TEISUI: Speak Softly and Carry a Big Yakitori
Update: The original TEISUI has rebranded to OMAKASE by TEISUI. You can read about our experience at TEISUI below.
Hi Everyone! Today, I'm pretty excited to talk about TEISUI, a Japanese izakaya in New York City. They serve a variety of dishes, including yakitori, sashimi, and entrées with European influences. To support this menu, TEISUI is manned by Japanese chefs, Takayuki Nakamura and Yuichiro Yoshimura. One has a background working in European Michelin-starred restaurants and the other has traditional yakitori experience.
TEISUI aims to recreate the same vibe of its sister hotel of the same name in Akita, Japan. It's a historic hotel situated on a mountain facing the Oga Peninsula. The TEISUI in New York has a cool yet comfortable atmosphere but I'm going to have to say it probably doesn't compare to their Japan location. Their main dining area is spacious. Over half of this space is dedicated to bar/counter seating, where you could sit and enjoy watching some of the food preparation.
Note: Their menu seems to change quite frequently. Their current menu looks different from what we ordered from. So, some of the items you'll see in this review may no longer be available. But, this post should still be a good representation of the kind of food and quality you'll see here.
Overall, the meal was a bit pricey. All the dishes were on the small side so if you plan to eat until satisfaction, you'll have to order several dishes. Use that to your advantage and share some plates with your friends to try more things!
I'm interested in going back to TEISUI in a few months. Given that their menu changes frequently, I'm wondering if they're still trying to figure out their signature dishes or if they're just having fun experimenting.
Address: 246 5th Ave., New York, NY 10001, Flatiron
Chicken Breast with Shishito Peppers Yakitori
Chicken Gizzard Yakitori
Chicken Liver Yakitori
Chicken Meatball Yakitori
Chicken Tenderloin with Wasabi Yakitori
Chicken Thigh with Scallion Yakitori
Chicken Wing Yakitori
Gindara Saikyo Miso
Green Scallion Yakitori
Short Rib 48
Tuna Tartare Canape
Let's start with the Yakitori. TEISUI has a wide selection so it'll be quite a challenge picking and choosing. The price of each stick ranges anywhere from $3.5 to $10. Most of the skewers are about $3.5, which is a bit expensive for the amount of food you get.
One of my favorites was the Green Scallion Yakitori (see above). That skewer was totally packed with gentle onion-like flavor. It was dressed with some simple Yakitori sauce, which is usually made with Soy Sauce, Mirin, Sake, and Sugar.
Next, we have the most expensive chicken wing in NYC... just kidding. I don't know if it's the most expensive chicken wing but for $3.5, it better be good. I'm no chicken wing connoisseur but I've had my fair share of yakitori wings in Japan and Hong Kong. TEISUI's was pretty solid.
The skin was crisp and charred. The chicken wing itself was nicely plump. Most importantly, the meat inside was very juicy and without any weird under-cooked areas. This is probably one of the better Yakitori wings in NYC.
Next, we had the Shiitake Mushroom. First of all, they were pretty fat (in a good way). These mushrooms were meaty and had nice juicy fibers. It's times like this that I'm not surprised many vegetarians use mushrooms as an alternative for actual meat.
I definitely recommend getting this one! And, don't spill the pool of juice that accumulates in the center of the shroom.
Next, we had the Chicken Thigh with Scallion Yakitori. This was awesome. Eating this is really like enjoying the best part of the dark meat without any of the trouble. I could eat this over and over again.
Oh! I also forgot to mention that TEISUI has some really interesting Yakitori sticks, including Chicken Oyster, Chicken Rib, Tail, and Back Soft Bone to name a few. I recommend getting Chicken Oysters because they're considered to be the best part of the chicken. Also known as Sot l'y Laisse, which translates to "the fool leaves it there", the chicken oysters are two small, round pieces of dark meat near the thigh and towards the back of the chicken. Sometimes, you even get a little bit of cartilage in the middle of the oyster.
Lastly, I wanted to mention the Chicken Liver Yakitori. It was so soft, buttery, and fatty. This is my favorite way to enjoy liver instead of having it as a cold pâté. Chicken liver is high in cholesterol, therefore, it should be consumed in moderation. On the bright side, it's blessed with a decent amount of iron and zinc, which can help strengthen the immune system!
Let's talk briefly about some of the appetizers. The Tuna Tartare Canapé was probably my personal favorite. The tuna was dressed with a spicy sauce, which seemed to mask some of the natural tuna flavors. But, it was still quite good. It's best to spread the tartare over the accompanying garlic toast.
The Beef Tataki (see above) was just alright. For some reason, it was quite tough and hard to eat. Maybe we had an unlucky batch but it should be more tender especially if you're only going to sear the exterior.
The Beef Tataki came with a Sesame Chili Sauce. It looked really nice but the flavor was a bit underwhelming for me.
The Ebi Mayo was likely the crowd favorite. As you can see in the picture above, it was almost drenched in a spicy mayo sauce but who doesn't love that!? The Ebi (Shrimp) was fried tempura-style. This is the perfect guilty pleasure.
For the main course, I'll only be talking about my own just because I didn't really try the other entrées. I got the Sashimi Set with 5 kinds of sea creatures. Usually, the one that steals my heart is the Hamachi. When fresh, it's just soft and full of fatty, fishy flavor.
TEISUI doesn't seem to have the 5 Kinds Sashimi Set on their menu anymore. But, they do have assorted sashimi plates for 1, 2, or 3 people. If you're planning on getting the sashimi as an entrée, I'd confirm with the waiter/waitress to see which size is appropriate for a personal entrée.
I'd also like to point out that mound of Sea Urchin (see above). It was creamy and sweet. There was none of that gross metallic flavor. Right now, there are so many places in NYC that put uni on top of everything. They put it in and on top of croquettes. You'll also see it on top of pieces of seared wagyu. There are even some places that put it in their udon!
My favorite way to enjoy uni is either by itself or as sushi over rice. That being said, I loved this part of my sashimi set.
Some of the other highlights that Steph liked were the 48-Hour Sous-vide Short Rib and the Saikyo Miso.