Kōyō, located in Astoria, has reopened after closing due to the pandemic. It is one of just a handful of New York restaurants focusing on kaiseki cuisine. Chef-Owner Jay Zheng is now offering a 7-course kaiseki tasting menu.
It includes dishes like house-made black sesame tofu with classic kaluga caviar and freshly grated wasabi; followed by Hassun a collection of smaller bites served on an eight-inch dish intended to be eaten clockwise beginning on the left: monkfish liver with freshly grated daikon, followed by mozuku salad, dressed with a tosazu gelée, meant to be taken as a shot. Botan ebi, spotted shrimp from Japan, topped with Hokkaido uni is the next suggested bite. Rounding out the Hassun is braised bamboo shoot along with hotaru ika and firefly squid, served atop of sake steamed broccoli rabe.
The soup course follows, Suimono, a sugar snap pea puree and Dungeness crab, followed by the Yakimono, a grilled octopus leg from Monaco brushed with tare and finished on a charcoal Binchotan grill. Pulling from Zheng’s cultural background is the rice course, Gohan, forbidden black rice with hijiki seaweed, and aori ika, Japanese reef squid, then finally a Nigiri course, which is six pieces of sushi composed from the freshest fish from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Spain, each individually selected and prepared by Zheng. The meal ends with Mizumono, the dessert course: a hojicha milk pudding along with black sugar tapioca and a light kuromitsu.
The space features an eight-seat white marble Chef’s counter, open kitchen as well as a spacious outdoor patio.