Thursday, June 27, 2013

Miyoshi in Hackensack: 33 years and counting

Miyoshi, the only Japanese restaurant in Hackensack, opened in 1982. At lunch on Tuesday, I was very happy with an $11 platter of sashimi, below. In Fort Lee, a center of Japanese and other Asian cuisine, the same dish would cost far more.

The platter included raw mackerel, salmon, yellowtail snapper and other fish.

Editor's note: Today, I discuss eating out in Hackensack -- at a Japanese restaurant I haven't been to in decades, and at our favorite Chinese place.


A couple of months ago, I turned my car down Mercer Street in Hackensack, saw the red door and sign of a Japanese restaurant called Miyoshi, and blinked a couple of times.

Miyoshi, which opened in 1982, is where I ate occasionally after I started working for a newspaper on nearby River Street.

Seeing it all these years later made me wonder how it had survived.

I met a friend there for lunch on Tuesday, and discovered Miyoshi doesn't have any free parking, unlike the other restaurant on the block, Villa de Colombia.

Some of the sliced fish in the $11 sashimi platter, above and below.

The dated interior looks like it hasn't been touched since the place opened, and it needs a good airing out.

There was a Japanese sushi chef, whose shaved head was wrapped in a small, rolled-up towel; a Korean waiter, who handed us an extensive menu; and an unseen cook in the kitchen.

Flipping back to the lunch pages, my friend ordered a pork lunch box ($6.50).

I was told there was no sushi or sashimi lunch box available, just platters, so I went with the sashimi plate, which came with a bowl of steamed white rice ($11). 

The green tea was excellent, and free.
The pork lunch box ($6.50).

When the waiter brought the lunch box, my friend looked at the portion, and said he probably would be able to eat only half of it. 

Even if I ate meat, it didn't look appetizing.

I couldn't possibly recommend Miyoshi, based on such a limited experience, but I look forward to having that sashimi platter again when I don't feel like driving to Fort Lee.

The farmed salmon in the sashimi platter wasn't anything special. I told the waiter I didn't want any tuna, which is high in mercury.


Miyoshi Japanese Restaurant, 21 Mercer St., Hackensack; 201-489-0007. Closed Mondays. Metered parking in lot off State Street.

Seafood Soup for 2 at Lotus Cafe in Hackensack, above. Large Shrimp with Yellow Chive, below, is garnished with an edible flower fashioned from radish, toothpicks and a rubber band.

Lotus Cafe is a Chinese restaurant in Hackensack that I heartily recommend, especially if you enjoy seafood that is cooked perfectly. 

The scallop, squid, shrimp and fish cake in the Seafood Soup for 2 were tender and delicious ($7.50).

The large Shrimp with Yellow Chive also were perfect amid crunchy vegetables, but this was a rare instance when the sauce was too salty ($17.95).

When I mentioned that to the waiter, he said he would tell the chef.

For less salt, I have ordered seafood, including whole fish, made with ginger and scallion.

Brown rice, above, and Sauteed Chinese Star Squash ($7.95), below.


Lotus Cafe, 450 Hackensack Ave., in the Home Depot Shopping Center, Hackensack; 201-488-7070. BYO, open 7 days, free parking in lot.

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