Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Attention to detail: Kiku Restaurant
Restaurant Name: Kiku
Location: 177 5th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Given the dreary weather and dire economy lately, Sid and I have found ourselves less inclined to venture far from home when we eat out, so we've been trying to explore more of the restaurants in our own neighborhood. Kiku is the latest on the list.
I guess I should start by saying that if you don't live in Park Slope, or even in a 10-15 block radius of Kiku, it probably is not worth a special trip. There are plenty of good sushi restaurants in Brooklyn and Kiku - while good - is not anything extraordinary.
It is, however, a really lovely local option for very fresh sushi presented with attention to detail.
We began our meal with a truly unique starter: a Lobster and Tuna dumpling. The lobster was presented in salad form, mixed with avocado crunchy and spicy mayonnaise. The salad was then carefully wrapped in raw tuna, which was executed in the traditional Chinese dumpling style (round and pleated at the top). The overall presentation was really beautiful: two glistening red dumplings were set on large leaves (grape leaves, I think), garnished with long chives and served with jalapeno mango salad and seaweed salad. The flavor of the appetizer was fresh, spicy, crunchy, and creamy all at once. I was quite enamored.
For his entree, Sid chose a traditional 7 piece sushi plate with a tuna avocado roll. Again, presentation was artistic, the fish was perfectly cut and draped on the rice, and everything was fresh. I think I chose more poorly, unfortunately. I opted for the "Pepper Corn Shrimp", which I assumed with come with a spicy peppercorn sauce. However, it was instead served with a sort of ratatouille of red and green peppers and onions. The shrimp had been coated and lightly fried but the coating became soggy in the sauce. Overall this wasn't very flavorful and didn't have a great texture.
Another thing is Kiku's favor is the atmosphere and decor. Its a small, narrow space but still conveys a sense of calm and serenity.
Prices were reasonable. We spent $53 (including tip) for an appetizer and two (very substantial) entrees, plus tea.
We'll definitely be back and I hope that next time I select an entree more in line with the quality and flavor of the other dishes we tried.