Sunday, December 27, 2009

Return of Saburi 12-22-2009

Location: 168 Lexington Ave.
Time: 7:30pm
People: RB and myself

Feelings: I had an intensive craving for Kanitama (sweet and sour crab omelette), so we went back to one of our favorite restaurants that specializes in Wafu Chuka (Japanese style Chinese food), Saburi. With a large group of Korean and Chinese population in Osaka, I grew up enjoying Japanese style Korean and Chinese cuisine, perhaps more than Japanese food. In fact, our Sunday family dinner always took place at a Chinese restaurant. I love that whenever I come to Saburi, I hear Osaka dialects from other customers. Perhaps they are also nostalgic about their Sunday dinner they had back in Osaka.

We started with Harumaki ($7, spring rolls), which came with exquisitely crispy skin and juicy filling. Many spring rolls could be quite dry that results in need of additional dipping sauce, but there was absolutely no need of sauce or condiments here.

I had never tried Kanitama ($13) at Saburi, but it was better than I had anticipated. It was more sophisticated with a delicate flavor and graceful plating. The oyster sauce was subtle yet had a perfect flavor and thick consistency. The eggs were perfectly cooked and embraced the delicious crab meat and vegetables inside.

I really wanted RB to order Ebi Chili (sauteed prawn in spicy tomato sauce), but he decided with their special dish of the day, Sliced Duck ($12, with soy mustard sauce). The portion was small, but he said the meat was succulent and tender. The tasty sauce complimented the meat and veggies very well.

There is nothing we love more than sesame dango/sesame balls (azuki in a crispy sesame rice ball), but we were ecstatic to find their version with azuki ice cream on a side ($8). It seems no brainer that warm, crispy and a little greasy sesame dango would go perfectly well with ice cream. The ice cream started to melt little by little by the warmth of the dango. The skin of the dango got softer and softer by the cold ice cream. Subtle sweetness of warm and cold and the texture of both crispy and soft all came together in one bite. This was indeed a divine dessert.

The service here is really friendly and amazing. They never rush you, and I love the jasmine tea they bring at the end of the meal. The waitstaff noticed that RB was still finishing up his beer, so she waited until he finished and brought his later. I love that kind of little gesture that shows their hospitality, attention and true consideration for their patrons.

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