There is no sign or even street number marking Blue Ribbon Sushi.
It is located in SoHo at 119 Sullivan Street and it was where I took a date on Sunday, January 30, 2011.
There is a small bonsai tree in front of the restaurant and you go down from the sidewalk. You go through the front door and a curtain and then you enter a waiting room before you are seated.
We ordered hot sake and off with an order of the Hamachi Tataki (yellowtail tartare with quail egg). The yellowtail is on top of a sauce of some sort and the quail egg is on top of the yellowtail. You burst the egg and then mix it all together. It was quite refreshing and flavorful. I don’t Dahlia or I had ever had a quail egg before.
We followed that with an order of Ebi Shumai (home made shrimp dumplings). They were good. Sorry, I forgot to take the photo before I ate my first one.
After that we had two maki. We had the Spicy Tuna & Tempura Flakes (with cucumber inside out) and the Sakae & Sake Kawa (salmon, salmon skin, cucumber & burdock). It was very fresh, but I’m not so sure the salmon skin was the best idea. Still very fresh and very good sushi.
Finally, we had an order of Yamakake (grated mountain yam with tuna). Our waitress warned us that the texture might be a bit slimy and sticky, but we were open to trying it, figuring that the worst thing that could happen is that we don’t like it and don’t order it again. Well, the texture was different. You take some of the yam (which has a texture a little like runny Farina) on your spoon, add a tiny amount (or more if you really like it) of wasbai, add a little soy sauce, mix it all together in the spoon and then put a piece of tuna on top, then eat it. It was different and we liked it.
I’d say the restaurant is mildly overpriced, but our service was wonderful (including hot towels to start and an explanation of some of our somewhat exotic selections), the food was extremely fresh, and we had a wonderful time. We kept talking for a little while after I paid the bill and nobody bugged us.
Of course, the night didn’t come to a totally happy ending as I got a flat tire on 2nd Avenue while driving her home. Darn you 2nd Avenue Subway. So, a warning, take it very slow (ignore the h0nking behind you) if traveling down 2nd Avenue on the Upper East Side (it’s fine in Murray Hill).
– Evan Bindelglass