Katsuei, Brooklyn, 17/20

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THE good mothers (and nannies) of Brooklyn tend to use this high end sushi bar as somewhere for Jackson and Philomena to top up with a little snack after school which is a bit arresting. A few neighbourhoods away and for the price of a piece of sushi here might buy a nourishing meal of ramen. And this is not a cheap place. $50 might be the price of dinner $100 more likely and if you get into the sakes…A glance at the four older white suited sushi meastros behind the fish counter, should give you a clue that this is a serious place, this is their yard, their manor.IMG_5101

And this is very high quality sushi…IMG_5131This being New York the fish is wrapped in cellophane, some still in its box from Tokyo but unless you are heading for the Japanese seaside it probably is not much fresher. And we have an upgrade on the usual sushi in that most items are delivered – individually by hand, – not as just exemplary rice and fish but with an element of sauce, washed with ponzu, with lemon, with hijiki. Soya sauce is only offered for the tuna. There is an omakase menu that starts at $40, some other combination meals and a list of 50 or so individual items. There is a point beyond which sushi probably cannot go but there is also a subtext here in terms of the order of things. Clockwise the sashimi goes like this:IMG_5108Seabass, tuna, oyster, squid and bream each garnished subtely with microscopic assemblies of green onion, ginger, a wash of dashi…Before that we opened with the agedashi tofu served with tiny squidgy mushrooms that need extricating from the tiny stalk side:

 

And then to the sushi, each one adorned, decorated really…

 

And this little gem…IMG_5121The kelp from the dashi cooked on in mirin, sake and soy and sliced into computer chip sized shards of flavour…Go later to avoid the kids.

Park Slope 718 788-5338 www.sushikastuei.com

There is also a branch  in the West Village, NY 212 462-0039

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