Jul 24, 2012

Sakagura and the Potties that Splash You Back

Did anyone else love The Rugrats in Paris Movie?

When I was younger, I used to always watch it right before a trip to Europe - the whole movie, but particularly the airplane scene at the beginning, always got me realllllllllllly excited for my transcontinental trip.

Anyway, when they arrive at their fancy hotel in Paris, there's this funny moment when the kids are all in the bathroom and Tommy is all excited, because the 'potty splashes back!'

My boss took me and the other primary intern out to a nice restaurant for lunch (the perks of being a NYC PR intern) and they had a super--intense toilet.

And yes, it splashed you back.

The single-person bathrooms are modeled after over-sized Sake barrels.
Apparently the five-star toilets at Sakagura (yeah, none of us could pronounce it either) are a thing. There are articles about these toilets.

But this isn't a toilet blog guys, it's a food blog.

The restaurant is semi-hidden, one of the 'secret' gustatory charms of NYC. It's an the basement of an office building in Midtown Manhattan, but I swear - as soon as you step through the entrance, it's like you've been transported to a different country.

This doesn't do it justice, but it's the best that I could find - I didn't bring a camera with, because it was a nice lunch with the boss and I wasn't going to be the awkward one who whips out her Cannon. 
The theming is fantastic and we were seated immediately. The waiters were attentive and delivered a tray of hot moist towels (what's wrong with the word moist?) at the beginning and end of the meal for us to wipe our hands on.

We did not get any water, but got never-ending mugs of absolutely delicious green tea, instead. We were all obsessed with it and had to force ourselves not to just fill up on tea - believe me, it took a great deal of restraint.

It's a good thing that we did, though! Our food took a while to arrive, but not longer than is usual for a nice restaurant and, as we were engaging in pleasant conversation, the wait didn't feel long at all.

The starters blew my mind - especially the Gomaae, which came in this decadent creamy sauce and was beyond flavorful.

I have no idea how to pronounce Gomaae, I did the whole point and smile thing.
I really liked taking a bite of the Gomaae, then having some Kuro Edamame, then the Gomaae again - that combo of flavors rocked my socks.

A nice big pile of salted edamame - yum :)
Their seaweed salad was different than any I had ever had before, with different kinds of seaweed (kinds I'd never even heard of before). I can't even compare it to standard seaweed salad.

This doesn't look like any seaweed salad I've ever had - it's waaaaaay better!
I ate every last bit, of course, and I recommend the Ponzu dressing.

With appetizers like these, it's easy to get hung up on the first course. But the rest doesn't disappoint, so try not to.

Doughnuts for lunch!
Jaga Dango, mashed potatoes covered in sweet doughnut butter and fried crisp.

It makes you not want sushi any other way!
The Buta Kakuni, with perfectly sticky rice.

These were a big hit at the table
I'd always thought Soba would be so boring - it's just spaghetti right?

If you think so, you should try it. You'll be surprised!

I can't vouch for this one personally, as I'm vegetarian, but my fellow intern ordered the Duck Curry Soba and loved it.

We were too full for dessert, and we need to get back to work, but their desserts looked pretty good too. I never really think of dessert when I think of Japanese cuisine, but they certainly made one birthday boy happy!

The only thing that I didn't love about the meal was that, as with most ethnic food and raw food, I could still taste it a while later. Gum took care of the issue, but I just don't like having that aftertaste hanging around in my mouth for ages.

Have you had Japanese food?

What's the strangest toilet you've ever used?


  1. I've never had Japanese food before and I must admit it looks queit.. hmmm interesting :-)

  2. hey, great post - the restaurant looks awesome!
    i live in japan, so obvs eat the food every day... and i gotta say, it's one of my favorite things about living here - everything is so delicious and also healthy!
    Oh, and the toilets in japan are crazy too, with all sorts of buttons for cleaning, as well as sounds, so that other people can't hear you do your thing!

    1. Haha, what is it with the Japanese and their toilets?

  3. Followed your GFC. Now its your turn :)

    1. Thanks, I followed you back - great outfits!

  4. I loved the Rugrats movie, and the rugrats show! I love all cartoons though! :) Yum everything looks delicious, I don't think I have ever been to a fully Japanese restaurant!

    1. I think this might have been my first time, too?

  5. I LOVE Japanese food! That restaurant looks amazing...so authentic! I am definitely looking that place up next time i am in NYC!

    1. You should come! Aside from the heat, NYC is awesome :)

  6. I just started following you

  7. Great story, the rugrats comparision made me laugh - I used to watch Rugrats all the time when I was a kid, loved that show really.
    Great photos, the food looks really interesting, unlike anything I've had before - I wanna try it out!
    If you have a free moment I would so appreciate if you could check out my new post!

    The Urban Umbrella


    1. Your style is adorable, I visit your blog all the time :)

  8. OMG, Rugrats! I was obsessed with them when i was little, Angelica was my fav - badass babe! There was also a show "All grown up" about them as tweens which also was awesome.

    + your Japanese food looks delicious, Japanese desserts are the best! I used to be obsessed with Japan and learned Japanese, so i was also in love with the food. I ate noodles almost everyday and i generally ate everything with chopsticks.

    1. I loved the Rugrats All Grown Up movie! I watched the show a few times, but it just couldn't live up to the movie (I'm more a movie girl, anyway, I rarely sit down to just a show - when I watch TV shows, they're usually just to have something in the background while I read or clean or do laundry).

  9. Hahah I've experience once of those toilets that splash you back.. Quite the experience! That lunch in NYC looks great. Are you from NYC originally?

    1. I'm not - I live in NC (by way of Iowa and Illinois) but am originally from South Africa. This is my first time living in NYC!

  10. That lunch looks fantastic my friend :D
    So exotic!
    As for that potty... Ugh... ;)

    Choc Chip Uru

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  12. cute blog!!!! check mine out? http://brightbrightdays.blogspot.com/

  13. Looks fancy for sure :)!

  14. I love edamame, so good, especially with salt! I've never had soba noodles but I've always been intrigued and now that I've seen a few recipes with them, I think I'll have to give them a try!

  15. Rugrats!! Oh gosh I loved that show, and Mum hated when we watched it because of the voices :P

  16. Love following your blog =] just saying


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