MIFUNE New York | Sushi Samurai
Samurai, originally meant “one who serves”, now means warrior or knight. Following an unwritten code of conduct, the Bushido Code, a true warrior must hold that loyalty, courage, veracity, compassion, and honor as most important above all else.
Newly opened Japanese restaurant situated in Midtown Manhattan; MIFUNE, is named after Toshiro Mifune, the well respected Japanese actor known for his roles as highly capable and unrivaled samurai warriors. His overly emotional performances of each role distinguished him from the rest of the crowd. With Toshiro as the name, inspiration and force behind this restaurant, MIFUNE New York definitely exhibits traits of the characters Toshiro portrayed and also strongly displays the qualities of a true samurai warrior.
Samurais, being very capable and unmatched in what they do best, MIFUNE demonstrates the equivalence of such. It holds the best, elites and professionals to make each and every customer’s dining experience surprising yet satisfying. With a Michelin starred cast of top young chefs, they are fighting to make their name worthy. Hiroki Yoshitake, the chef and owner of Michelin-starred Sola in France, leads as the mastermind behind the menu.
Employing the concept of Washoku cuisine, Yoshitake uses the traditional Japanese cooking style with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. The name surely pays respect to Toshiro Mifune, who himself crossed the ocean, charmed everyone on a global and international scale and became appreciated in the world. Yoshitake brought over French techniques to design original and aesthetically pleasing dishes. The elites to help achieve his innovations are Head Chef Yuu Shimano and assistant Chef Tomohiro Urata, both of which have worked in three Michelin-starred restaurants.
They definitely put what they serve customers ahead of everything else. From the creativity to the artistically crafted presentations of each dish, you can tell they put the pride in serving the best and honor to serve as their number one goal. The Uni sushi served alongside with their Truffle Egg Custard, showing a bit of their loyalty to the traditional Japanese cooking, were definitely a good choice to start the Chef’s Tasting Menu. With both having such strong flavors, they each surprisingly held their own.
As you shift to the next on the menu, the Smoked Butter Fish with garlic green sauce and organic radish stands out just as much. The raw taste of the radish complemented the smoked yet fresh and sweet taste of the butterfish. The crispy arare battered scallops with bonito dashi sauce is another standout, with the crunch of the exterior contrasting the soft texture of the scallop inside. The bonito dashi sauce was more a light broth that brought back the sweetness of the scallop to every bite. The broiled Gindara with Parmesan foam had a bit of a Western flavor to it due to the Parmesan foam. Not your typical “sauce” to put atop any fish in Japanese cuisine. However, it worked in that the foam brought out the creamy and oily aroma of the broiled Gindara and brought it along with the Parmesan flavor from your taste buds to your nose.
All their dishes stood out not solely in taste, but also visually. Each one is aesthetically pleasing and can surely stimulate your appetite.
The cocktail menu of Shingo Gokan (an Angel’s Share veteran and winner of the 2017 Tales of the Cocktail International Bartender of the Year Award) includes unique creations like the Seven Samurai; composed of rye and aged sake infused with clove and cinnamon smoke tableside, the Drunken Angel, built with Hibiki Harmony Japanese Whisky, umeshu plum wine, shiso leaf and a MIFUNE branded ice cube, and the Piña Colada, made crystal clear from a complex process used to clarify the lime juice. A diverse, rotating global selection of wines is available, with wine and sake pairings tailored to the tasting menu.
MIFUNE New York, a samurai, with its menu as the sword of a warrior and its service as the Bushido code samurais abide by, serves up its mind and heart putting the best forward. Their innovative dishes and impeccable service certainly make them an unmatched samurai.