I don’t know how many times I’d walked by Robongi and admired its fun, crab-shack façade. I’d been to the one at the Weehawken ferry terminal, but now it was time to enjoy the ambience and sample the menu at the Washington Street location.
Inside, the décor continues the Neptune motif of the exterior, with lots of fish and nets, and other nautical paraphernalia.
This Japanese bistro boasts a “Tokyo vibe with some of the freshest fish outside of Manhattan at less than half the price.”
With a full menu of appetizers, sushi, soup, salad, teriyaki, tempura, donburi (rice bowls), bento boxes, noodles, and sashimi, it doesn’t disappoint. Prices range from $2 for miso soup to $56 for the Love Boat, 18 pieces of sashimi, 10 pieces of sushi, one dragon roll, and one California roll.
You would do well to follow the suggestions of your waiter. Yogi was an efficient and friendly host, steering us—gently but firmly—in the right direction.
I wanted teriyaki and at first was not sold on Yogi’s suggestion of the filet mignon with wasabi garlic sauce. I thought the pieces of steak would be too thick and too rare. He promised me that they would be thin and cooked through. He was right. They were so tender, I didn’t even need the knife he provided, and the wasabi garlic sauce is one of those taste treats that you simply have to try for yourself.
The dish came with a salad, broccoli, carrots, corn, and rice.
Terriann, who took the beautiful pictures you see on these pages, loves sushi. Again, she was about to select from the menu, when Yogi stepped in to suggest a special, with three different rolls. Gold Roll consists of spicy crunchy lobster and cucumber, topped with toro (belly tuna), salmon, mango, and gold tobiko (flying fish roll).
I-Mate features a soft shell crab tempura, spicy crab, avocado, and shrimp wrapped with soy paper. Rock ‘n Roll is a combination of deep fried tuna, salmon, crab, and scallion.
I sampled the Gold Roll and loved the crunchy texture.
We both had enough to take home.
Robongi is BYOB. In keeping with its high level of service, right away they bring an ice bucket to the table, so that you can keep your beer or wine nice and cool.
When you’re walking down Washington Street, stop in for this taste of Tokyo by the sea.—Kate Rounds
520 Washington St.