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Hibino

Not much new to report on Hibino other than that they [SPOLER ALERT] continue to make great food.  We arrived fairly late for lunch, so the only bento box available was the shrimp dumpling.  Sadly they were out of the salmon collar.  Curiously, the tempura vegetable was baby corn.  I always associate baby corn with those pickled yellow phalluses that pop up every once in a while in salad bars.  Nope, these were in fact fresh baby corn…which is a thing you can buy?  Sure enough, one of the chefs was busy shucking away, as you can see in one of these pictures!

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Hibino

Hibino, the jig is up!  Sure, you can put “pork sauce” on anything, and it will be wonderful, but ain’t no amount of shrimp toji maki gonna make me forget about this aquarium decoration hot mess of a salad you call seaweed.

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Hibino

Shrimp  Toji Maki
Niku Miso Tofu – Homemade Tofu with Miso-Meat Sauce (Beef)
Fried Oyster Roll – with Avocado, Cucumber, Tobiko and BBQ Mayo
Scallion Yellowtail Roll
Tuna Roll
Yaki Saba Bo Sushi – Round Pressed Bo Sushi with Lightly Grilled Mackerel, Shiso and Shaved Kelp
Soy Pudding

I loved how the fried oyster roll is constantly considered a “special” and included on the chalkboard.  It has literally never not been a “special” when we’ve gone.  It is always on the chalkboard.  Always.  Can they just go ahead and put it on the laminated menu, or what?  I mean, you have a blog!

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Hibino

I’m ashamed (ASHAMED!) that Eats Meats West hasn’t yet covered Hibino, which is arguably the best Japanese restaurant in Brooklyn, much less Cobble Hill.  It’s also perhaps the closest restaurant to my apartment, so there’s really no excuse.

As is my custom, I ordered all of the obanzai available that day:

• Kabocha croquette – panko breaded mushed Japanese pumpkin, eel and ground chicken.
• Roasted stuffed shiitake Mushroom
• sautéed shredded beef and garlic sprout with oyster sauce

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Aburiya Kinnosuke

It seems like every time we visit Aburiya Kinnosuke, something has changed; once we were told they didn’t do [and never had] sushi, another that they didn’t know what almond jelly was [even though it was our favorite dessert].  Most likely, this has been a trouble with translation, but after seven previous visits it’s become apparent that no matter how used to the experience we become, we’re never quite on top of things.

And so it was no different, on this very special birthday edition, that we were confronted with another change.  The various menus had since been consolidated into one large binder, including the drinks.  While this might seem like a mundane point, you have to realize that there are literally upwards of 100 dishes, taking into account that many have secondary options (like rice balls with sour plum vs. rice balls with salmon).  Though the text is now hand-drawn and thus hard to read, they’ve at least segmented the myriad dishes into major categories like “fish,” “meat,” and “rice.”  Are they mainstreaming?  The menu’s easier to read but still far from what I’d call simple.  With a large group, usually one would order 2-3 dishes per person and share as they’re brought out in the order in which they were cooked (or sliced I suppose, for sashimi).

With our shochu sours (shochu + soda water + choice of citrus juice, freshly squeezed table-side) arriving, we were ready to order.  I was hoping to partake in the prix fixe eight-course menu, which I’ve done twice before, but it’s inexplicably not on the menu anymore despite still being on the website.  Instead, we went omakase. At $70 (which is again, not reflected on their website…get on it folks!), and not exactly what I had wanted, I was expecting a lot.  Needless to say we were not disappointed.

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Boca Lupo

Bocca Lupo is exactly that restaurant Eats Meats West for some reason never seems to remember is right around the corner, despite all of its great qualities.

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Henry Public

Henry Public just opened a few weeks ago.  It’s in the old TV repair place next to Hibino, and I feel like the furniture and decorations were all pulled from second hand shops.  For my brunch I indulged in a turkey leg sandwich, which comes covered in fried onions, and is accompanied by fries.  Check, check.  The meat was unbelievably tender and flavorful.  It was somewhere between Stovetop Stuffing and cream of mushroom soup, but I’m not trying to insult the chef by comparing it to those products.  It’s just that it had this distinct meatiness that I couldn’t place.  It wasn’t particularly herby.  Maybe they roast the legs and then slowly cook them in rendered turkey fat?  In any case, keep it up, Henry Public.  The table also shared these puffy Danish pancakes, which are curiously called Wilkonsons (after the chef Shannon’s last name).  I can’t really say they were very memorable, though I had no complaints otherwise.  Sort of your standard funnel cake dough meets powdered sugar plus some jam.  It seemed like they should just come gratis with your meal, like hush puppies.

Crap, now I must go eat hush puppies.

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