rice 'n robata

rice 'n robata

Experience the authentic flavors of Japan at Aburiya Kinnosuke in New York. Sample a variety of dishes including robata-grilled fish, meat, and vegetables cooked over Japanese charcoal. Indulge in unique offerings like grilled Amberjack collar, chicken meatball, and hanger steak roasted on a cast-iron tableside grill. Don't miss the traditional clay pot rice for a taste of Tokyo in the heart of the city.

Aburiya Kinnosuke, 213 E.45th St. between 2nd and 3rd, 212-867-5454

When a Japanese television reporter, a friend of a friend, called to say she moved to New York, I asked her what she missed most about home. Rice, she said. So rice is what she got, plus a few other things. I invited Madoka to Aburiya Kinnosuke, one of my favorite Japanese restaurants in New York. While many Americans are stuck on the idea that Japanese food equals sushi, Aburiya is a testament to the breath of the cuisine. The place specializes in robata, fish, meat and vegetables grilled over charcoal. Imported Japanese charcoal a foot long is arranged -- ashen and glowing -- like a pup-tent; around it, ingredients -- skewered and stuck upright -- sizzle and caramelize. Our dinner meandered from gilled Amberjack collar to mushrooms to a chicken "meatball" -- ground chicken formed on a fist-sized wooden spatula and browned by the fire. You scrape of the tender, delicious chicken off the spatula and dip it into a soft-boiled egg. We also ordered a cast-iron tableside grill where we roasted hanger steak, red miso and scallions on top of a giant dried magnolia leaf, which infused the meat with a satisfying smokiness. And yes, Madoka got her rice -- cooked traditionally in a clay pot, so the bottom crisped up and caramelized. "Just like Tokyo," she said. Mission accomplished.