Makanai (Staff Meal) @ En Brasserie
Every first Thursday of the month, En Brasserie offers dinner under the heading of "fish heads, eel bones & beer," inspired by the meals had by the staff after a long day - makanai. It's $45pp, with unlimited Sapporo. This sounded exciting, perhaps intriguing: a glimps into inner working of a japanese kitchen.
Having made reservation a couple of weeks in advance, I went to this last Thursday with my wife. I was told that the reservation was filled for the day. It was served buffet-style, and the line/time to get the food, amount of food, and service in general were all reasonable. Except the food.
In retrospect, it was indeed makanai- a staff meal: delicacy of fish-head soup nor the flavor of the fried eel/fluke bones came through. Mostly what I tasted in sake-marinated tuna collar was the teriyaki sauce. Bamboo shoot was over-powered by massive amount of bonito on top. Sashimi ends over vinegared rice, and two salad plates were reasonable. Only dish that saved the evening was, which I think they are the best in NYC, fresh Tofu. I visit En now and then - my mother loves the place- but I don't think I will return for their makanai meal again as it was so mediocre at best.
Some of the Chinese restaurants offer similar things if asked I was told. Does anyone have experience of this in any Ctown restaurants?