By Debra Liu
At Takashi, it’s really all about the cow. Every…Single…Part…of the cow. It’s essentially a ‘Meat Mecca’ for meat lovers. Located in the West Village, Takashi is a Yakiniku-horumon (translation: grilled guts) restaurant known for an eclectic menu ranging from cow testicles to brain cream.
“You can go to any Korean or Japanese grill and have red meat, but the main purpose of coming to Takashi is to have the offal,” says Chef Joseph Duong, sous chef at Takashi. They specialize in serving only cow meat. There is no other animal on the menu, so if you want to eat chicken, you’re still going to get beef.
Ok, let’s talk about this offal business. Ready? To give you a small taste of what’s offered, Takashi’s creative and interesting menu includes dishes such as Squid Ink Rice & Miso-Marinated Sweetbreads, Calf’s Brain Cream (in tube) served with caviar, Fois Gras Stuffed Mini Kobe Burger, and Testicargot (escargot style cow balls made with garlic shiso butter). And of course, you get to grill your own meat as well. There’s a selection of three tongue meats (also called the tongue experience), various parts of the stomach, intestines, heart and liver.
“Tetchan, which is the large intestine; the inside is like white clouds. When you grill it up, it shrinks down into a little marshmallow and it’s so smooth when you bite into it, you don’t even feel like you’re eating the large intestine,” describes Duong.
For the offal-averse, they do offer some more traditional fare such as Kalbi (Korean style marinated short rib), Rosu (ribeye), Grandmom’s Steamed Beef Shank Buns, and small plates such as edamame, spicy Japanese cucumber and kimchi.
According to Duong, the must-have food at Takashi is the Yooke. “What I can probably eat all day is the Yooke, which is the steak tartare with the quail egg, nori, and Takashi’s special sauce,” he says. The most popular items are the Yooke and the Niku-Uni (chuck flap with sea urchin).
People really enjoy the Takashi experience. According to Duong, “The reactions are amazing. Most people who think about offal…it’s disgusting and all that, but when they taste it, it’s out of their minds.”
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try something new, definitely go to Takashi. Who knows, you might even become a religious offal eater!
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