Restaurant Review: Kotobuki

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Olivia Wicik

Kotobuki

86 Deer Park Avenue

Babylon, NY 11702-2802

(631)            321-8387

For someone who has had a long and trying journey with raw seafood, I bring to you a restaurant that I choose time and time again when asked where I want to dine. Sushi is not for everyone, but if you are one of those people who are willing to try something new, then Kotobuki will turn you into a believer. The secret with sushi is the freshness, which is appreciated in all food but becomes a necessity in raw foods. And, that is something that is guaranteed when you go to Kotobuki.

Located in the chic village of Babylon in the South Shore, it is the perfect place to go on a date with a lover or just with a group of friends. I tend to go there with the latter at least once a month. The atmosphere is very city-like in that it is an awfully small place with crammed tables. However, it just wouldn’t be the same without that. You can expect a wait on almost any given night at any given time, so I would recommend heading there about 15 minutes before you actually want to be seated.

The dress code is not a fancy one, but it is more formal than casual. Since Babylon is a place where you can find a wide range of bars, Kotobuki is a great place to go before actually going out. The staff here is friendly and always welcoming. As far as Japanese food goes, Kotobuki offers a range of traditional as well as contemporary. Their seasonal menu is always my favorite; you’ll love it, especially if you’re open to trying a new dish every time. I have yet to be disappointed. Did I mention that I could barely fathom the thought of Sushi before discovering this tiny piece of heaven?

After being seated you will be greeted with a warm hand towel to cleanse with. This is the time when I recommend ordering a Banzai, which is “plum wine & chilled saké, stirred & on-the-rocks”. You won’t find a more refreshing drink to complement your Sushi anywhere else.

As far as appetizers go, they’re all fabulous! Starting off with a small green salad and miso soup is something that I simply always do, and then, bring on the sautéed oysters. They simply melt in your mouth, and you’ll be dreaming of the light and sweet butter sauce for days to come. Oh, yeah, don’t forget you have those delicious, petite, spicy noodles at the table, too. And, we are only talking appetizers. If you were to go to an Italian or Mexican restaurant, perhaps, you would be stuffed and unbuttoning your pants by the time the actual dish arrived – not at Kotobuki though. The portions are just right, and the food is actually good for you – body and soul, so you’ll have just enough room in that belly for dinner and maybe even for some fried cheesecake (I mean, you did save all those calories by eating raw fish right?).

The entrée choices are never-ending. They have something to accompany every mood and craving in Japanese food history. Or, at least, I think so. The best part is that a large portion of their rolls is so affordable it almost doesn’t sound believable. $5.50 for the jumping shrimp roll? I’ll take it. Of course, getting more than one roll is required since they are all so divine, but the prices really make that allowable. For those of you who are still struggling with the “raw” aspect of Sushi, I present to you the teriyaki menu: Beef, Chicken and Shrimp among others. If I didn’t know better, I would always get that, for the teriyaki sauce here is the perfect composition of sweet and tangy with that honey-like texture.

So, next time you are in the area and are facing the wrath of your hunger, I advise and hope that you will try Kotobuki, for you will be pleasantly surprised.

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