth (9\10)- There were a lot of subtle flavors going on but this was delicious, eggy yet nice and light.
3rd course Slow Cooked Black bean with Pickled "Chorogi", Vingared Octpus, Daikon & Carrot Namasu, Slow Cooked Baby Abalone, "Aigamo" Roasted Duck, "Noshiume" Sweet Plum Agar,
Dashi Marinated Herring Roe, Dashi Marinated Herring Roe, "Kamaboko" Fish Cake Picked "Tsukubane", "Datemaki" Egg Roll- (9.3\10) This was a big bento box of assorted appetizers that Japanese people typically eat for New Years. The slow cooked black beans (wow) was my favorite bite followed by the octopus. Everything was absolutely delicious except the dashi marinated herring roe.
4th course Sashimi Medley-Blue Fin Fatty Tuna, Long tailed Red Snapper, "Mongo" Squid, "Kampachi Yellowtail and Sea Urchin (8\10)-My favorite piece of fish was the blue fin fatty tuna. And the Sea urchin was santa barbara and it was the best uni I ever had (I enjoyed it more than the unis I tried at 15 East). Everything else was very good.
5th Course-Yuzu & Miso Marinated Grilled Winter Yellowtail (8\10)-This was a piece of yellowtail perfectly grilled with pickled vegetables. Not a stitch of my fish was dry, I really enjoyed it.
6th Course-Kyo ya Style Zoni Soup Baby Sardines Mixed Rice and "Kobumaki Seaweed (7.5\10)- I thought the broth of the soup was delicious. The soup contained various things from meat, veggies, fish, and a rice noodle like roll (not sure what it was). I enjoyed everything in the soup except the rice noodle roll, it was very sticky and chewy. The rice was also a little dry, but it was good in the soup.
Dessert-(8.5)-Tofu like pudding with strawberry crack sauce. deliciousss especially the sauce.
I also had the good fortune of dining next to two lovely ladies from Japan that explained to me the 3rd and 6th course are traditional Japanese new years dishes and that Kyo ya executed them well, which is reassuring because often times I hear statement like such as this sucks in Japan it's 10 times better. I also spoke to the waiter who said that courses 1,2,4,5 are very similar to the dishes they have for their regular kai seki. So next year if you feel like dining out on New Years Day in a nice quiet restaurant I recommend Kyo ya, especially since the highpoint of my meal was the 3rd course which is only available for new years. The Traditional New Years Kai seki is 120 dollars pp. Happy 2011! I hope my fellow CHers are doing well and eating well!
15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003
Their current regular kai seki is 10 courses (150pp I believe) and a nice bit of it is in what I tried. But they change it every month and a half to two months (this is what the waiter told me) You also have the option to remove sashimi of the day. I personally would remove the sashimi course if uni is not offered with it because the sashimi to me wasn't any better than other sushi places I've tried.
I love Kyo Ya, and had an amazing meal there a couple weeks ago. Aside from the food being great, I found the service to be especially cordial. My meal there really was an example of a restaurant offering a total package wherein food, atmosphere, and service combined to create a great overall experience.
@Daffyduck - Sounds like your 3rd course was a take on Osechi and your 6th (Ozoni) had mochi in it which is the only element of it that you didn't like.
Here's an example of an Osechi I had last year just for reference:
@AdamD - I would definitely try Kyo Ya out. At $120USD or Y9,800 it would be worth it regardless of its location.
My meal there:
Probably the best osechi I've ever had. Then again I've been eating frozen ones from rakuten and mitsuwa for a bit. The 5th course was well executed but its something you could get from a lunch set in midtown. Didnt taste any yuzu at all, but the accompanying pickled gobo was nice. I loved the ozoni but I didnt care for the mochi in it, I would have preferred mine to cooked a bit more.
Thanks for the report, glad you enjoyed your meal.
@AdamD - I've never been to Sugiyama or Rosanjin (Korean owned) but have been told that Kyo Ya is outstanding by others who have been to all three. I'd highly suggest you visit, just remember to call a few days (2 I believe) before your reservation so they can get all the necessary ingredients.
Here are the pics from my meal there:
251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019
94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009
141 Duane Street, New York, NY 10013