My favorite Japanese restaurants in New York

Posted by Wei Min Tan on September 25, 2017

As a New York property agent, bringing clients to nice restaurants is part of the job which I enjoy a lot. This has given me the opportunity to try a lot of restaurants in New York.

These are two of my favorite Japanese places in New York. Japanese is popular here. In fact, the most expensive restaurant in the U.S., Masa, is a Japanese restaurant in Manhattan.

En Japanese’s chicken set lunch

En Japanese Brasserie

It was my client Demmi who introduced me to En. A restaurant tucked inside West Village, it’s one of the rare restaurants in New York that you can eat in without the noise and distraction that so many other restaurants in New York are filled with. Very (unusually) spacious and comfortable with high ceilings. The spaciousness is unique because in New York, small and tight is the norm. Big and spacious is not. This restaurant provides delicious Japanese cuisine, with a popular one being the crispy fried chicken lunch set. It comes with rice and several mouthwatering sides, which include a delicious miso soup, cold tofu, mushrooms, and a salad. While all these sides are delicious, what really makes this dish special is the fried chicken. Being fried chicken, you’d expect it to be greasy, crusty and heavy, but it’s almost the exact opposite. It is crispy, light, not greasy, and juicy on the inside. En is a memorable restaurant.


Nobu is among the high end Japanese restaurants. Not quite in the league of Masa, but Nobu is the most well known Japanese in New York. With a recent move from Tribeca to Financial District, the setting has become even nicer. It’s relaxing, comfortable, and quiet, with high ceilings and serene lighting. Besides the ambiance, one of the major highlights is the omakase set dinner. Omakase translates into, “I’ll leave it up to you.” It starts with several raw courses from the sushi bar, then moves on to some mouthwatering hot food from the kitchen, and finally, a Japanese bento box dessert.  It’s essentially a Japanese tasting menu. I like the omakase at Nobu because it takes only about 1.5 hours, compared to the 3.5 hours at the 3-star Michelin restaurants. In addition, the cost at $130 per person is a relative value.

Both are beautiful restaurants with food that is memorable and an amazing ambiance. With these restaurants, they’ll both give you a wonderful experience you’ll never forget.

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Wei Min Tan is a property broker focusing on Manhattan, New York luxury condominiums and foreign buyers. He is often interviewed by the media including CNN, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal on the subject of foreign buyers of Manhattan property.