Aburiya Kinnosuke

Photo credit: Hannah Howard


Photo credit: Hannah Howard

Japan via Midtown

By Hannah Howard

Aburiya Kinnosuke's menu is all about time and place. Carefully crafted like a (good) story arc—from cold to hot, and from fresh and light to rich and punchy—the dishes carry with them a sense of adventure. Toto, we’re not in Midtown anymore.

Even in New York, it can be hard to find authentic Japanese ingredients, so what the chefs can’t get their hands on, they just make themselves—like the satiny, custardy tofu. Not humdrum in the least, it’s full of depth and painted with sesame and cherry blossom in celebration of the fair season.

The menu is stacked with dishes that are stunning, playful, and delicious. Japanese rapini—the country’s version of ramps, the veggie symbol of springtime—come served alongside the aforementioned, tofu, joined by firefly squid (named for their oh-so cute firefly size). To concentrate both moisture and flavor, spring trout gets baked in a block of salt and cherry leaf; servers shatter the enclosure tableside with a hammer. What you find inside is absurd in its lush tenderness.
Other treats include the silky sashimi, savory chicken sausage on a skewer of asparagus, and raw red snapper over rice with dashi broth. Dashi is a cornerstone of Japanese cooking, and Aburiya Kinnosuke’s heady version does not mess around. For beverages, look to the carafe of crisp sake, served with a bouquet of flowers. Because why not—it’s the season of rebirth, possibility, and bright, joyful flavors galore.


Dinner: Mon–Sat 5:30 PM–10:45 PM; Sun 5:30 PM–10:15 PM
Lunch: Mon–Fri 11:30 AM–2:30 PM

price range

$6 (a la carte robata grilled vegetables) to $55 (8 kinds of sashimi platter)