New York City Review: Rosanjin

141 Duane St

Rosanjin was a very interesting find. I initially came across the restaurant’s name when I was looking for Japanese restaurants to work at, and the food seemed very authentic but there was very minimal information and reviews about it online. I went there on a Thursday evening and my friends and I were the only customers! The restaurant only seats about 24 people but it was surprising to see no other guests.

I immediately noticed that the servers were slightly awkward, but friendly. They didn’t quite seem to know what they were doing. It was an unusually hot day that day and they gave us a hot towel (would have appreciated a cold one). We ordered the $80 kaiseki course, which we had to indicate when we made the reservation on Open Table.

The food I had at Rosanjin was probably the most authentic refined Japanese food I’ve had in New York City (along with my meal at Inagiku at the Waldorf Astoria). The $80 course filled me up about 90% and we all thought the price was very reasonable. Why then is there so little publicity about this restaurant??? The restaurant is owned by a Korean man who spent a lot of time in Japan (in fact his Japanese sounds native), and he is new to the industry. I think if they had a better front of house manager and put in more effort to market the place, they could really make a name for themselves. It’s a shame that not more people know about Rosanjin because the food was excellent.

Green tea tofu with tonburi (mountain caviar) and nagaimo (Japanese yam)- cut ridiculously fine

Sashimi course: botan ebi (a very sweet shrimp), toro (tuna belly), uni (sea urchin) and hirame (flounder)
Grilled gindara (sable fish) with daikonoroshi (grated daikon radish), myouga (like ginger), abalone and shrimp
Ebi shinjou (grated shrimp and fish with egg whites) with gomadoufu (sesame tofu), fiddlehead fern and satoimo (Japanese yam) 

Tempura (the one with the little rice crackers around it was scallop)

Pickles, corn rice and miso soup
Desserts in a kaiseki meal are never elaborate- usually just fruit and/or ice cream

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