Fu’s on First? Shojin Ryori and Sake

A recent visit by my newlywed vegetarian sister was a perfect excuse to go again to our favorite NYC Japanese vegetarian “Shojin Ryori” restaurant: Kajitsu.

Dassai 39

Dassai 39

Kajitsu is really a magical place. It’s really as if someone picked up a first rate Shojin Ryori restaurant from japan and plopped it down on East 9th street. The service, food, atmostphere and sake were all spectacular. It’s really everything I truly love about japanese cuisine and culture condensed into a meal.

“Nama-Fu” (生麩) was one of the star attractions of the meal. Fu is a wheat gluten (aka seitan). The “nama” part means raw. In our case, the fu was served as tempura. It was lightly chewy and delicious. Our waitress told us that the restaurant owner also owns a fu shop in japan, so that Kajitsu has access to only the best fu around. it tasted like it. After a few sips of delicious Dassai 39, “Fu” seemed such a funny name that many Abbott-and-Costello-like “Fu’s on First?” jokes ensued. A little Dassai makes everything better.

If you get to NYC’s east village, don’t miss the chance to have dinner at Kajitsu. It’s fantastic, delicious and simply amazing. If you’re freaked out by unusual ingredients like Agar Agar and Fu, my advice is to sit back, question nothing and just eat everything that’s put in front of you. That’s my recipe for a FU-fulling meal.

See the notes in this slideshow for more info on our dinner at Kajitsu.

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