Mifune, NYC

October 3, 2017

Named after classic movie actor Toshihiro Mifune, this restaurant opened July 19, 2017. It is a creation of Hiroki Yoshitake, who received a Michelin star for his Parisian restaurant Sola a year after it opened in 2011. (Temporarily closed after a fire in January, 2017.) Linda and I went to Mifune for dinner on August 14, 2017.

We were seated at the counter, which is beside the entryway. We had a good view of the action in the open part of the kitchen.

A bigger cooking area is beyond, as is a dining room with tables, a bar and annoying music. (When we asked if the music volume could be lowered in the counter area, it was suppressed, leaving us with the natural sounds of the chefs at work.) Downstairs is an eight-seat sushi counter offering a $250 omakase.  There is an extensive à la carte offering, but we chose the Chef’s Tasting Course. Linda started with a Sapporo beer. Our genial waiter gave me two sakes to taste; I chose the Born, Junmai Daiginjo. It was very good.

Our first course was
Sea Urchin  Cold Egg Custard Ponzu Jelly

This cold chawanmushi was a nice start, with the sea urchin on top bringing it to a higher level..

Smoked Butter Fish Garlic Green Sauce Organic Radish

The smoking of the butterfish really brought out its flavor. The green sauce underneath was made with spinach and garlic. Very good.

Whiting Tempura, Turnip Green Leaf Yuzu Sauce Flavor

The piece of tempura whiting was fresh, hot and crisp. It went well with the turnip wedge and the yuzu-flavored green sauce underneath.

Seared Red Shrimp with Ossetra Caviar

 Searing the shrimp with a blowtorch (see second photo above) brought out its flavor. The lump of good caviar in the middle, under the snipped chives, enhanced the shrimp without being evident as a separate ingredient.

Broiled Gindara Miso Cod with Parmesan Foam

The sablefish, or black cod, had been marinated in miso before broiling. (This often copied idea was popularized by nobu.) The summer squash and cabbage leaves went well. Very good.

Smoked Aged Premium Angus Beef Steak

The smoked and charred lean beef was top quality. It was dressed with a red wine reduction sauce enhancing its richness. This course was much larger and richer than the previous ones. 

A chef came out of the main kitchen and whipped up a sabayon. He then spooned steaming rice from a large rice cooker into a wide wooden bucket. Most of this rice was destined for the sushi bar downstairs, but some of it, and the sabayon, found its way into our next course.

Foie Gras Egg Rice

A chunk of seared foie gras was served on a bed of rice. We were instructed to stir in sabayon from the bowl alongside. There was pickled celery to sprinkle on top. The foie gras was good, but the combination and presentation did not work for me.

Dessert was Soba “tea” with a soba crisp and olive oil ice cream.

It was not evident why the custardy suce underneath was called a tea. This dessert was okay.

The first six courses were a real pleasure. The ingredients, conception and execution were top notch. The pace was good. Our server was smiling and efficient. Sitting at the counter provided a good ambiance. Mifune is an excellent addition to the New York dining scene.



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