Nearby Subway Stops
6 at 33rd St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
- Late-Night Dining
- Beer and Wine Only
- Sake and Soju
23rd St. to 42nd St., First Ave. to Fifth Ave.
This venue is closed.
Toward the back of Saburi's dining room, with its pale-green walls hung with framed images of Chinese shadow puppets, is a sushi bar repurposed as a storage area, piled with persimmons and dishes. That’s okay since there's no sushi here, just an inviting hodgepodge of Chinese and Japanese food, with plenty of blending—after all, so many Japanese foods have Chinese origins. Thanks to chef-owner Jun Cui, who trained in Japan under Iron Chef Chen Kenichi and in China, the Chinese food is very different from the battered-and-fried, cornstarch-laden grub all too common outside of Chinatown. For instance, four big blobs of pork belly—half tender meat, half luscious fat—lounge in an exquisitely balanced salty-sweet sauce instead of wading in cloying goop. The Japanese food, though far from faultless, is also better than you'd expect from such a plain place. Order the eel and rice, and they’ll cook it in a hot stone pot tableside. The young crowd treats Saburi like an izakaya Japanese pub: spilling in after work, drinking plenty of beer, and sharing small dishes. You should do the same.Recommended Dishes
Eel over rice, $18; pork belly in sweet soy sauce, $13; tonkatsu ramen, $11
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