Hiya, it’s Katherine Curry with a quick tip on a new spot for authentic Japanese food.
I was meeting my friend Michelle in Briarcliff for a quick lunch at Kiku, a tiny sushi spot on Pleasantville Road that’s been there for years. When we got there, there was no Kiku there!
I’m not sure when the place changed hands, but it’s been open for about a month as Jiki: Japanese Sweets & Cuisine. It’s run by husband and wife team Masaaki Yamaguchi (he’s the sushi chef) and Minyoung Cho Yamaguchi, who’s in charge of the sweets.
More, after the jump.
That “sweets” part is, alas, for now just a tease. Minyoung, who used to be the pastry chef at Takamachi Bakery in Tribeca, is waiting on the installation of her convection oven and hopes to serving dessert in the next month. She plans on making French pastries with a Japanese influence, like green tea macaroons and wasabi orange mousse cake. I’m very excited about the dessert aspect of this shop—I’m pretty sure this will be Northern Westchester’s first French-Japanese pastry shop!
My friend and I had to content ourselves with a sushi lunch. Here’s a shot of the sweet-looking interior.
We started our meal with some complimentary chilled brown rice green tea. My friend opted for some cooked rolls (sorry, no pictures, but the eel in her eel and avocado roll was tender and sweet). I had the chef’s selection, which included some very good toro and delicate smoked mackerel. We also sampled some deliciously crunchy house-made Japanese pickles (pickled seaweed, cucumber, and Japanese radish).
Minyoung, who was so warm and enthusiastic, brought us some complimentary potato salad. It was surprisingly similar to my mother’s potato salad—heavy on the egg and packed with crunch, although this crunch came from cucumber and carrot and slices of onion, rather than my mom’s mainstay, lots of celery.
There’s a rotating lunch special each day (the day I was there it was a donkatu, or pork cutlet, lunch), but I hope Jiki eventually adds a sushi lunch special, too. The menu has udon and tempura as well as teriyaki and even grilled filet of eel. My 10 piece “Chef’s Choice” sushi plate, which came with miso soup, was the priciest thing on the menu at $22.
Next time you’re in the area, check out Jiki and let us know what you think. I’ll be back for dessert!
The 411 is coming, but for now:
Jiki, 1116 Pleasantville Rd., Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510. 914-762-4040. Mon-Sat 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Closed Sunday.