Donguri: Revisited


$300.00 for four with 2 bottles of sake

It wasn’t too long ago when I last blogged about Ito En’s cozy little Upper East Side restaurant, Donguri. But my sister loves this place, so for her birthday, we took up one of their dozen or so tables for a quiet Thursday-night celebration.

I couldn’t get enough of the seafood risotto Kim ordered last time, oozing with uni. It’s not only one of the more filling dishes on the menu, but one of the more affordable items as well. Again, everything here is so delicately portion, lovingly prepared, so if you’re looking for a full-blown feast, the only way to do that here is to order more entrees than you usually would.

And that’s basically what Jay did. We had their cha-mame–what they labeled “premium edamame”–priced at $8 a bowl. For the same price, we also tried their homemade soy bean Agedashi tofu–a really refreshing appetizer for anyone who can appreciate the subtlety and tastelessness of tofu. And of course we had their fried tempura sweet corn kernel clusters–a must try at Donguri.

But the big winner of the night turned out to be their appetizer du jour: curry-coated soft-shell crab. I don’t know how they got such strong curry flavors infused throughout the crab, but they did. The strong curry flavors came through with each crunchy bite, without the grease and over-saltiness that often happens with cooking these critters. It was so good, Jay ordered two.

Being a birthday, we had to go for dessert. There aren’t a lot to choose from, and none are that out of the ordinary. But the black sesame cake was fresh and fragrant, paired really well with a small dollop of vanilla bean ice cream. Their scoop of green tea ice cream was incredibly refreshing as well. Yes, these desserts are without a doubt overpriced, but it’s like tying a perfect little ribbon on a very lovely meal.

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