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Jan 14, 2011 06:14 AM

Sushi lovers. What's the consensus on Kenichi at the W?

Just trying to set expectations for it, group outing that I can't change or re-direct.

That said, I tried Tei-An aroud the holidays for lunch. Nice place, had the Green Soba noodles with Duck for lunch.

Thinking of dropping in for lunch again today....


1722 Routh St, Dallas, TX 75201

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  1. Expensive, but I loved everything I had there. And branch out from the sushi - their menu has plenty of other good things on it as well.

    1. I'm a fairly regular customer, and friends with some of the staff there - but here's my objective opinion:

      I believe that Kenichi mainly caters to hotel guests and AAC attendees - so there's a lot of non-serious stuff on the menu (chicken teriyaki, etc.). That said, I have had outstanding food (including sushi) there - and out easily rank it in the top 3 or 4 places in Dallas. I attribute my positive experience to (1) an open and adventurous palate, (2) making the sushi chef aware of this, and (3) giving the chefs feedback about the things I like. Some of this might be difficult to accomplish with a single meal, and in a group setting (presumably not at the sushi counter) but if you approach the meal this way I think it will turn out well.

      I'd also recommend that you drink sake while you're there. Kenichi has an outstanding selection of sake (unmatched in Dallas for sure) and well-trained staff. If you can, speak with the sake sommelier about your choices... but a number of the wait staff are also quite knowledgeable.

      1. Kenichi has an unimaginative menu that caters to the palate of Americanized Japanese food eaters.

        4 Replies
          1. re: sass

            Ok, went to Tei-An agan for lunch. Place is beautiful. Had the Udon noodles with Duck Meatballs (came with some spicy tuna nigiri). Last visit had the Green Soba with duck.

            2nd trip. Noodles both times.

            Let me preface my next comments by saying I'm a huge sushi fan, and asian food fan in general...I tend towards Sashimi and adventurism in willing to try all sorts of fish and seafood. Shoot I've done unidentifiable street food in the markets of small cities in Taiwan....

            Nevertheless, my comment is about the noodles. They're good, but dont "knock my socks off" like I was hoping they would.

            That said, I guess I don't get all the love professed for ths aspect of Japanese cuisine.

            I have had great Sushi iin Japan, and in the best places in NYC and LA - (once was served personally at a private event by Nobu Matshuhisa in LA - Eons before the first Nobu was was at the Matsuhisa, upstairs room about 1993). Am new to the noodle side, just not getting it......

            This is no slam at Tei-An by any means. I need to find time to do the Omakase....and will go back to experience more sushi/sashimi of theirs.

            Nobu Restaurant
            Hotel Crescent Court, 400 Crescent Court, Dallas, TX 75201

            1722 Routh St, Dallas, TX 75201

            1. re: masnole

              Noodle soups are generally comfort food. I've had some incredible noodles in Japan but very few in America, especially in these parts. At the highest levels of obsession noodlery rivals sushi craft but you'd also require a restaurant that specialized in that type of noodle dish, which is rare/non-existent here.

              1. re: amokscience

                Yeah, that's the special part about Tei An. I can't think of any other places in the entire state (that is, if there are any) that also do housemade soba.

        1. i typed a detailed response on vacation and it didn't load! gggrrr.

          We all know the common complaints about dining in Dallas, but you simply cannot overstate how fantastic our Japanese food is. Both authentic and creative, excellent sourcing, fantastic chefs. i haven't done much international traveling but i have eaten all over tokyo. i came home thinking "wow, i can't believe how great the top level of sushi is in dallas freaking texas!"

          Kenichi is definitely in the top tier of Dallas sushi.

          First off is Hung, the sake sommelier. Having a sake sommelier elevates the experience immensely. We've learned so much about sake and how to pair it with japanese dishes. Just tell him what you are ordering and he'll pick great sake for your meal, or even a flight of several. And like any good sommelier he is respectful of your budget.

          Where Kenichi excels in my mind is their creativity with raw dishes. Taste, texture, favorite dishes are the ones that i order blindly from the specials menu. They take very fresh ingredients and combine them with interesting sauces.

          also excellent is the more traditional nigiri. but even here there is a great blend of "authentic creativity"...if you request, you can get other dipping sauces like white soy sauce, pickled wasabi and fresh grated wasabi. and ask your server if they have anything special off the menu. this was the first place i had yellowtail belly, and now its one of my favorite nigiri.

          speaking of which, the servers we've had have all been very knowledgeable and good at guiding us through the menu to things we'd like given what else we've ordered.

          the ambiance can be a little lacking, but honestly that's a Victory problem as much as anything else.

          and other disagree, but i dont' love the hot savory dishes at Kenichi as much as the raw dishes. we'll get the pork belly and maybe something else hot, but mostly stick to nigiri, rolls and the raw specials.

          in my best forrest gump, "and that's all i've got to say about that"

          6 Replies
          1. re: JonFromTJs

            I think I first met you in person, Jon, at Kenichi's Sake Festival. I saw Hung last week and he said that is coming up again real soon. Looking forward to it once again. Hung is a Dallas treasure, to be sure.

            1. re: DallasDude

              Hung knows his stuff. I've been to a couple of "Meetup" dinners he organized.

              1. re: DallasDude

                Waaaa??? Sake Festival??? Tell me more!!

                1. re: pgwiz1

                  Hung collaborated with distrubutors, purveyors, and sake experts/sommeliers when Kenichi hosted a tasting of 40-50 sakes last April. If I recall right, I'm pretty sure details were posted in various blogs and media outlets.

                  Many members of this board (including myself) attended the sake festival last year. Initially, I got the same feeling as the first time I ever set foot in a Flying Saucer. The selection was daunting and I had no clue where to start as the format involved moving around from table to table, tasting at your own pace. However, there were many sake experts on hand who were amiable and provided plenty of guidance, and the tasting ended up being quite an educational experience. Based on the turnout and extremely positive response, I think there are many folks who are excited to have another sake festival this year. I'm eagerly anticipating details for the next one.

                  1. re: air

                    Last year they had a pre-tasting seminar. If Hung adds this feature again it would behoove us to check that out.

                    1. re: DallasDude

                      Finally went yesterday and did the Omakase w/ Sake pairing. AWESOME! Hung mentioned they'd be doing the Sake festival again, tho didn't say anything about the pre-tasting seminar (ofcourse that doesn't mean he isn't going to do it). It was just fabulous!

            2. Very good sushi, but not the most creative at Kenichi unless you spend ooodles of dollars for the omakase. Generally very expensive. My favorite for sushi in Dallas is probably still Tei Tei.