Chiyono ~ Orderinny

Sunday, April 15, 2007


This cozy Japanese restaurant feels like an extension of someone's home. And eating there with a couple of people whose company you enjoy is as comfortable as eating at home, but tastier and with better plateware.

Between the 4 of us, we had a miso-marinated eggplant cold dish, a Japanese omelette simmered in dashi stock and pork dumplings for appetizers. All were passable but too expensive. Better value was found on the entree side of the menu, where we shared slices of grilled miso-cod (flaky, fresh, a tad salty); 2 egg shaped croquettes; a big bowl of buta kakuni (fatty pork simmering in a sweet soy sauce, not meltingly soft but not bad) and very juicy and delicious fried oysters that was surprisingly brimming with hot liquid as we bit into them.

Dessert was intricatedly presented, three distinct items on a single long platter. Like the savory items before it, the flavors are traditional and unadulaterated. We enjoyed the glutinous rice cakes with matcha powder and the red beans with vanilla ice cream, but really loved the white sesame pudding, a wobbly study of milky sweetness perfumed but not overpowered by the nuttiness of sesame. And at $7, the dish was a downright bargain.
Chiyono delivers unsophisticated but comforting home-style dishes and does not cater to the mass of exotic sushi rollers lovers in the city. Indeed you will not find degustatory revelations amongst platters of fried foods and simply grilled fish, and in truth the food's not at all impressive, but the ingredients are fresh and the food presented with such care that you can't help but thank the good proprietress for her efforts for preparing a homecooked meal. A comfortable room (dominated by a communal table, not an ice buddha), a few good friends, a friendly but slow server and an earnest Japanese mama taking care of your daily nourishment, I'm glad not every Japanese restaurant in town is a Nobu.

328 E6th St (Bet 1st & 2nd Ave)

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