sraymundo

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Recent reviews by sraymundo
Restaurant Name City
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takesushi Sunnyside, NY
I'm coming from a background where I thought any restaurant with the word "Japanese" in it was an authentic. In the past few years I've learned the difference between the places that I once thought to be real Japanese food (usually run by Chinese or Koreans - nothing wrong with that, but it's not real Japanese cooking/dishes/taste) and those that serve authentic (or as close to food served in Japan) Japanese food because of my girlfriend. Coming back from a recent trip to Japan and experiencing the wonderful food the country has to offer, the expectations of Japanese food vs the reality that's offered in the states is quite wide. There are various places around the city, and also in Queens that serve very good Japanese food, but nothing that wasn't a train ride or a car ride away. The local places here in Sunnyside are usually Asian fusion, or just don't meet my expectations of good Japanese food. On this muggy and rainy night, we decided to give this place a shot - even though looking at the setup from outside it looked just like any other sushi place for those looking for a quick bite to eat and not really focusing on the quality of the food or service. Pleasantly surprised, as soon as we walked in we were greeted in Japanese - a very warm welcome for someone who's having Japan withdrawal after a great trip. The menu is scarce but enough to fill mostly anyone's appetite coming in. We decided not to get the sushi this time and opted for some Japanese dishes that I usually "judge" the restaurants on. These are usually things I get when I go to a restaurant that claim to be Japanese - agedashi tofu, tebasaki and gyoza. Agedashi tofu: Delicious (Oishii!), this was made very well. The consistency of the tofu and the agedashi was well balanced, just right. It was so good that I ate it even though it burned my mouth, I couldn't help myself. Tebasaki: Another +1 for the chicken wings. Again, the sauce used on the chicken wings was not so over powering to lose the flavor of the chicken, instead it complemented it very well. Gyoza: Their menu says "home-made" and sometimes from other restaurants, this means that it was home-made somewhere, more often than not it was home-made in a factory and you'll see it in the frozen food section in the local supermarkets - these are not. These could very well have been home-made in the kitchen just like some other Japanese restaurants that I frequent in the city. Browned properly and not burnt, these were also very good. We had another dish, I can't remember the name but it was grilled tuna jaw. They served us a big piece, but this is only temporary since it's still considered their "grand opening." Even if they gave us a half-portion we would have been very happy. This had a great balance of crunch on the outside and the inside being juicy and tender. An important food that we also had was the rice - often reviews neglect the simple bowl of rice, but this is key in any Asian restaurant. The rice here was well cooked with the right water to rice ratio - might sound simple enough but I've been to restaurants where the consistency of the rice was either hard and crunchy or way too mushy and wet. I don't have any negatives to say about Takesushi so far. They've made a good/great impression on us and we're definitely going to be coming back here, often. The food is good to great, the service was very attentive, prices were very reasonable, the location is excellent. The only possible downside was that we waited for our food longer than other restaurants, but I think the reason why the wait was just a little longer was that care was taken in preparing each dish and that each dish was freshly made to order. Keep that in mind when going here, and I do hope that the quality of the food and service continue.