Post delicious brunch in Central Park, Michael and I worked off our food comas with a spot of retail therapy. We walked through the park to the start of 5th Avenue, taking in all of the tall, glossy buildings and heaving intersections.
^ No one can argue that Apple knows how to do aesthetics; is that not the coolest shop entrance ever?!
Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue gave my credit card a good beating – who can resist that shine?
The Trump Tower stole the limelight, however, with its heavy gold embossing.
One of the things that I so love about New York City is the complete mish-mash of shops, foods and people that you find on every street. Yes, the same can be said for some parts of London, but not to the same degree, in my opinion – you can’t find a halal hotdog stand outside Chanel on the Kings Road, but you can certainly find the equivalent in New York! Similarly, the number of ornate, stunning churches that pop up along the main streets of the city is quite phenomenal.
With time against us, we raced back to our hotel for a quick freshen up before what turned out to be the most immense sushi dinner at Sushi Nakazawa.
Sushi Nakazawa is internationally renowned for the standards of its head chef, Chef Daisuke Nakazawa, who trained under Jiro Ono, supposedly the best sushi chef in the world. As the New York Times put it, “the way the chef sees it, the success of Sushi Nakazawa depends on his being a stickler about every element of the preparation: the provenance of the seaweed, the temperature of the sea urchin, the type of the rice” etc.
Having come highly recommended by William (who you might remember from my reviews of Homeslice, Eight over Eight and Taste of London), a trusted foodie and New Yorker, and then watching the real-life documentary about Nakazawa and his rigorous training under Ono, ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’, I knew that Michael and I had to try “only the best and freshest find its way to your plate”. You can sit at the 10-person sushi bar or in the main restaurant, but only at the sushi bar will you receive Chef Nakazawa’s omakase (dishes selected by the chef) 20-course menu ($150.00 pp), with each piece of nigiri explained and plated by Chef Nakazawa himself. Pretty special, or what?
Never have I been so up close & personal with chefs ‘in the zone’. I cannot even begin to explain the skill (and ease) with which the chefs lovingly prepared each individual piece of nigiri.
Every piece of fish was killed only seconds before being served. And, although even the simplest of animals know not to play with their kill, Michael couldn’t resist a quick fist bump with our prawn (before it awkwardly began spasming and scared the life out of everyone around the sushi bar).
The scallops were shucked and carved on the spot, and delicately placed on a small ball of rice. Still pulsing.
Sushi Nakazawa really does serve the freshest sushi around. I can’t imagine anywhere that beats the proximity of ingredients to chef to diners.
I don’t want to bore you with 20 photos of individual pieces of sushi, but here are a few of the stand-outs for Michael & I:
My beloved Itsu lunch boxes will never be the same again.
^ Fatty tuna, medium fatty tuna, and least fatty tuna, nigiri. The middle one was our favourite; so creamy you wouldn’t even have believed it was fish.
^ That was a maki roll filled with a certain fish roe (I can’t remember what), but the little eggs popped with such intense, delicious flavour (not at all fishy) that I literally shushed Michael when he tried to speak to me during my moment with my mouthful.
The wine (and our ecstatic food mood) might have gotten the better of us:
The meal ended on a real high, with wagyu beef, smoked eel (DELISH!) and the classic Japanese finisher of sweet egg omelette (unlike any you’ve ever had before).
If you ever get a chance to watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and I really recommend that you do, you will understand just why the Tamago Egg Nigiri is so special.
A scoop of yuzu sorbet and green tea was the perfect light, palette-cleansing end to the meal.
Sushi Nakazawa is not just a restaurant that serves food; it provides an unforgettable food experience. No, it wasn’t cheap, but save it for a special occasion (Michael & I were celebrating our 3 and a ½ year anniversary, eek!) and dig deep, as you definitely won’t regret it.
We then went for a short stroll around Bleecker Street (my fave).
Before hopping in a cab (no, sadly not that ^ one) to The Park, an awesome restaurant and club that, unsurprisingly, replicates features of a park.
Clearly not in search of food, we danced the night away with the rest of Michael’s friends, who joined us shortly after.