Donguri, NYC 7

December 9, 2010

On November 27, 2010, Karyn, Linda, Blair and I dined at Donguri, our favorite neighborhood restaurant. Shortly after we were seated we were given the drinks menu and we ordered a bottle of Otokoyama Tokubetsu Junmai sake.

The menu described it as “Very dry. Full bodied and crisp.” Which it was. We eventually ordered a second bottle. 

We asked for an order of
Cha-mame, spiced warm soybeans
and one of
Oshinko, homemade pickled vegetables

The chamame didn’t have the extra character from the spicing and salting that I was hoping for. The pickles were nice.

Our first course was
Sea Urchin Sashimi

Donguri gets its uni from Maine, which I think is better than the Santa Barbara sea urchin usually served in New York. This was very good with a luscious pure flavor.

Next we had two orders of
Sweet Corn Tempura
and one of
Yasai Kakiage
tempura mixture of vegetables

The tempura was fresh, light and hot. The almost candy-like corn was nicely balanced by the mixed shredded vegetables which had no sweetness.

The next course was described in the chef’’s November blog:

Here at Donguri, we are having our own celebration. The new 2011 Zagat Restaurant Survey Rated our FOOD at 27 points! This falls into the “Extraordinary to Perfection” category, so we are thrilled for this recognition. We are ever grateful to our customers who inspire us to set the bar high. With this great news, I had to create something spectacular. I chose to create a dish with Fresh Abalone and a Medley of Fall Mushrooms- matsutake, shimeji, shitake and oyster mushrooms, garnished with micro-greens. Flavorful and delicious

We agreed with the chef’s evaluation. The mushrooms and abalone slices have the same size, color and texture so we didn’t know which one we had picked up with our chopsticks until it was in our mouth. They went well together.

 Our next course was
Broiled Chilean Sea Bass Marinated with Yuzu Lemon
served with a bowl of
Seasoned Rice with Shiso Leaves & Sesame

The sea bass had a lovely fresh flavor which was enhanced by the marinade and broiling.  The chopped shiso leaves and black sesame seeds made the rice more than just a passive accompaniment.

For dessert I had
Rice cakes with red bean sauce.
Blair had
green tea ice cream


We were very happy with our meal and hope to return frequently to Donguri

To see all our meals at Donguri click here.

The restaurant’s website:

2 Responses to “Donguri, NYC 7”

  1. George Rusznak Says:

    Michael, glad to see that there are still good reasons for gourmands to live in NYC. I can see why this is a favorite. Given the extent and breadth of your dining experiences that is quite a recommendation.

    You usually provide some pricing information about the restaurants you review. You didn’t on this occasion. I am curious because of the abalone. Fresh abalone is in scarce supply and it must be reflected in the price. Many years ago I dined in a restaurant in Hong Kong. There was an abalone dish on the menu. The price was HK$7,000. At the then current exchange rate it converted to nearly US$1,000. It made an impact, so it is hard to forget. I don’t know if it reflected market prices, or if it was simply offered to the tycoons to flaunt their wealth.

    Also, abalone was readily available on restaurant menus in California in the distant past, but I have not seen any for a good many years now. Not even the frozen or faux kind.

    In light of your upcoming visit, I decided not to publicize your bias for Maine sea urchin, but am working hard to find a place where you can sample the quality of the best ones we obviously retain for the locals.


    • Michael Says:

      It was at a small premium over the other dishes, probably as much for the exotic mushrooms as the abalone, which is not rare on menus in NY or Japan, or even France now with the Breton type.

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