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February 08, 2006

Aki

Having put Forklore on hold--it is just too tantalizing--as the semester gets started and writing deadlines loom, I'm back, with short entries, waiting for the summer to blog in earnest. Gave a talk in the music department and my new colleagues there took me to the most delightful dinner afterwards, delightful first and foremost for the company, but also for the inventive Japanese-Jamaican (yes, jerked chicken sushi) cuisine at Aki. Michael ordered the monkfish liver, one patty of which was coated in chocolate. It was delicious!

Chef Nakanishi has cooked in Jamaica, and he brings a Caribbean palette to the table here. An appetizer of uni, scallops and roe in coconut cream is unexpectedly delicious, as are yellowtail, mango and avocado rolls. The banana-tuna maki is an ambitious near-miss. Aki's tuna tartare, with raisins, coconut flakes and a dark chutney-ish sauce, easily holds its own in the contested NYC tartare standings. All the fish here is superlatively fresh. The majority of the clever inventions are wild successes, and even the standard fare is terrific. From CitySearch
Chef-owner Siggy Nakanishi used to cook for the Japanese ambassador to the West Indies, which accounts for freaky fusion rolls like spicy tuna with fried banana. But fanciful sushi isn't all you'll find at this brick-walled aerie four stairs removed from the West 4th Street hubbub: There's also the daily roster of off-the-wall specials, every bit as inventive as menu staples like the eel napoleon with fried tofu and mashed pumpkin and the salmon-mozzarella-and-basil summer roll with a tiny gravy boat of balsamic sauce. — Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld. From New York Metro.

Recommended dishes
Tuna mille-feuille
Titanic
Toro tartar
Caribbean roll
Dino roll
Shinoda bag
Tofu etranger
Eel napoleon (fried tofu and mashed pumpkin)
Eel mango roll
Banana tuna roll
Green tea tiramisu.
Half avocado stuffed w/ real crabmeat and topped w/ tobiko
Chef's special sushi ("it's a party in your mouth")
Jerk chicken roll

Aki
181 W 4th St
New York, NY 10014 View Map
(212) 989-5440
Cross Street: Between Barrow Street and Jones Street
Directions: A, C, E; B, D, F, V at W 4th St

Here is a report from A Full Belly.

Posted by BKG at February 8, 2006 07:21 AM

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