Japanese dishes

NR brings a contemporary twist to Japanese dishes

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) – NR on the Upper East Side was born from cocktail culture, then layers traditional Japanese cuisine with a twist.

Hand-cut ice was used to cool the cocktails and the glasses were painted with a delicious chocolate swirl. From ice to fire, an aroma of palo santo was added to a magnificent smoky mezcal cocktail by Tetsuo Hasegawa, the restaurant’s mixologist.

“Good performance and presentation,” Hasegawa said, explaining what customers expect from their dining experience. “People come in, drink, have a good time, leave happy!”

As Hasegawa made cocktails, Chef Takashi meticulously sculpted every bit of the dishes he prepared — a precision that is important to the dining experience, according to owner Shige Kabashima.

Soft and elegant ramen kicked off the meal. There was homemade Japanese dashi with sea urchin paste and an artistic plate of scallop carpaccio with a hint of lemon and a whiff of truffle. Eggs took center stage at Japanese brunch with a perfectly carved egg salad sandwich on thick toasted white bread.

For southern picnic lovers, there were deviled eggs enhanced with sea urchins and caviar. A stuffed and garnished eggplant was also served with sweet miso.

Kabashima started out as a bartender, enamored of a bygone era when Japan was opening up its port cities to the world. At that time, the cocktail culture came from Europe, while the ramen culture came from China.