Monthly Archives: December 2010

santa city

On Saturday the annual Santacon “Santa Claus Convention” descended on the West Village outside of SUSHISAMBA 7. Melissa (GM, SS7) and Mere took some shots of the action:

nyc = santa city

santa samba:

scrooge in a tree:

Happy Holidays!!

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kyoto bars

After our dinners in Kyoto we’d walk the streets that parallel the Kamo River (Kamogawa). Many of the bars require you to climb stairs or head down long passageways so that you end up sitting right alongside the river – or looking over it. It’s a great way to experience the city.

Like restaurants, the bars are small and intimate. Koji often found himself in conversation with neighboring tables… Mere and I are still working on our Japanese.

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We’re back in NYC now and I’m looking through the pictures from our Japan trip – there’s so much to share! Some of the dinners (most of them 5-7 courses) included interesting ingredients and cooking techniques that can be broken down into some great sub-topics.

We ate gyūtan (grilled beef tongue; gyu = cow / tan = tongue) at a yakiniku restaurant in Kyoto. According to our reading, gyūtan as a dish was born in Sendai (there’s an entire restaurant street dedicated to it there) and has since gained popularity across Japan. For this dinner it arrived thinly sliced with salt, pepper and oil to season and cook. So good.

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octopus lollipops

To satisfy your afternoon craving:

Baby Octopus Lollipops stuffed with Quail Egg at Nishiki Market (aka Kyoto’s Kitchen); Kyoto, Japan

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yuzu xl

At the Nishiki Food Market in Kyoto we discovered one of the largest yuzu fruits we’d ever seen. They’re typically the size of of a lemon/lime but this one was more like a grapefruit.

Yuzu is an East Asian citrus fruit with a tart, fresh flavor. Once I start posting some of the photos from our dinners in Tokyo and Kyoto you’ll see it used frequently as a garnish. At SUSHISAMBA we use it to make ponzu and yuzu vinegar sauces.

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cuts by culture

Cow Diagrams from America, Brazil and Japan:


Image from



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ferran adrià on japanese cuisine

In Japan there’s a sense of sensitivity and simplicity in food and service that you can’t find anywhere else. Our experiences bring back many of the more ‘philosophical’ approaches to cooking that I’d encountered during my time at elBulli – Ferran Adrià has always been incredibly inspired by Japanese cuisine.

Check out this quick clip from an interview with Ferran and Dorothy Hamilton (CEO of The International Culinary Center):

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