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Reviews + Photos from nymag.com
Posted by Tokyo Andy on 12/08/2008
If you eat Chinese food in Japan, you will not find General Tso or any of the other sweet & sour fried dishes you do in the US. You will find what Saburi serves up, somewhat more subtle and healthy dishes that while not authentic Chinese, still probably closer than what most Americans eat. "Tan tan men", a spicy sesame flavored ramen, is a must, as are the yuba harumaki, spring rolls that use tofu skin instead of the traditional rice paper for the roll. The service is very good and child friendly, but the proprietors speak better Japanese than they do English, so if you are the type who doesn't do well with speaking slowly and clearly, skip it (please, so the rest of us don't have to listen to you when we are there). Saburi also boasts a better than average Sake menu and some of the best gyoza you will find in Manhattan.
Posted by Flatiron Delivery on 04/02/2008
I recently ordered from Saburi. The individual answering the phones could hardly speak any English and took forever to take the order. The delivery man (who spoke absolutely no English and could not understand apartment numbers), got lost in my building and needed to be escorted to my apartment by the doorman. When the order finally arrived 1.5 - 2 hours later, it was luke warm. Most dishes (Goyza, Tonkatsu Ramen, and Pork Belly in sweet sow sauce) had a slightly off odor. The Pork was dry and unintresting, while the Ramen was bland and boring. The House Salad (Greens with a ginger dressing) was the only dish that we completely finished and enjoyed at all.
Posted by macstibs on 12/02/2007
I had dinner here with a few friends. I thought the food was unremarkable. The decor is lacking although in such a small space it's hard to make much out of it. The food was fairly priced for what it was and for a quick ramen, it's probably fine. The sweet and sour pork which was previously recommended, I found to be particularly unappetizing because the pork was overcooked and didn't taste fresh. The gyoza were fine but no better than something you'd find in the frozen food section of an asian grocer. The service was attentive although the place was basically empty.
Posted by Anonymous on 03/29/2007
I have been this place once when opened. Then, six month land then a year. When it good really good but when it is not it is okay. When they opened, the dishes they serve has care and portion was nice. The taste is really good Wayo-chuka, Japanese fused Chinese dish. But when it is not…. It’s not special enough to go back for. I heard they open for lunch now and serve mostly ramen noodles and some light stuff.
Posted by Anonymous on 01/28/2007
"American Chinese" food, many Asians will cringe (although I do have an affinity for some dishes when done right). It conjures images of battered and deep fried leather, drowned in globs of sickeningly sweet, or stroke inducingly salty sauce. Japan has own breed of Chinese cuisine called Wafu-Chuka (or Japanese style-Chinese), but unlike their mongrel brethren in the US, the Japanese variety is still well regarded in most Asian circles. While Chuka Fu restaurants are few and rare in the US. You may have heard of some of the dishes of this genre: Gyoza - Similar to Chinese pot stickers but differing in the vegetables added to the filling and in the thickness of the wrapper (the Japanese type have much thinner wrappers). Cha han - Japanized fried rice is unsurprisingly light as Japanese dishes. Ramen – Yes, while a long standing Japanese tradition has its roots in China. I met chef Jun Cui and found out he spent time honing his craft under Iron Chef Chin Kenichi (from Japanese version) while living in Japan and his skills are certainly sharp with well presented and even better executed dishes. You’ll see what I mean when you come and experience. There's nothing original here, but if you're new to the genre (or even if you're not), there are many gustatory surprises on the menu. On my most visits, I have Subuta (fried sweet and sour pork served with vegetables). This is a popular dish in Japan. This was quite simply the best Subuta. What really made this stellar though is the sauce. In most places the sauce is very sweet with vinegar. Saburi's sauce was a stock with soy sauce, a hint of sweetness juxtaposed with a pleasant tartness, all rounded out with ground sesame seeds. I think…I am not chef just foodie so I am not sure but it is good and reminiscence of Chinese-Japanese dish that I had when I was there.
Posted by an asian on 12/23/2006
Their food has nothing to do with a weird mix of Chinese and Japanese food that we are used to see in the city (like sushi served in a Chinese restarant). Saburi serves Chinese food that is adapted and arranged into Japanese style. The food reaches its perfection in their adaptation. Their ramen is especially outstanding. Reasonably priced.