Devotees of Japanese fine dining are often similarly infatuated with classic French fine dining, both cuisines identifiable by a dedication to numerous courses that are small and unique. Comparisons to the two cuisines are not rare, but a combination of the two happens to be largely unheard of.
New York City-based chef Yuu Shimano of Mifune is spinning traditional Japanese washoku (literally “food of Japan”) into a new style known as neo-washoku, incorporating hallmark French techniques. “We like to think in terms of ratios,” says Shimano, who spent many years studying in France. “[It’s] like 9:1 washoku to French.”
At his months-old Mifune, Shimano’s neo-washoku has translated to dishes such as foie gras with teriyaki rice, broiled gindara sablefish with parmesan foam and lotus root chips, and angus beef steak cooked with red wine. “We want our customers to leave feeling the time they spent was worth it,” Shimano says.