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August 18, 2007


by gastronomicbypass

Location – 322 E. Illinois

In one word – Underwhelming

Food – This is the new Japanese fusion lounge next to the AMC River East theaters.  Looking at the menu, I thought the place had a lot of fusion.  The menu is divided up into traditional and fusion cuisine.  Despite the fact that they listmiso soup under fusion, I was pretty pysched .  I ended up ordering the honey sesame tofu dish.  Believe it or not, it was not good.  The tofu was more gushy than pan fried.  My eating partners had thesashimi plate (seemed to be a better option than the tofu) and the asparagus wok (not very flavorful).  I’m not ready to write off the food completely, but they do have a lot to prove to me before I can say something good about them.

Drink –  We stuck to standards, Kirin Lite.  They have a lot of cocktails, but all of them seemed too sweet for Japanese cuisine.  You can also get a sake flight, which sounded interesting.

Service – When I went to Niu, it had been open for four weeks.  I feel like that’s enough time to make mistakes and fix them.  They didn’t bring enough waters to the table, so we had to request the third glass…twice.  We didn’t get a cocktail menu until requesting it.  The food came late.  The people next to us waited and hour and 15 minutes for their food.  Eventually they just walked out of the restaurant.  Either they need to hire more staff or make their kitchen move faster.  No matter, they need to figure out how to serve their clientele in a timely manner.

Occasion – You can come here before or after a movie at AMC…it’s a better option than Lucky Strike.

Dress – We saw the gamut of clothing.  Some were in their comfortable movie wear.  Others were in their “going out dresses and suits.”  I would actually recommend dressing on the nicer side at this place.  It kind of has aclubby vibe.

Cost – With tip, I paid $27 for my beer and entree.

If you like, try…Ping Pong, Wave


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