Industry News | October 7, 2010

Dinner is Served at Mái Cuisine

mái cuisine, the new, fast-casual Japanese dining experience that launched last month in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, is now open Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. for dinner in its sit-down restaurant.

Launched by Genji, Inc., parent company to Genji Sushi, purveyors of fine sushi and Japanese-inspired cuisine at Whole Foods Market, mái cuisine is the company’s first foray into the independent fast-casual segment of the food industry. It features a sit-down restaurant as well as a grab-and-go deli. With the addition of dinner in the restaurant, mái cuisine offers diners authentic yet inventive fare all day in both settings.

The space, conveniently located on 41st Street between Madison and Fifth avenues, is the perfect escape from hectic Midtown streets, providing patrons with a warm, inviting entry and deli area and a separate, low-stress restaurant. Close to major transit hubs and businesses, mái cuisine’s restaurant is an ideal meeting site for business dinners or after-work meals with friends. The restaurant features several seating options, from wooden chairs along the sushi bar to intimate tables and booths. Like the menu, mái cuisine’s décor blends the contemporary with the traditional.

Focusing on fresh, all-natural ingredients, mái cuisine’s restaurant offers a new Japanese dinner menu prepared by the restaurant's executive chef, Takayuki Shirasaka (“Shira”). With his clean, uncomplicated approach to sushi and Japanese cuisine, Chef Shira’s dinner menu presents an array of chilled and hot appetizers, sushi dishes, and entrees only available in the evening at the restaurant. These include watercress and daikon salad with yuzu dressing, glazed saltwater eel sushi, and pork chop katsu. His dinner menu also includes his take on mái cuisine’s signature Bento concept, presenting diners with a prix-fixe “Build Your Own Bento Box” that includes selections of sushi nigiri and sashimi, with the additional options of tempura medley and grilled chicken or salmon teriyaki, as well as matcha sweet dumpling, and mái cuisine’s lauded Belgian waffle creamwich for dessert.

Signature dishes from Chef Shira’s dinner menu include: miso-marinated cream cheese with marinated cubes of cream cheese topped with masago, pastrami, salmon, sea urchin, and shimeji mushrooms; shrimp ceviche featuring giant ama ebi tossed with cucumbers, onions, and spices in a yuzu-lime vinegar dressing; three types of carpaccio, including seared bonito, fluke, and striped bass; grilled eggplant dengaku, topped with three varieties of vegetarian pâté, red and white miso, and edamame hummus; kinoko mushroom pocket, holding a variety of lightly-friend Japanese mushrooms sprinkled with yuzu salt in a rice paper pocket; and glazed octopus sushi brushed with a soy-sauce reduction glaze.