Monday, November 8, 2010


On Friday, I went out for lunch a little earlier than usual (I'm usually a late luncher) to try to catch the Malaysia Kitchen truck. They had samples from Bentara in New Haven, which I loved during undergrad, and I wanted to try some (since I haven't been back to New Haven in years). I had tried going the day before (also for Bentara samples) but was a few blocks away when they ran out, so I decided to try to go earlier on Friday. They were over by Grand Central for a Malaysian food event there so I expected the free samples to run out quickly. They did. I missed it by about 2 minutes. I was sad. So close, yet came up empty.

I was also perplexed about what to do for lunch since the Malaysian food hall event was packed. I wanted something healthy and lighter, but what to get? The pizza trucks sounded too heavy, I wasn't really looking for a rice dish, Uncle Gussy's took the day off after their free giveaway the day before, so what to do?

I walked around some more and then saw the awning for Dainobu (47th between Lexington and 3rd). I always knew it was there, but had never actually ventured in. Why not try it?

Dainobu is a grocery store with a variety of prepared foods, including rice dishes, yakisoba, salads, sushi, sashimi. I also saw in the foursquare tips that they have a counter in the back where they put together some hot dishes like mapo tofu. But since I wasn't feeling a heavier rice dish and since it was my first time there, I stuck to the cold cases.

I debated between a bunch of salads and then finally decided on the calamari salad, partly because it would be healthy and partly because it was labeled a delicacy. Someplace new, try a special item, right?

It was OK. It was clean and light, the calamari wasn't chewy, but it also didn't have very strong flavors. There wasn't anything wrong with it, but I think I was just looking for something with a more powerful flavor at the time. (Anyone know what the green vegetable is in it and if it's related to broccoli?)

The calamari salad may have just been OK, but the sushi roll I got, I loved:

I forgot how good a fatty tuna-scallion roll can be. The fish was fresh, rich and full of flavor, and the roll was really good. It came with 12 pieces, so the price wasn't a bad deal. I would definitely go back for that. And maybe a different salad like the glass noodle salad I was initially looking at before finding the seafood delicacies. Actually, I could go for a fatty tuna-scallion roll right now. Yum.

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