Komegashi Sushi – Re Construction
Japanese French Fusion Restaurant and Bar
New York, NY 10010
Komegashi is a large dimly lit Japanese Fusion restaurant and bar located on Broadway off of 21st Street. At the entrance there’s a large bar and lounge area with small booths for happy hour cocktails. The atmosphere is impressive – a cross between Japanese minimalism and fun wicker tiki lounge. Komegashi is not a new restaurant and neither is the Japanese French Fusion theme ( Komegashi calls it “reconstruction”). Seems like it is the trend to mix Japanese with other cuisines and call it fusion. According to the reviews at the door of Komegashi, it seemed like a good idea so we decided to check the prix fix sunset meal for $35 / person. For appetizer we were offered the duck and shrimp egg rolls (shown above) which were a good idea but a little too salty for my taste. Next we ordered the Beau Soleil Oysters which are topped with a mixture of champaign and passion fruit juice. I personally savor the flavor of oysters so I don’t really see the point in adding something overpowering as passion fruit juice. The result was a fizzy flavorless oyster. We tried to drain the juice off, but it was to no avail – the passion fruit juice continued to conflict with the natural salt flavors of the sea. Next for appetizer we tried the Sushi Panache’e. This is a beautiful dish with a long roll of sushi rice topped with a variety of sashimi along with tiny repeating squares of tomato confit. Like the oysters however I feel the dish would have been very tasty on it’s own but somewhere in the “reconstruction” the tastes just didn’t add up. For example, there is a continuous film of tobiko above the rice which makes for a great presentation but also makes eating the individual pieces of sashimi very difficult. (You have to put the sushi under a knife to cut out your pieces but in most cases fell apart all over the dish ). The avocado puree was an interesting twist but once again the flavor just didn’t seem to mingle well with the sashimi. For the intermediary dish we were served a cappuccino miso soup along with a fried tofu vegetable ball. This was an interesting dish that I think really worked well. Basically you take the tou fu vegetable ball and you stir it into the miso soup. The miso soup has been transformed into a cappuccino drink – frothed with a hint of butter. It was quite rich but very tasty and the presentation of the cup and the serving was excellent. For the main course we had the Assorted Skewers and the Sauteed Wild Striped Bass in summer shellfish broth. The assorted skewers which included ahi tuna, tomatoes, duck, a pork chop, zucchini, Chinese cabbage and white fish came with an assortment of dipping sauces. It was a tasty dish and a great grill sampler. The sauces however didn’t always correspond but it was fun experimenting with the flavors as a whole with each skewer. Our other entree was the Sautee’d Striped Bass which was served in an enormous bowl that made this entree look more like an appetizer. This dish is not what you expect – it’s more of a soup in the way it is prepared. I personally like the taste of striped bass alone but with the tepid summer shrimp broth it was kind of a disappointment. The broth didn’t complement or bring out any of the flavors of the grilled striped bass. Instead the broth literally washed away the flavors leaving you with a salty shrimp taste. For dessert we finished with the anchoco souffle torte which was very well made and the banana souffle’ with rum ice cream. The rum ice cream had a nice kick to it and complemented the banana souffle’ very nicely. Complements to the pastry chef on these selections for sure. Overall Komegashi Sushi is a good place to check out. The atmosphere and service was top notch. We didn’t get a chance to try the sushi or any of the regular menu items so it may not be a fair assessment. However from what we sampled, I feel that the “reconstruction” of sushi at Komegashi needs a little re-modeling as well. Not to say that I am a purist in cuisine – there are many Asian fusion restaurants that do it very successfully such as legendary original Next Door Nobu. Check it out and let me know what you think.