Sakemai Tabelog Tasting

Tabelog is Japan's top food review site and it's just been launched here in New York.  The website held a round of Food Blogger Restaurant Awards of which I was asked to be a judge.  To celebrate the awards the judge's panel was invited to Sakemai in the Lower East Side for a fabulous tasting of food and drink.  There were so many wonderful dishes, my favorite of the night being a spin on the classic beef tartare.

Chef Akiyama of Sakemai used filet mignon and topped it with uni, wasabi mascarpone, crushed poached egg and a side of brioche.  Uni, filet and egg... three of my  favorite things...

Another favorite of the night was the Tsukune Slider made with a Chicken Meatball, foie gras, caramelized onion and harissa aioli.  The foie gras melted right into the meatball and even though it was pretty messy to eat, it was totally worth it for the flavor.

I'm not sure what I felt about the Carrot Puree, dashi gelee and summer truffle.  I liked the smokiness of the truffle but the jiggly texture of the gelee kind of turned me off.

The Secreto Iberico Pork was excellent.  The meat had a nice char from the grill and the farro salad underneath gave the dish an earthy, nutty spin.

The Temari Sushi was also excellent.  I mistook the fish for salmon at first but then realized it was Tasmanian Trout and dove right in.

Croquette with lobster, lardo Iberico and sansho pepper was decent but not something I would order if I was dining out on my own.

To finish Strawberry Compote with mascarpone mousse and a truffled balsamic glaze.  It was a nice, light way to end the night on a sweet note.

Check out the new Tabelog if you get a chance and certainly check out Sakemai if your looking for a delicious Steak Tartare in the LES.  Cheers!