Yonekichi had its (soft) opening yesterday at 236 E. Ninth St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue. The tiny restaurant's specialty: the rice burger.
Here's a preview via amNY:
Yonekichi serves their crisp rice buns with a variety of made-to-order fillings: ginger mujifugi features sweet bites of pork shoulder ($8) and the saikyo salmon includes a fresh fillet marinated in miso ($9). For a more traditional burger, the tsukune, a chicken meatball patty topped with shishito peppers ($7.75), most resembles your average quarter pounder. Vegetarian options, like the Kinpira made of sautéed lotus root, carrot, sesame seeds and togarashi ($6.50), are also available.
Yonekichi's menu also includes Furi Furi, Japanese for "shake shake," which are crispy, thick-cut potatoes topped with your choice of salt, pepper, yuzu or wasabi, and served steaming hot, ready to be shaken in their thick paper bag for optimal seasoning coverage.
While amNY appeared to like the rice burgers ... the Daily News did not.
[T]he pressed white sushi-grain “buns” disappointed Daily News testers.
"This is a dough-zaster," said one member of the News’ formidable Taste Kitchen. The expert had imagined that the rice buns would be thinner, and therefore, crispier.
Instead, he found himself eating too much of the unhealthy Asian staple.
"This is just a thick layer of bland rice," he said. "And it keeps breaking up, like those mini-sandwiches from 'This is Spinal Tap.'"
And it’s not even homemade! The rice bun is made off-site then combined with Yonekichi’s made-to-order umami-bomb fillings, which are far more impressive than their container.
You can check it out yourself... they are open from noon to 10 p.m.
And here's a menu...
[Click on image to enlarge]
Yonekichi is part of Bon Yagi's East Village stable of restaurants.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Yonekichi bringing rice burgers to East 9th Street