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Kyo Ya...in need of a la carte suggestions!

Hi all! I'm going to Kyo Ya for the first time this week! When I made my reservation I was told that the kaiseki option is sold out for the night that I'm going. I tried searching the board for "must-have" dishes at Kyo Ya but couldn't find much info. Does anyone have recommendations on what to order off the a la carte menu? Thanks!

Kyo Ya
94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

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  1. Their menu changes every day so it's hard to make specific recommendations. Try the bozushi (box-pressed sushi) with whatever fish is in that day. I like the lamb chops and the uni with yuba, too. Everything else, we often order off the daily specials menu.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      The uni with yuba sounds delicious! I'm a big fan of both :) Hopefully it'll be on the menu when I go. I've never had box-pressed sushi before but am looking forward to trying it!

      1. re: bluesky22

        Ask your server for recommendations and if you see something really unusual, go for it! You may never see it in NYC again as Kyo Ya gets a lot of ingredients flown in from Japan.

      2. re: kathryn

        that all sounds very yummy...i've yet to make it to Kyo Ya, but i'll move it to a higher position on my "to-try" list...

      3. Second the bozushi-of-the-day. Also if there's abalone on the specials, they serve it with a sauce they make from the liver. Good stuff, if you like that kind of thing.

        1. It;s too bad the kaiseki was sold out. However, 9 out of 10 times I go to Kyo Ya I order a la carte.
          See what the daily specials are, for sure, and try one that appeals to you. There are many dishes always on the menu. my recs are as follows, and I do not know your tastes , so some might not be to your liking.
          1) Seafood Shuotan (scallop , blue shrimp, king crab , in a cured bonito sauce ( cold)
          2) Karasumi- dried mullet roe charcoal grilled ( strong taste) good with sake or shoju( cold dish)
          3) Shio kara - fermented fish or seafood guts, liver on strips of squid ( strong taste, good with sake or shoju) ( cold dish)
          4) sashimi course - just try 2 or 3 different sashimi of daily special
          5) ebi shinjo ( my favorite),,, shrimp balls in broth ( Hot)
          6)satoimo potato croquette ( hott) delicious
          7) Chawanmushi ( if it is 2 people , order one each) this chawanmushi is how it shoudl be made,,, much more the "real thing" than Brushstroke's
          8)kurabuta kakuni ( pork belly slow cooked, soft and delicious)
          9) fried fish tempura ( whatever the special fried fish of the day is ( its small)
          10) pressed Osaka style sushi mackeral, ( maybe they give 6 pieces in order, head to tail, each has subtle difference) The mackeral is the best one to get IMO
          11) last dish-- clay pot rice ( takes about 30 minutes) very good dish, and good way to end kaiseki meal. What they mix in varies from day to day.

          then tea and dessert,

          This may sound like a lot of food. but that is my typical meal there. For 2 people to share each dish. It is like making your own kaiseki tasting. There is no need for the big plate entrees, but the lamb is good. They took the duck tongue off the menu, too bad. The first 3 dishes ( cold) are really small. The pressed sushi is a large amount. everything else I listed is not large, except the rice at the end. Sometimes if I don't finish the rice, Chef Sono-san will make me rice balls with it and wrap it up to take home. Personally I like picking and choosing my own dishes, because I know what I like or what i'm in the mood for. I like sitting at the chef counter. But the service is exceptional , no matter where you sit. Enjoy your meal. Figure on a 2 1/2 hour meal.

          Kyo Ya
          94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

          1. Thanks for all the suggestions and information, this is so helpful! I'm really glad to hear that the more adventurous dishes and specials are available to non-kaiseki customers.

            So far the following (if available) are on my "must-order" list: uni with yuba, box-pressed sushi of the day, abalone, chawanmushi, ebi shinjo, karasumi and the clay rice pot. I will leave around 5 dishes to order off the daily specials menu. By the way, this will all be for two people to share (besides the chawanmushi--both my dining companion and I definitely want our own order). Does this sound about right in terms of portions? I'm a big eater when it comes to Japanese cuisine and seafood. I wouldn't mind leaving some of the rice pot and having rice balls for lunch the next day either! I've had leftover rice pot from both Robataya and EN before and thought it was still good the following day.

            How are the desserts at Kyo Ya? I really like the more traditional Japanese items such as anmitsu, red beans/black beans with rice cake, mochi, etc. If the desserts aren't as good, I think I would rather order more entree dishes and forgo dessert.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bluesky22

              If you order about 11 dishes, that will be right. read my post above. That works perfectly for two. The pressed sushi, the mackerel is way better than the salmon. The eel is good , but the mackerel works better with the meal, i think. If you order a main course figure it to be size of 2 dishes . But no need for mains. The pressed fish is a big dish. The desserts are not special and not too many. The teas are very good.

            2. The New York Times finally reviewed Kyo Ya, giving the restaurant three stars.

              Recommended dishes include goma tofu gratin; sweet potato tempura; chawanmushi; shiokara (fermented seafood); kurobuta kakuni (braised pork belly); sashimi; pressed sushi; clay-pot rice; seasonal specialties; kaiseki menus.


              1 Reply
              1. re: Riverman500


                Now it's gonna be impossible to get a table... One of those places that needed to remain an "in the know" secret. Arrrrrgh!

                (of course, I've been singing their praises to anyone who'd listen for years, so I'm partially to blame... Just a lot more people listen to the NYT....)

              2. Hi, 5 of us with be having dinner at Kyo Ya (A la carte) soon and I just wanted to check if there were any additional dish recommendations other than the ones that have already been discussed in the thread. Out of the ones that have been discussed, I'm leaning towards the box-pressed sushi (mackerel), uni with yuba, the lamb chops (if we decide to get a big plate entree), Shio Kara, Chawanmushi (one for each of us), clay pot rice, sashimi and some stuff from the specials. It seems like they're not big on desserts which is a bit of a disappointment since I have quite a few sweet tooths in my group :)

                5 Replies
                1. re: indiefoodie

                  Don't get your heart set on any specific box pressed sushi type--the types change daily, sometimes they even run out of certain types of fish. Talk to your server about what's good today.

                  I do not believe that most higher end, authentic Japanese restaurants are really big on dessert. If they have dessert, it is often not very sweet, either. Maybe try somewhere else (Chikalicious?) afterwards.

                  1. re: kathryn

                    They usually have the mackerel pressed and that is the best one IMHO. The salmon is so so.the eel is popular as presses. Try the ebi Shinto and the croquettes. Look for seasonal specials

                  2. re: indiefoodie

                    I believe I remember that they served a sweet tofu with azuki beans at the end of the kaiseki dinner I had there a couple of years ago, and it had the same degree of Zen wonderfulness as the rest of the meal.

                    1. re: indiefoodie

                      Desserts are pretty simple there, really more like tokens. As suggested above, skip their desserts and maybe hit Chickalicious, Momofuku Milk Bar, or Spot Dessert Bar (though I haven't been to the last one since Pichet Ong left - but I think they kept many of his dishes on the menu...)

                      1. re: sgordon

                        My feeling about Spot is that, at least of the things I've tried before and after (the smaller items, not the tapas, which I haven't had for months), everything is the same as before.

                    2. I had the 11 course Kaiseki two weeks ago in the tatami room. Yummm. Really about 20 courses as some are more than one.

                      1. I went to Kyo Ya last week and really enjoyed all the dishes we ordered, so thought I’d share for the benefit of future diners.

                        Photos of the dishes can be found here: http://wp.me/p2oASx-9p

                        1) Ohitashi: boiled watercress and spring shitake mushroom in cold dashi broth – a pretty small portion, but a light and refreshing way to start the meal
                        2) Goma tofu gratin: creamy seame tofu with crab and vegetables – my favorite dish of the meal, highly recommend
                        3) Snapper Chazuke: rice, snapper sashimi, and toppings with hoji tea – it was quite a process to assemble all of the elements of the dish, but I actually really enjoyed that aspect
                        4) Black Cod: broiled tsubu miso marinated black cod – not as creative as the other dishes, but a healthy portion and delicious preparation