We were walking on 10th on a Saturday, going uptown to a Mexican restaurant we wanted to try for lunch, when we stumbled upon Method, a Japanese restaurant I never noticed before, although it has been opened for a year and we passed in front of it so many times. So, we decided to go back that day for dinner, after some time spent in the City. We showed up at 5:30pm, when they opened, and were surprised when they asked us if we had a reservation as we were the first to arrive and the restaurant was empty. Well, it was empty for maybe 30 minutes and the totally packed. After trying their food, I understood why: it was simply magnificent!
With its kitchen in the back, this place has a comforting feel, serving a menu that is far from the classic Japanese cuisine you find few blocks away. If you are looking for sushi and sashimi, this is not your place. But if you want to try something different, I highly recommend it. They do have a good selection of sake, but I noticed that they offer a matcha beer, that is a Asahi Super Dry beer with some matcha powder. It looked beautiful, with its green color and, taste wise, I thought it was pretty good, with a nice balance between the matcha and the beer.
Then we started with a bunch of dishes, Method proposing small dishes. The first one was the house-cured bacon with poached egg. I love bacon and with this dish, I was in heaven: I took a piece of bacon with my chopsticks and dipped it in the yolk, that counteracted the smokiness of the meat, adding some decadence to this dish.
The second dish was Agedashi, a lightly deep fried eggplant with some Namafu, a wheat starch, on top, all of this sitting in a dashi broth. This was delicious and the eggplant were perfectly cooked, having this smokey taste that I love so much.
The third dish was a special: Tonyu Yudofu, that was warm tofu in soy milk, served with seaweed, scallion, daikon radish and a ponzu sauce. If you only had tofu from the supermarket or that restaurants buy, you have to try this: the tofu was so silky, literally melting in my mouth. I loved adding a bit of the condiments with it, and it was superb with the ponzu sauce that added a delightful acidity to the dish. One of the best part was the tofu skin that formed after few seconds.
The fourth dish was shishito peppers and mushroom tempura. This was quite good, the tempura being not greasy at all, but I wish there were more mushrooms as it was mostly shishito peppers...
The fifth dish was the Brussels Sprout tempura, even better than the previous dish. It is so funny to think that when I was a kid, I hated Brussels Sprouts! Sorry Mom!
The sixth dish was very surprising, like a take on chicken and waffle, except that the chicken was a chicken liver pate that was very tasty and was dense with a bold flavor, and the waffle was made of mochi, giving a light and crispy texture to it. I simply loved it, both elements being delicious.
The last dish before dessert was the roasted duck that was sublime: deliciously fatty and crispy, the skin was the best part, but don't get me wrong: the meat was very good, perfectly cooked medium (although I prefer it pink), juicy. I simply dipped it in the sansho pepper salt that came with it. I should mention the naga negi or Japanese long onion that was nice.
Last was dessert. Here also, it was quite creative. We decided to go with the Soba-Cha or roasted buckwheat creme brûlée. The look and color was exactly the one of the creme brûlée, but it is when you take the first bite that you get the taste of the buckwheat. Surprising and delicious. I definitely recommend this dessert.
We left so glad that we found this little gem. Method is the kind of restaurant that will blow you away, making you think differently about Japanese cuisine. I highly recommend this place.
Enjoy (I really did)!
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Method Japanese Kitchen and Bar - 746 10TH AVE, NEWYORK, NY 10019