Metro Asian Food Photographer taking a photo on one of the four food spy at Ichi Sushi
I have recently been selected to be a food critic for an Asian food publication called Metro Asian Food. The publication is in complete Chinese writing and covers the local Asian Cuisines dine out scene of New York City. My dad occasionally brought home the magazine for reading pleasure which is how I became familiar with Metro Asian Food. There is a section in the magazine known as Mission Delicious and it is a section where they invite readers to be participants to be food tasters. Each mission has a theme, previous themes included: the search for the best dumplings in Chinatown and another theme was Malaysian Cuisine. The mission I was selected to participate was Japanese Cuisine in Brooklyn. I love Japanese food especially Japanese comfort food: curry, ramen, onigiri, etc and my knowledge of Japanese food only comes from being a frequent customer at the midtown Cafe Zaiya -amazing! and the strip of Japanese restaurants on St. Mark’s Place. Fortunately, being an expert at the cuisine is not necessary but having an appetite is critical.
The mission started at Halu Japanese Restaurant in Brooklyn. I met my fellow tasters on this mission who had all arrived. All the foodies were my age and all girls: Annie, Zea, and Christine –winner of Miss Chinese of New York City 2008 and Jeny a freelance writer who will be writing this piece Mission Delicious for this coming June issue. The decor of Halu Japanese Restaurant is pretty upscale with a napkin ring and individual place mat and cushion seats. We were each given a rate and comment sheet and minutes later it was a parade of one dish after the next dish. The first dish was an appetizer of fried shrimp wonton on top of a dollop of gucamole. Continuing with appetizer an individual portion of bread pastry over a bowl of new england clam chowder soup. Third a pasta dish with shrimp and breaded chicken. As I am digging into the fourth plate of short ribs, I am thinking to myself what is Japanese about these dishes? Gradually, as I am dining I begin to forget that I am having Japanese food but the mango madness sushi roll as the restaurant calls it and the raw lobster (signature dish) and shrimp sashimi reminded me it is Chinese interpretation of Japanese Cuisine. The hospitality of Halu Japanese restaurant was extremely generous in feeding the tasters – me and the crew of Metro Asian Food, I felt the food at Halu Japanese restaurant was mediocre but if one dish stood out it was the last dish Blue Ribbon Pork Chop . It is panko fried porkchop with a layer of ham and kewpie mayonnaise in the center of the porkchop. The panko fried porkchop was light and tender and it is a good take on the Japanese tonkatsu.
5 variety of fishes cucumber sashimi rolls at Ichi Sushi
With our stomaches satisfied, the crew of Metro Asian Food had arranged transportation from Ridgewood, Brooklyn to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn to our second and final Japanese restaurant of the mission, Ichi Sushi. The decor of Ichi Sushi is much more zen like with wooden booth seats for a party of six to eight and overhead traditional Japanese noren curtains. Unlike at Halu Japanese restaurant where we were served with a range of different dishes from pasta to rice, to meats to seafood. At Ichi Sushi, it was a parade of a variety of sushi one after the other and by the end of the entire meal I was pretty certain the mercury level in my body was exceedingly high. Towards the middle of the meal, one or two girls were exhausted from eating and from being photo taken but it was our job to eat and I was delighted to do so.
Be sure to pickup a copy of Metro Asian Food magazine June 2009 issue! To see more of my photos taken during mission delicious and other food outings, please visit my flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mousejewelz
Halu Japanese Restaurant/// 7109 13TH AVE. BROOKLYN, NY 11228
Ichi Sushi /// 2040 86TH ST, BROOKLYN, NY 11219