Shigure means shower in late autumn or early winter that I guess explains the logo for this bar located in TriBeCa. I had it on my list for a while, after discovering sake with my friend from Tabelog as well as during my various eating adventures in some of the great Japanese restaurants in the city, like EN Japanese Brasserie, Maison O, or Sakamai.
We decided to go on a Wednesday night, figuring that it is probably busy and loud as the week end approaches. That was a good call, because they were not that many people there and we could enjoy a nice conversation without shouting as well as without being distracted by the discussion at the other table. I like the decor: simple, with a large map of Japan in the back showing the different areas from where their large selection of sake and shoshu, these traditional rice wines, are coming from. Of course, if you do not like sake, you can opt for a beer or other beverage that they offer.
I wanted to have some sake, but was a bit overwhelmed by their large selection and, anyway, had no clue what to order. I saw they have a sake flight from 5pm to 7pm, but, unfortunately it was too late for that. Well, I asked them if it was possible to benefit from it although we came later and they gracefully accepted, giving me some advice on which one to order.
The selection was, from left to right:
- Ozeki Junmai sake from Gunma, Japan: light touching, clear, dry and refreshing.
- Shinriki Ginjo sake from Kumamoto, Japan: touching smooth, a hint of ripe muscat with a dry finish. This was my favorite.
- Tengumai Dai-Ginjo from Ishikawa, Japan: light and crisp, complex with a light finish.
I tried each one after the other, getting to taste the differences in aroma and flavor, as well as pairing them with the delicious food that we ordered. At Shigure, they have many small plates that are perfect for sharing. Here is what we ate:
Avocado Potato Salad: creamy avocado with poached egg and some crispy yuba (tofu skin).
This was my least favorite dish: it had a sort of fishy aftertaste unfortunately, but I admit that I would not have ordered that dish anyway if it was not for Jodi who loves avocado...To be noted, the perfectly runny yolk sitting on top of the dish...
Shio-Koji Fried Chicken: marinated with shio-koji and dressed with home made scallion oil. For $8 (single serving), I thought there was lots of chicken. I liked it as it was crispy, perfectly cooked and moist, but would have liked some sort of sauce to dip in it.
Pork Belly Kakuni: simmered mugi-fuji pork belly served with boiled aji-tsuke egg.
That was my favorite dish: first of all, it had a delicious aroma that just makes you want to dig into it right away, forgetting any etiquette you may have. Then, if you like pork belly and its delightful fattiness, this is for you. Last was this fantastic egg that was perfectly cooked and complemented well the pork. I definitely recommend that dish.
Duck Cha-Shu: duck breast (magret canard) marinated and slow-cooked
This dish is another recommendation, especially if you love duck. It is a very elegant presentation and the duck was so good, deliciously fatty and cooked to perfection, being pink in the center.
Tuna guacamole (special): marinated blue fin tuna with smoked vegetables.
Although I did not really taste any smokiness, I liked that dish, especially the presentation on endive where each leaf was like a spoon, making this a sort of amuse-bouche. I should mention that the tuna was perfectly seared.
We did not have dessert and I am not sure they propose any, too full after a fantastic meal. I would definitely go back to Sake Bar Shigure to try some other dishes, as well as improve my knowledge of this delicious drink.
Enjoy (I did)!
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