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Restaurant Sumile, 154 W 13th Street, New York City ( English Text)

New York is known for bringing up inventive restaurants in a very regular pace. Sumile is one of them. Sumile understands itself as an Asian-Western fusion restaurant, which uses finest Asian ingredients (some of which are flown in daily from Tokyo) and presents them in a new way.

The first impression is very positive. Although the restaurant isn’t full that evening, the bright and cool design (modern lightning and furniture), which at the same time has warm Asian elements (such as candles, dark wood, rattan chairs with lots of cushions) makes one feel like immersed in a new and cosy atmosphere.
After we sat down, the waiters immediately put on the table some thin rice-flour crakers, which have been sprinkled with black powder made of nori-sheets (They taste a little salty and enhance one’s appetite). A creative idea which immediately announces the style of the restaurant. They make one crave for more innovative food of Sumile.

And one doesn’t have to wait a long time for getting his appetizer, and they are again very inventive. Anago for example, which is a Japanese eel breed, is served smoked and rolled in a nori sheet together with young fresh arugula leaves and a very tasty marinade (called “sansho glaze”). This plate truly is a revelation: the eel tastes surprisingly sweet and tender (especially for my German palate which is used to the heavy fatty smoked German eel) and the interaction of textures as well as of flavours is close to perfection.
Also, the Dungeness Crab with avocado, pear gelée and caviar, one of the more expensive appetizers on the menu is worth each cent.

The entrées are as persuasive as the starters. The cod had a perfect consistence, not to cooked but tender enough to be savoured, and presented in a very appetizing manner. The raw salmon melted on the palate and the grilled duck leaves nothing to be desired. And all these plates were modern interpretations that didn’t disappoint or fell into culinary kitsch.

Even the sorbets at the end will stay engraved in my memory, like the bay leaf sorbet or the inventive black sesame paste sorbet, which were both luscious.

The only little deficit was the inability of the waiter to explain the wines which were on the list. But he found a way out of this situation by pouring 2 wines to taste. The one we chose was a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc which had so delicious passion fruit notes that we quickly forgot about this lapse.
Finally we also have to point out that this restaurant is a true bargain in New York. The starters are all around 12 USD, and the entrées around 20 to 30 USD, but can be ordered as half portions, which is great as you can taste more of the unique creations of Sumile.

Other blogs or articles about Sumile:
Steve Plotnicki rates Sumile a B- in his blog “Opinionated about Dining”

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  1. Restaurant L’air Du temps**, Belgium – “Sang-sational!” — Blind Tasting Club Said,

    […] it one of my first such kind of experience with restaurant Sumile in NY (here’s the ancient review)we visited a long time ago in 2005 or the recent visit at the very ambitious Tippling club in […]

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