Rosanjin, NYC 4

August 9, 2010

On July 14, 2010, Linda and I went to dinner at Rosanjin, a restaurant we have always enjoyed. We were trying out the Kaiseki menu for the second of the two dinners celebrating my 70th birthday, taking over the entire restaurant for the evening of August 4. This post describes the tryout meal with some items from the actual party added on the bottom.
We met the chef, Shimazaki-san, and looked at the menu which had been printed for us following his suggestions, some ideas we had proposed by email and a few seasonal changes. It all looked good.

Our table was decorated with a little flower arrangement. There was a large one behind us.

We ordered the sake pairings. They are shown below after each course with the prefecture of origin and a brief description in parentheses. When we had tried the meal and the sakes, we decided that, at the party, we would start with the sparkling Nigori. We would have the Biho, Rashomon and then the Dassai during the meal.
1. Appetizer
homemade corn tofu with shark caviar

The flavor of fresh sweet corn was evident in the silky tofu and was nicely offset by the salty shark roe.

1. Dassi Sparkling Nigori (Yamaguchi/semi unfiltered/fruity)

2. Appetizer
handball sushi, vegetables in dashi sauce & gelatin, cod roe mixed with dashi & gelatin, seared washu-gyu beef with daikon and ponzu purée

The tuna on the round ball of sushi was top quality. The “watermelon” was made of cod roe in a slice of lime peel. It was a bit spicy, the spiciest thing in the meal. The beef was also excellent.
2. Azumaichi (Saga/semi dry/rich)


3. Soup
scallop wrapped in minced cod, komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach), daikon radish, carrot & gold leaf in konbu dashi broth

The scallop had been coarsely chopped and wrapped in a finely minced layer of cod. The seaweed broth was slightly gelatinous. The dish was quite subtle.
3. Kitaya Kansansui (Fukuoka/semi dry/ light) .

4. Sashimi
pacific grouper, fluke, seared scabbardfish, toro

The fish was superb. The wasabi was creamy and fresh. Excellent course.

4. Biho, Rashomon (Hiroshima/dry/refreshing) 


5.  Grilled Dish
tilefish teriyaki with asparagus & pickled myoga ginger

The marinated and grilled fish was nice, bringing in a more substantial elemant after the sashimi.
5. Amanoto (Akita/very dry/rich)  


6. Simmered Dish
kamonasu (eggplant), abalone sprinkled with kuzu root powder and snow pea simmered in ginan dashi

This course seemed quite esoteric and severe.
6. Dassai (Yamaguchi/semi dry/fruity) .

7. Fried Dish
prawn wrapped in shiso leaf tempura, squid tempura made with rice crackers, snap pea tempura served with seaweed salt, lemon & dashi broth

The tempura was hot, light and good.
7. Tengumai  Yamahai (Ishikawa/semi dry/flavorful) .

8.  Rice Dish
salmon and mushroom kama rice, pickled vegetables and red miso soup

Coarse rice with pickles and miso soup is the traditional end of a Kaiseki meal. The salmon and mushrooms made this intreresting. The little red jar had sesame seeds for sprinkling.

8.  Ugo no tsuki (Hiroshima/light/smooth finish)


9. Dessert
sesame tofu with black sugar syrup, strawberry  frozen yogurt and fresh fruit

Rosanjin has added a dessert to the traditional meal in order to please American tastes. This was refreshing and good.

9. Aodani no Ume (Kyoto/sweet)

Instead of the traditional green tea, we were served iced tea to go with the hot weather outside, but we asked for regular hot tea at the party.

After the meal the chef, Shimazaki-san, came out to discuss it with us. We told him that we liked everything and that we looked forward to having it again at the party.


For the party the room was rearranged into two long, narrow tables for eight.
There were elegant, small flower arrangements and low candles on the tables.
At the end of the meal, Linda introduced the chef, Shimazaki-san, and Mr Jungjin Park, Rosanjin’s owner, for a round of applause. The service and ambience had been excellent with the entire dining room team working hard to see that we had an enjoyable evening. The chef had successfully reproduced our excellent trial kaiseki meal for the large group.

To see the blogpost on our meal at Rosanjin in March 2010 click here.



 Rosanjin’s website:  

3 Responses to “Rosanjin, NYC 4”

  1. John Howell Says:

    What a dazzling feast served with beauty & style. How would you rank this with those top restaurants you went to in Japan. It is difficult for me to imagine anything better. Isn’t being seventy wonderful!

  2. Blair Says:

    On the walk home from this dinner Karyn and I were talking about our favorite parts of the meal. Karyn enjoyed the Tilefish and Sashimi the most as they were light and fresh. I was obsessed with the rice bowl for the exact opposite reason; while it was rather steamy in the restaurant that evening, due to the AC being on the fritz, I couldn’t help but think of how comforting the rice bowl was. I thought, this must be what mom’s mac and cheese is like in Japanese culture. I imagined coming in from the cold and having a hot bowl of flavored rice with flaky fish warm my soul. I will most definitely come back to Rosanjin but will wait for some damp cool fall evening to enjoy this Japanese treat.

  3. Timothy P Ojile Says:

    Michael and Linda,
    Sorry I wasn’t there with you to celebrate!

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