We made a promise in November to go back to Kyotofu once the college apps are done. It seemed so far ahead before, but now we’re finally here.
We started out with the Kyotofu sampler, which has most of everything on the dinner menu.
The starter was the warm japanese mushroom salad, which is a compilation of mesclun greens, red onion, glazed honshimeji & maitake mushrooms, panteleo cheese and vinagrette dressing. Although I expected more mushrooms, this salad blew me away. The mushrooms were warm and tender in contrast to the sharp bite of the cheese and vinagrette. Perfect balance, perfect combination. Joanne didn’t like it too much (that’s an understatement), but I am definitely ordering the full salad next time.
The bento box is definitely a light meal, considering that I didn’t really eat anything the whole day. The pork belly was tender, fatty and juicy like pork belly should be. The tofu was cool and refreshing but the soy sauce was a bit too salty. The sweet potato chips were a wonderful addition to the chicken and tofu slider, which had a hint of mayo in it. I enjoyed the creamy croquette the least, probably because I’m not a big fan of fried food and tartar sauce.
Now, it’s dessert time! We ordered the KAISEKI prix fixe for two, which consists of three dessert courses.
The first course are two vanilla sweet tofu panna cotta, which had a nice texture but the syrup tasted too much like pure vanilla extract. It takes a bit more effort on your part to balance out the tofu and syrup ratio. Kyotofu has creamier tofu than the Chinese version (dofu fa), but their syrup is way more overpowering than the Chinese simple syrup.
The second course, which have three mini desserts, has my favorite – the warm chocolate cake with miso mochi. The saikyo miso caramel was a creative twist to the usual caramel sauce and the black sesame tuille was crunchy and aromatic.
The best moment of eating the green tea crème brulée is cracking the crisp caramelized layer on top. The green tea tasted slightly fishy… or, well, earthy, but the innards were soft and custardy, but not too rich. Great caramelized crust to crème brulée ratio.
We did not enjoy the poached apples with soymilk okayu; the poached apples with almond crumble (yum) were the only things we finished. Something about rice pudding in general is unappetizing. Maybe it’s because I eat rice almost everyday. Sigh.
The green tea nama chocolates were cool and creamy, but the strawberry macaron was chewy and had very little filling.
Overall? It was good, but if I were you, I would skip the prix fixe items and go for the full portioned warm Japanese mushroom salad and order a kuro goma (black sesame) sweet tofu and a warm chocolate cake with miso mochi (yes, order two). And don’t forget to bring a soufflé cupcake home with you.
705 Ninth Avenue (between 48th and 49th)
New York, NY 10019