Omakase in Monmouth County NJ?

I am a big fan of Sichuan cottage and there are quite a few folks on here that love it too.

If I may ask, what dishes did you get? (Or if you want you can post a report in the thread dedicated to them.)

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This is what’s known as vindication, people! We DO know what’s good… :grin:

We almost always order off the back menu, the Szechuan menu. We always order too much because we know we want to bring it home and enjoy it the next day. We started with the sour cabbage and fish soup, a perfect umami explosion of flavor in your mouth. Their West Lake beef chowder is also a favorite, a mix of chopped beef in an almost egg drop soupy broth, and chopped cilantro. We then had the sliced fresh bacon with garlic and hot sauce. We almost always get the ox tongue and tripe in hot sauce, but we had a friend with us who would have freaked out if she knew that was on the table. She ordered shrimp in lobster sauce, need I say more? For our main dishes we ordered, as always, the crispy fish filet in hot chili pepper. This is one of my favorites. The sweetness of the fish combined with the hot chili peppers, so delicious, and good the next day too, though much hotter. We had, for the third time, the tea smoked duck. It is cooked so the skin is still crispy, with that small layer of delicious duck fat sitting nicely beneath the skin. For our third plate we ordered the pork and squid sauteed with vegetable. This was the first time trying this dish and it was not my favorite, I thought it was too spicy and nothing to offset it.

Every other time we have come to Sichuan Cottage we have ordered the lamb with cumin flavor, and this is a dish I never tire of. Many, many years ago there used to be a Szechuan restaurant I went to in Chinatown in NYC and they a dish on their menu called Hunan lamb. I loved it then and have searched for Chinese lamb dishes ever since. Another favorite of ours here is the salt and pepper shrimps.

I also tried the braised whole fish with hot Sichuan bean sauce, but I guess I am too hooked on the Thai style of a whole cooked, deep fried fish. I have had a pretty good whole red snapper at Bangkok House in Eatontown, as well as at Kunya Siam in Atlantic Highlands.

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I don’t even care what they ordered. I don’t want to go to a Chinese restaurant with someone who orders their own dish. For some reason this upsets me unreasonably!

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Well, if they have food constraints (e.g., no soy, no pork, or whatever), this is not unreasonable.

The usual reason is just that they’re old (as in my parents’ generation). When we visited my family a few years ago and went to a Chinese restaurant with ten people, I innocently asked, “How many dishes are we ordering?” and my aunt looked at me like I had grown a third head and said, “One for each person, of course.” That was when I realized that the whole “family-style” thing was not in their mindset.

(As an example of “set in their ways”, in the forty-eight years that my father went to Chinese restaurants, he never ordered anything except Pepper Steak. Never. My mother was the adventurous one–she would occasionally get Sweet and Sour Something.)

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My oldest friend and I quote his mom every time we have Chinese together… “I know you kids like to share, so go ahead…“ Then she gets her own order of something exciting like chicken and cashews. :joy:

@Shayna you’re definitely one of us— I always go in with a plan about what leftovers I’ll have! And I absolutely love their Lamb with Cumin and West Lake Beef Chowder.

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Oh I totally get the dietary restriction thing, I wasn’t talking about that. I mean people who are perfectly capable of sharing yet do not. It’s not just a Chinese food thing, even if we’re doing regular 1 entree per person dining, most of my friends and I will share and encourage others to taste our food. It’s that simple gesture of saying: Hey, there is something delicious in front of me, and I want my dining partners to have that experience too, and I want to experience it the other way around too. That’s the best part of eating together for me. Sharing is, as they say, caring.

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We are very adventurous eaters, and should have a bumper sticker made for the back of our car that says: “Will Drive For Food” because we have no hesitation about driving anywhere for a new taste experience. I can read restaurant reviews and menus for hours, and if I find something that sounds interesting, off we go. This particular friend that went with us to Sichuan Cottage has NO sense of adventure when it comes to eating. She is afraid to and has no desire to try anything new. That is just the way she is. We certainly encouraged her to try everything, but she has never tried duck and does not want to, and hates anything with any spice at all. Part of me feels that we were the selfish ones for not ordering off the regular menu to give her more of a choice, but. I. Just. Can’t. Too many things on the back menu we love.

People are funny, and you can’t change ingrained habits or thoughts about food. My brother and his wife have gone to Casa Comida Every Single Friday Night for at least 20 years. He orders the exact same entree. I believe they put their waiter through college with all the money they have spent there. I can’t stand the place. My brother thinks it is the best place to eat ever. Sometimes I wonder if we are really related. We go there with them perhaps twice a year just to hang out with them. Every Single Time we go my brother brings up the fact that my husband and I ate deep fried rat while in Chengdu, China. Every. Single. Time. It amuses him to no end.

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Off topic from omakase but where else are you enjoying locally? Welcome to the board. This seems to be a group of adventurous eaters! If you get those bumper stickers made, I bet you will find a few that would want one here!

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I’m with Grace…“Will Drive for Food” seems to be an excellent bumper sticker mantra. And you’re a woman after my own heart. On the other hand, my husband is one of those folks who will (if left to his own devices) prefer not to share. Sadly (or luckily for him depending on how you view it) he is married to me, so he not only has to share most of the time, but even his nightly dinner can often be more exotic than he would choose on his own. (I blame his mother.) But every now and then I do indulge his “can’t we have something normal tonight?”

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HA! This resonates with me! My husband is always making fun of me for ‘ordering rogue’ when we are out. I like to try new things! Sometimes it backfires :slight_smile:

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Well, this is certainly a topic after my own heart. Our go to Indian place used to be a little place in Manalapan called Indian Grill, but sadly they closed. We are now enjoying Indian food at Sawan on Route 9 in Englishtown. If we just have to have Dosa, we head to Sri Dosa Place in Iselin. We always combine that with a trip to India Grocers in Edison, so we can buy boxes and boxes of frozen Sambar soup. We have fallen in love with a place called the Shirin Cafe, also on Route 9 in Manalapan. This is a Uzbek/Russian restaurant, and the food is phenomenal. We are big pho fans, so for convenience’s sake we go to Pho 99 in Eatontown, but its nothing special, but certainly better than the horrible pho restaurant in Red Bank that rightfully closed. Best local Vietnamese restaurant, in my opinion, is Miss Saigon in Freehold. We have eaten at Picnic Garden in Edison many times, an all you can eat Korean bbq. Always combine that with a visit to H Mart right next door, where we can buy live eel (and my husband, being Dutch, will smoke them at home). We also like Jersey Shore BBQ in Belmar, but never go there in the summer. We just found another sushi place we have been to a few times recently, Kissui in Little Silver, a nice change from Izu and Aji in Long Branch. We do eat regular food too, and our go to place is The Sitting Duck in Long Branch. I have eaten there well over 100 times, and have never had a bad meal. Norah’s Irie in Long Branch is pretty good for Caribbean food, and we have also enjoyed Ada’s in Long Branch for Ethopian.

On that note, since we have been on an omakase kick, and bringing it back to this forum, last night we tried a new place for omakase. Can you say rip off? $80 for ONE large plate of (the chef’s finest, so we were told) sushi. The place is called Fuku (should have guessed from the name) in Hazlet. I actually took pictures, and as soon as I can find the cable I to connect my phone to my computer, I am going to upload that $80 plate of food. We actually ended up going back to Kissui after we finished there because we were still hungry.

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I look forward to eating through this list of yours! I’ve never heard of Kissui but Little Silver is bit out of the way for us.

We definitely like a lot of the same spots. How much do you pay for live eel? They are really easy to catch if you’re interested in learning.

I’m also waiting to see this new omakase pic lol

Oh, you’re one of us, alright…! :joy:

Just cross-posted the Indian suggestions and put them in the Little India thread!

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This is the $80 ENTIRE omakase from the aptly named Fuku in Hazlet

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We had not eaten anything off the plate. This is how it came from the chef. Admittedly the sushi was good, but this was a rip off.

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Thank you for saving us a trip to this place. I usually save my sushi cravings for CA trips because while there are okay places to go on the eastcoast I never feel the pricing is right; high or low.

That location has been unlucky for a number of restaurants but prices might be the demise of this one. And, nfn, but why call your place of business FU in the middle of suburbia?

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Last night we again went to Wasabi 34 for omakase, and this time I took photos and names. Here we go,

IMG_20180825_195702442

For some reason, the photos did not upload in order, but here is what we ate in the order of the photos you see here:

Assorted sashimi;
Miso soup;
Tuna with ponzu sauce;
Roast pork roll;
Salmon roll with shrimp tempura, mango, avocado, toro and fish eggs;
Yellowtail jaw;
Seared fluke finger;
(Duplicate photo of the tuna)
Yellowtail with ponzu sauce and jalapenos;
The dessert photo, prettily sliced oranges and pineapple, did not post for some reason

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold