Dinner at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York | I just want to eat!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dinner at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

image of Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

In the past weeks, I have been discovering Brooklyn's dining scene and I have to admit that there are quite few gems there! The last one I discovered is Fushimi, a Japanese restaurant located in Bay Ridge, where we were invited for dinner. Fushimi has two meanings: first it is the name of a city in Japan; second, it means "Clear water" in Japanese.

They have three locations: Bay Ridge and Williamsburg in Brooklyn, as well as Staten Island where they serve the same menu, an Asian fusion of Japanese, Korean, Thai, French and American cuisine, crafted by Executive Chef Chul Kee Ko.
image of Chef Chul Kee Ko at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

Chef Chul Kee Ko has an impressive resume: born in Seoul Korea, his mom owned a popular Japanese restaurant, where Chef Ko helped in the kitchen at age 14. Then he went to the French Culinary Institute, before working for Jean Georges and Buddha Bar in Washington DC. The training in the latter allowed him to spend two months at the Buddha Bar in Paris. 
image of bar area at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

The restaurant is surprising: from outside, it looks like a club with the blue lights. Then, when you enter, the first room is dominated by the red and blue fluorescent bar, giving a lounge-y feel to the place. But it is not just a bar area, there are tables and booths were people can dine. I counted three more dining room, making this place quite big.

In the main dining room, you can sit at the counter, observing the Chef prepare the food, next to a small seafood display.

In the back is a cellar containing an impressive collection of sake.
image of sake at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

I started the evening with a yuzu citron martini:
image of yuzu citron martini at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

It was made of yuzu sake, citron (lemon) vodka, PunZone organic liqueur (vodka). It was good with a nice citrus-y taste, but clearly not something I would sip like milk...

The first two dishes were from their New Year's eve menu. It started with Four Senses of Lobster:
image of Four senses of lobster at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

They took 1 1/2 lb lobster and prepared it 4 ways.

Tiradito that is similar to a ceviche, where slices of the lobster tail were topped with caviar and a spicy vinaigrette.
image of Tiradito at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

Sushi made with the claw meat, some homemade lobster oil, some sea salt, and of course some rice. This was to be eaten with soy sauce and wasabi.
image of Lobster sushi at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

Lobster salad: First was a brush of pesto on which the salad was placed. it was composed of asparagus,  snap peas, cherry tomatoes, crunchy cauliflower (tri-color - I can recall purple, green) and a carrot confit (the carrot is cooked 3 hours at low temperature in olive oil).
image of Lobster salad at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

The sauce was an orange vinaigrette. The lobster was topped with a Meyer lemon and pineapple jam that gave a nice acidity to the meat.
image of Lobster salad at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

Special Roll made with different types of lobster meat, rice, avocado and mango, topped with a sweet aioli.
image of Lobster roll at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

The presentation of the dish was beautiful and the creativity of the Chef being undeniable. It was like a progression of flavors, some the simplest to the more complex flavors. My favorite was the sushi, then the tiradito / ceviche and then the salad, each of them being delicate and elegant. However, I did not like the roll, whether it was the texture or the taste, the lobster being a bit lost.

The second dish was the Black Garlic Magic of Seafood:
image of Black garlic magic of seafood at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

Another beautiful dish, very colorful. It was like a tartare of lobster, lump crab meat and seared scallops, topped with black garlic and put together with a creamy aioli that let the seafood shine. It was accompanied with a brunoise of vegetables that added a nice crunch to the dish (carrots, French beans, cauliflower). This was another successful dish. Definitely, the black garlic was intriguing. It is aged for 6 months and has a soft texture and a more subtle taste that definitely did not overpower the dish.

Then came the rack of lamb:
image of rack of lamb at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

Another fantastic presentation and a great dish! The lamb was seared in 7 spices and brushed with Dijon mustard that created a nice coating. Then it was slow cooked to obtain a meat cooked medium and heavenly juicy. It came with haricot verts and crispy mashed potatoessimply made with yukon potatoes, butter, salt and pepper, a perfect side for the lamb.

After the succulent lamb dish, came the filet mignon:
image of filet mignon at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

Chef Ko poured a sauce similar to the one you can find in shabu shabu, made with a port wine reduction, shallots, beef stock and butter. 
image of filet mignon at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

It came with a roasted shishito pepper, a pan seared oyster mushroom (did not really like it), panko crusted mash potatoes (delicious and crunchy), a roasted cherry tomato and one of the best sweet potato purées I ever had (there is crème fraîche in it!). But the best part was the filet mignon. I typically never order meat when not in a steakhouse; but, to my surprise, this was very good! The meat was tender, deliciously seared and topped with some kosher salt. Although juicy, it paired perfectly with the sauce that has a nice sweetness. The meat was cooked medium to medium rare, and even Jodi who likes her steak well done loved it!

At that point, I am not sure I could eat more. But then, they brought us some desserts...The first one was a warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream (perfect to cut the sweetness and bitterness of the chocolate).
image of warm chocolate cake at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

We cut it in the middle and observed the chocolate oozing from the center. It was fantastic!
image of warm chocolate cake at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York


Then, we had a trio of crème brûlée:
image of trio of creme brulee at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

The flavors were: vanilla.
image of vanilla creme brulee at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

Green tea
image of green tea creme brulee at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

Coffee.
image of coffee creme brulee at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

I thought that it was a great idea to offer a crème brûlée tasting and it was the perfect quantity as it was not too big and not too thick. The custards were perfectly set, not too sweet and the caramelized top was very good. My favorite was the vanilla, then coffee, then green tea (that was not bitter by the way).

The last dessert was a panna cotta made with Greek yogurt and topped with a yuzu citrus gelée. 
image of yuzu panna cotta at Fushimi in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York


This was my least favorite dessert: I did not like the texture of the panna cotta and the yuzu citrus gelée taste was too pronounced.

This was definitely an unexpected dinner at Fushimi: the food was fabulous, taste wise and presentation, showcasing the creativity of Chef Ko. This is not your typical Japanese restaurant. However, if you want a more straight forward Japanese dish, they have that also on their menu! Whether you live or not in Bay Ridge, Fushimi is worth the trip...

Enjoy (I did)!

Fushimi on Urbanspoon 
Fushimi Japanese Cuisine & Lounge on Foodio54

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Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!

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