Gallery: Zenkichi in Williamsburg: The Best $55 Omakase We Know

Chilled appetizers
Chilled appetizers

A hiramasa tartar had the soft nuttiness of sesame oil; a maguro tuna, cooked through, was slightly if not unpleasantly chewy. Cooked in sweet soy sauce, it had the meaty-sweet synthesis of a beef jerky. And no complaints about the pair of Kumamoto oysters.

Miso soup
Miso soup

Remarkably bright, with none of that one-note saltiness some miso soups can have.

Zenkichi Salad
Zenkichi Salad

Greens dressed in just enough peanut dressing and topped with a soft pile of housemade tofu, a joy to slide your chopsticks through.

Summer Kakiage
Summer Kakiage

A mixed vegetable tempura—here, a nest of mizuna tangled with kabocha pumpkin, one peppery, one mild, fried crispy and greaseless and yielding an audible crunch. Best dipped in soy dashi, though already perfect on its own.

Saikyo Miso Cod
Saikyo Miso Cod

So deliciously fatty its layers slide off each other at the slightest poke of a chopstick; the sweetness permeates the supple, oily flesh.

Honey-soy duck
Honey-soy duck

Perfectly balanced sweet and salty, though it could've been more tender.

Fluke donburi
Fluke donburi

Raw fluke with shiso is a refreshing final savory course, over enough rice to leave hungrier diners sated.

Frozen Black Sesame Mousse
Frozen Black Sesame Mousse

Light and airy and unabashedly sesame.

Bonito Shuto
Bonito Shuto

Fish entrails pickled and aged for months; "acquired taste" doesn't do it justice. It is impossible to overstate the salty fishiness of the tiniest dab of the stuff. It's as if a bucket of the fisherman's catch were distilled into a single clump on the end of your chopsticks. But it's an experience worth having.

Same Nankotsu
Same Nankotsu

This would be shark cartilage. Thin shreds of a crunch that doesn't quite crunch, in powerful pickled plum sauce.

Tako Wasabi
Tako Wasabi

Wasabi-cured octopus, slippery and firm, the wasabi flavors bright but their sinus-searing power muted.

Housemade tofu
Housemade tofu

Silken and delicate with a fresh, subtle soy flavor; still better with a sprinkle of bonito flakes and a drizzle of dashi-soy in the nesting doll of a bowl.

Camembert-shrimp tempura
Camembert-shrimp tempura

A curious but appealing pairing.

Hiramasa yellowtail sashimi
Hiramasa yellowtail sashimi

Cured in soy with shards of shiso leaf and a single raw quail egg.

Kobe Beef Tataki
Kobe Beef Tataki

Beautiful slices of ribeye, but rarer and chewier than we would have liked.

Tsukune Chicken
Tsukune Chicken

Essentially an outsized chicken meatball, served with a soft-poached egg for the dipping—juicy, fatty, and sweet all the way through.

20100809zenprimary.jpg
20100809zenprimary.jpg