This post originally took place on April 18, 2010.

Today was the last day of April Foodie Week 2010, and I’m writing this post as I head back up to school in Troy.

I woke up at typical college-kid time again (noon), and was greeted with a breakfast of some take-out dim sum.

Home - Shu Mai and Malay Rolls

Shu Mai and Malay Rolls

We went into the city later in the afternoon and did some shopping.

After being unable to decide where to eat, we eventually stopped near Bryant park to check out the popular Japanese eateries in midtown.

The kitchens of my favorite, Cafe Zaiya, had closed, so we headed down the block to little known Japanese grocery Yagura with a small food station in the front.

Unless you’re Japanese, had someone brought you here before, or happen to luckily notice it – chances are – you’ve never been in this place. A literal hole-in-the-wall with a small and obscure storefront, they don’t even have a store-front sign up proclaiming that place is called “Yagura”.

All they had today was a propped open door and a little stand with a list of Japanese dishes sitting on the sidewalk to announce that they did indeed serve food in there.

Actually, I’ve been here several times before, but only learned of the name of the place today after glancing at my receipt.

Everyone in here is speaking in rapid Japanese, with a TV airing some Japanese vacation show. Authentic and grungy, I like it.

Many different kinds of Japanese groceries, snacks, and drinks can be found here, including one of my favorite beverages that I drank everyday when I was in Japan. T. had a soft drink that tasted a lot like jello with a bit of cream.

Yagura - Kirin Calorie Off Afternoon Tea

Kirin Afternoon Tea

Yagura - Calpico Strawberry

Calpico Strawberry

She also had some udon. Their udon is the best I’ve ever had in midtown – the soup base is amazing. Savory, flavory, not watery at all.

Yagura - Shrimp Tempura Udon

Shrimp Tempura Udon

A. had some udon as well.

Yagura - Sansai Udon

Sansai Udon

C. had the Chicken Katsu with Curry, and I had the Pork Katsu with Curry.

Yagura - Pork Katsu with Curry

Pork Katsu with Curry

The curry here is the best Japanese curry I’ve ever had outside of Japan. The curry had some carrots, potatoes and onions in it. I poured it liberally over the katsu and rice. There’s something to be said for Japanese home cooking.

We also picked up a couple of things at their grocery that we ate with our dinner.

Fresh octopus slices anyone? Delicious.

Yagura - Tako

Tako

Sushi rice wrapped in sweet marinated tofu skin. Mmm.

Yagura - Inarizushi

Inarizushi

Japanese snacks rule. Such as these crackers with a whole lot of buttery taste to them. So so good.

Yagura - Butter Stick Crackers

"Butter Longer"

Thusly, April Food Week 2010 has reached an end.

ADDRESSES

Yagura Japanese Market
24 East 41st Street (btwn. 5th Ave. & Madison Ave.)
New York, NY 10017
(212) 679-3777

 

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