I'm very much a visual eater. It's part of the reason why I love apps like yelp and instagram and how I narrow down a menu of tantalizing choices to that one dish I'll order.
Before I had even heard of Hatsuhana I saw a picture of their highly popular “Box of Deams“ and quickly texted my friend that we had to go to whatever restaurant it belonged to pronto and that I already knew exactly what I planned to order.
We arrived to Hatsuhana NYC, a calm and quaint Japanese restaurant smack in the hustle and bustle of Midtown and we were starving. (For future reference, I'll make a phone reservation in the future as they do seat those with reservations first.)
By the time we sat down (upstairs, at the sushi bar) our culinary wish had expanded from just the Box of Dreams to, one appetizer, two dream boxes and four rolls.
The 9×9 box certainly didn't look very filling in pictures, but oh boy is the thing huge! 9 individual pots of rice and a serving each of uni, roe, salmon, tuna, yellowtail, fluke, eel, toro and shrimp will definitely leave you pleasantly full by the end.
The waitress did a double take at our order with some raised eyebrows and the sushi chef grinned when we managed to finish everything.
Hatsuhana is a solid sushi joint, perhaps an in between to your sushi + sake hole in the wall and more classic, authentic bars like Sushi Azabu. For the price, everything was fair and for once I left a Japanese restaurant quite stuffed!
I really enjoyed the aburi toro appetizer, it was perfectly fatty and plump with a soy sauce and chive marinade. Mhm!
The box of dreams was quite good as well, with my favorites being the salmon, tuna, eel and toro. I'm not the biggest fan of uni or roe, and was quite disappointed by the uni's lack of freshness but the roe was bursting full with flavor.
After that, we settled down to cram room for the four rolls of sushi we ordered: avocado yellowtail, crispy salmon skin, soft shelled crab and crunchy tuna. All were great, but perhaps not as noteworthy.
Go here, for the Box of Dreams.