We have been to Zutto Japanese American Pub more times than I can count in the past year. It has become a favorite of this food blogging team! We have now settled into a few after a few years of weekly newness. Our last visit was Memorial Day Weekend 2013 on a rainy and freezing afternoon. I got a better shot of the tonkotsu ramen, Steve’s favorite and felt it might be time for an update and re-post. If you haven’t gone yet, I cannot say enough that you MUST have their ramen.
5/25/2012 First Visit
Zutto Japanese American Pub has been a TriBeCa mainstay for 30 years! In the past year, they relaunched with a new menu and that was how we discovered them. We have been missing out. Their specialties are ramen with pork based broth cooked for 24 hours, buns (short rib, pork belly are the faves) and of course, sushi.
After going on a bit of a pork bun journey, we were led to Zutto via a New York Magazine article. Chang’s Momofuku Noodle bar was where the pork bun craze originated in 2004, so we started there. We’d had one at Ma Peche, but forgot what it was like. The refresher tasting reminded us that Chang serves them soft and gooey without a browned outside. The flavors are awesome, BUT a sear on the outside is our preference. Enter Zutto. Their pork bun was better AND, so was the ramen. It was on par with Ippudo, my favorite to date.
We started with an order of edamame. To our surprise, it was the best we’ve ever had! It was sprinkled with Japanese Citron salt. And they’ve got super cool colored tables. Every one is different, although we have a preference for this table.
Edamame charred edamame, chilis, yuzu salt $6
Next, we tried the short rib buns, as they were recommended as highly as the pork belly.
Short Rib Steamed Bun spicy fermented cabbage, tobanjon mayo $10
I had an absolutely outstanding Seafood Ramen, which was pork and seafood based. I am never a big fan of miso, so the fact there was still some pork in the base made all the difference to me in the flavor. I am so obsessed with this ramen I am going back to try EVERY last one. Mark my words!
Seafood Ramen pork and seafood based, head on shrimp, manilla clams, roasted garlic oil, pickled ginger, menma, wakame $16
Steve got a really insane Panko Eel roll with panko breadcrumb fried eel, yuzu crème fraiche and avocado and some of the best scallop sushi we’ve had. SO FRESH! No pic of that, but I intend to order it next time.
Panko Eel panko fried eel, yuzu crème fraiche, avocado $14
Finally, the pork bun. That sear makes all the difference.
Pork Belly Steamed Bun lettuce, miso-mayo $9
We are looking forward to many more visits to Zutto. One day I’ll rebuild the site with a visual of each menu item – or at least the ramen!
These are shots from a few more stops. By far the most amazing thing we had was their lobster special one night. Whole lobster was served 3 ways by the shushi bar; sashimi tail, steamed claw served sushi style and claw steamed and mixed with roe. This was as tasty as it was beautiful.
We had more of the sashimi to include those awesome scallops. They were not nearly as good the second time, unfortunately.
I had an appetizer Hama, which was quite good. I’ve had it where it was too thick, which is never good. This was light and refreshing, made with yellowtail.
Hama yellowtail, ponzu, thai chili, mandarin supreme $16
I am also trying all of the ramen systematically! So far, my fave is the Seafood I had on my first visit. My second ranking is the Classic and third is Chicken Paitan (chicken and soy BROTH, no chicken).
chicken and premium soy sauce based soup topped with scallion, onion, char siu pork, and nori. $16
Tonkotsu Hokkaido Classic
“tonkotsu” noodle soup topped with pork jowl chashu, kikurage, menma, red pickled ginger, sesame, and scallions. $15
Steve is trying much of the sushi and revisiting the pork belly and short rib buns. He had a Maryland roll as well as a California roll. His favorite so far was the eel form the first visit as well!
lump crab, avocado, caviar, tuna. $10
Tribeca Maki $12.00 spicy tuna, avocado, caviar, in a a triangle
We fell in love with the Shishito peppers here, so now we begin each meal with either the edamame or the peppers.
Shishito Peppers $8.00
charred fried japanese peppers, yuzu salt, lemon aioli
Seared Salmon Salad $13.00
salmon sashimi lightly seared with assorted pickles
This would be one item I would not order again. I love the pickles, but the salmon was almost smoked and didn’t feel seared. I didn’t care for the consistency.
Portabella Steamed Buns $11.00
rucola, parmesan crisp, brown miso mayo
77 Hudson Street – TriBeCa