Kai Restaurant & Ito En NY Tea Store

★★★★★
Award Winning, Highly Acclaimed Japanese Restaurant & Tea Shop
  • 822 Madison Ave A

    New York, NY 10065

    Cross street: Between 68th and 69th Street

    Map & Directions
  • 212-988-7277

About Kai Restaurant & Ito En NY Tea Store

Hours
Tuesday - Saturday: Lunch 12:00 pm - 2:45 pm / Dinner First Seating 6:00 pm Closed Sunday and Monday Ito En Tea Shop: Monday - Saturday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm Sunday 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Food

Food
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.

I haven't eaten here, but do stop by for their extensive selection of tea's. Just great!

2
★★★★☆

I haven't eaten here, but do stop by for their extensive selection of tea's. Just great!

Pros: Great Tea

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A stunning presentation on a plate one after another..with a blend of authenticity and quintessential quality from Executive Chef Yamasaki. I recommend you once dine at the counter seats (open kitchen) and meet the adorable chef, who nurtures your dish with extreme care for detail and finishing. experience how warmful he is and meaningful his dishes are.

No food is ever perfect; whatever the however it is. But remember the food that made you truly, purely happy? perhaps with your beloved friends, or with brothers, mom and dad? I remember mine.,it was here at Kai.

2
★★★★★

A stunning presentation on a plate one after another..with a blend of authenticity and quintessential quality from Executive Chef Yamasaki. I recommend you once dine at the counter seats (open kitchen) and meet the adorable chef, who nurtures your dish with extreme care for detail and finishing. experience how warmful he is and meaningful his dishes are.

No food is ever perfect; whatever the however it is. But remember the food that made you truly, purely happy? perhaps with your beloved friends, or with brothers, mom and dad? I remember mine.,it was here at Kai.

Pros: earthy lunch and heavenly dinner

Cons: is there?

.

'A little house' as the last stop of Manhattan's dining venue. It'll turn gracious for your first date, business convention, friendly neighbor's birthday, or just dropping by for a bite at the end of the day.

Chef Yamasaki so exquisitely embodies the inherent storminess of all valuable things: an ingredient, a season, a culture, and wonder. And it is so tender, so impecable, and so Yummy!
Occupy the dubious, Obey the venturous..

and oh yes, i love to lunch there as well.

2
★★★★★

'A little house' as the last stop of Manhattan's dining venue. It'll turn gracious for your first date, business convention, friendly neighbor's birthday, or just dropping by for a bite at the end of the day.

Chef Yamasaki so exquisitely embodies the inherent storminess of all valuable things: an ingredient, a season, a culture, and wonder. And it is so tender, so impecable, and so Yummy!
Occupy the dubious, Obey the venturous..

and oh yes, i love to lunch there as well.

Pros: Chef Yamasaki's Omakase

Cons: none

.

I've commercially participated in experiencing at every exceptional Japanese cuisine in nyc. and I'll tell you one thing, "Kai is a knockout!" Chef Yamasaki's intimate delicacy devours your appetite. The truth shall be found in Chef Yamasaki's hands. I love him and his restaurant.

The door is open for everyone, who dreams of such bliss.

Don't forget to try Kagoshima or his Omakase!

2
★★★★★

I've commercially participated in experiencing at every exceptional Japanese cuisine in nyc. and I'll tell you one thing, "Kai is a knockout!" Chef Yamasaki's intimate delicacy devours your appetite. The truth shall be found in Chef Yamasaki's hands. I love him and his restaurant.

The door is open for everyone, who dreams of such bliss.

Don't forget to try Kagoshima or his Omakase!

Pros: Excecutive Chef Yamasaki

Cons: None

.

Really enjoyed it. great food

2
★★★★☆

Really enjoyed it. great food

Pros: The best

Cons: None

.

Having both the wonderful restaurant, food and the lovely shop in the same location!
Splendid freshly made food, unbelievable choices.
Very hi quality and same with the sake served.
Service is excellent as well.

2
★★★★★

Having both the wonderful restaurant, food and the lovely shop in the same location!
Splendid freshly made food, unbelievable choices.
Very hi quality and same with the sake served.
Service is excellent as well.

Pros: The very caring and talented chefs and places both shop/rest

Cons: A little costly

.

My boyfriend and I come here at least once a week - we love their japanese food! Probably the best in New York, I won't go anywhere else. It's nice to escape the busy streets of New York City for a nice romantic evening out. Their teas are also to die for, we always finish our meals with a cup of one of their fabulous teas!

2
★★★★★

My boyfriend and I come here at least once a week - we love their japanese food! Probably the best in New York, I won't go anywhere else. It's nice to escape the busy streets of New York City for a nice romantic evening out. Their teas are also to die for, we always finish our meals with a cup of one of their fabulous teas!

.

I have never had such fresh food from the ingredients to the fish. The food and drinks are amazing the service and food definitely justify the priciness of this restaurant. For those of you who like tea, they have an amazing selection of teas and herbs. highly recommended.

2
★★★★★

I have never had such fresh food from the ingredients to the fish. The food and drinks are amazing the service and food definitely justify the priciness of this restaurant. For those of you who like tea, they have an amazing selection of teas and herbs. highly recommended.

Pros: amazing food

Cons: none

.

you are in for some goooood tea. i love this place and am hooke don going every week.

2
★★★★★

you are in for some goooood tea. i love this place and am hooke don going every week.

Pros: tea, asian food

.

I had a really good dinner here and I don't usually write reviews for Restaurants. The food was fantastic and well worth the cost. I would absolutely go back. Thanks!

2
★★★★★

I had a really good dinner here and I don't usually write reviews for Restaurants. The food was fantastic and well worth the cost. I would absolutely go back. Thanks!

Pros: Great Saki

Cons: none

.

The $85 seasonal prix fixe meals are recommneded. I think these would get nods from most NYC foodies.

The $200 omakase was a disappointment. It was not any better than the prix fixe. Average quality ingredients (and quite frankly, the chef's good-but-not-remarkable skills) didn't not justify the $500 bill for dinner for two. I expected more.

2
★★★★☆

The $85 seasonal prix fixe meals are recommneded. I think these would get nods from most NYC foodies.

The $200 omakase was a disappointment. It was not any better than the prix fixe. Average quality ingredients (and quite frankly, the chef's good-but-not-remarkable skills) didn't not justify the $500 bill for dinner for two. I expected more.

Pros: Prix Fixe menus are good

Cons: Omakase do not live up to expectations

.

Japanese Kaiseki is equivalent to Seasonal Tasting Menus here in the States.
But at Kai, they prepare their cuisine with American ingredients. This challenge poses some difficulty because there are certain boundries professionals in the kitchen do not cross in order to preserve the traditions of one's culture. But what ever it is they do, it's working and I get floored each time I go.
It's good to know, time and time again, their monthly menus come through and it always highlights the best in seasonal ingredients.
Chef Yamazaki has been heading the kitchen at Kai since shortly after their opening, and has prepared some amazing meals for me.
I recommend this place for people with a sophisticated palate. It's undeniably some of the best Japanese food one can get in the city.
And if you can, try their Mishima (Japanese Beef) Steak dishes. It will make you re-think life.

2
★★★★★

Japanese Kaiseki is equivalent to Seasonal Tasting Menus here in the States.
But at Kai, they prepare their cuisine with American ingredients. This challenge poses some difficulty because there are certain boundries professionals in the kitchen do not cross in order to preserve the traditions of one's culture. But what ever it is they do, it's working and I get floored each time I go.
It's good to know, time and time again, their monthly menus come through and it always highlights the best in seasonal ingredients.
Chef Yamazaki has been heading the kitchen at Kai since shortly after their opening, and has prepared some amazing meals for me.
I recommend this place for people with a sophisticated palate. It's undeniably some of the best Japanese food one can get in the city.
And if you can, try their Mishima (Japanese Beef) Steak dishes. It will make you re-think life.

Pros: Impressive location

Cons: Limited seating

.

Each bite of food at Kai was indeed delicious, fresh, and elegant. I had the black cod with yuzu sauce, which was wonderful. I must warn the reader that the portions sizes are very small (especially the appetizers), so if you plan to eat until you are full and do not intend to order the chef's special tasting menu, prepare to order and pay for an appetizer (1 dish for each person because the portions are not for sharing), a main entree, and the cold udon at the end of the meal. If you are someone who appreciates simplicity, elegance, and wonderfully presented and tasting seafood and vegetables regardless of portion size, Kai is your place. If you are someone who appreciates the same things but hope to have food to spare or share, Kai may not be the best option. The ambience is very calm and quiet.

2
★★★★☆

Each bite of food at Kai was indeed delicious, fresh, and elegant. I had the black cod with yuzu sauce, which was wonderful. I must warn the reader that the portions sizes are very small (especially the appetizers), so if you plan to eat until you are full and do not intend to order the chef's special tasting menu, prepare to order and pay for an appetizer (1 dish for each person because the portions are not for sharing), a main entree, and the cold udon at the end of the meal. If you are someone who appreciates simplicity, elegance, and wonderfully presented and tasting seafood and vegetables regardless of portion size, Kai is your place. If you are someone who appreciates the same things but hope to have food to spare or share, Kai may not be the best option. The ambience is very calm and quiet.

.

Staff members are fluent in Japanese and English, and very knowledgeable about their food (very rare to find at most Japanese restaurants in the US...)

Pricy indeed, but atmosphere and the setting pays off (stone dish is very elegant.)

Excellent for bringing a date to impress, or business dinner.

Sake collection was excellent (Try Nanbu Bijin), but pricy. Not too crazy about their sake martini.

Most people eat there seem to be typical Upper East Side snobs, so be aware.

Again, the waitress was awesome. She gets 10 for her excellent service and advice.

2
★★★★★

Staff members are fluent in Japanese and English, and very knowledgeable about their food (very rare to find at most Japanese restaurants in the US...)

Pricy indeed, but atmosphere and the setting pays off (stone dish is very elegant.)

Excellent for bringing a date to impress, or business dinner.

Sake collection was excellent (Try Nanbu Bijin), but pricy. Not too crazy about their sake martini.

Most people eat there seem to be typical Upper East Side snobs, so be aware.

Again, the waitress was awesome. She gets 10 for her excellent service and advice.

Pros: Creative, Authentic, Elegant

Cons: small dish, snobby clients, price

.

Excellent.

We tried the prix fixe 8 course dinner with the salt encrusted black cod as the main meal. The fish is cooked in a thick salt/egg crust which is broken up right before you eat and is not for eating. Wow!

The courses are small, thank god; It is so hard to get small portions in the U.S. now.

The food is an experience. Get ready to spend some serious time enjoying the company of your friends.

Service exceptional: unobtrusive, friendly.

This is authentic Japanese food - California roll is not on the menu.
Ambience - minimalist. Gotta love minimalism.

With sake and tip walked out for $100 a person.

Can't wait to come back.

2
★★★★★

Excellent.

We tried the prix fixe 8 course dinner with the salt encrusted black cod as the main meal. The fish is cooked in a thick salt/egg crust which is broken up right before you eat and is not for eating. Wow!

The courses are small, thank god; It is so hard to get small portions in the U.S. now.

The food is an experience. Get ready to spend some serious time enjoying the company of your friends.

Service exceptional: unobtrusive, friendly.

This is authentic Japanese food - California roll is not on the menu.
Ambience - minimalist. Gotta love minimalism.

With sake and tip walked out for $100 a person.

Can't wait to come back.

Pros: Food, Service, Ambience

.

Omakase course is beautiful and so delicious.
You can enjoy real Japanese tea, since this restaurant is managed ItoEn, "Teas' Tea" company. They will give it to you as a souvenir!!

2
★★★★★

Omakase course is beautiful and so delicious.
You can enjoy real Japanese tea, since this restaurant is managed ItoEn, "Teas' Tea" company. They will give it to you as a souvenir!!

.

We just ate at Kai and were disapointed. The food was not very tasty, the portioins were tiny even for such a high quality restaurant. And the prices were way to high for what you get. Example is the soup which was about 6 oz for $12 dollars and the mushrooms where $12 for about 1oz. We generally like good restaurants and eat out often but Kai was way to expensive for what we got. The grilled cheese at home afterwards was better.!!

1
★★☆☆☆

We just ate at Kai and were disapointed. The food was not very tasty, the portioins were tiny even for such a high quality restaurant. And the prices were way to high for what you get. Example is the soup which was about 6 oz for $12 dollars and the mushrooms where $12 for about 1oz. We generally like good restaurants and eat out often but Kai was way to expensive for what we got. The grilled cheese at home afterwards was better.!!

.

I love sushi, japanese, asian fusions, and eat it a lot, and just wasn't amazed here. The atmosphere, staff and food were all nice, but that's it. Compared to other reviews, I thought it was only average. I will say that the mushrooms were excellent. However, many of the accompanying sauces (presented on the fish, even the sashimi) overpower the fish. The sauce on the soba noodles was very salty for the simple taste/texture of the noodles. I can't say I hated it because there was nothing really wrong, but nothing that great either. I love Japanese food for the simplistic presentation, preparation, and use of superb ingredients and how it concentrates on the quality, taste, and respect for the food, not the chef's ability to create complex sauces or infused tastes. The presentation is very cool, but I missed the flavorful standalone qualities that quality seafood has elsewhere.

1
★★★☆☆

I love sushi, japanese, asian fusions, and eat it a lot, and just wasn't amazed here. The atmosphere, staff and food were all nice, but that's it. Compared to other reviews, I thought it was only average. I will say that the mushrooms were excellent. However, many of the accompanying sauces (presented on the fish, even the sashimi) overpower the fish. The sauce on the soba noodles was very salty for the simple taste/texture of the noodles. I can't say I hated it because there was nothing really wrong, but nothing that great either. I love Japanese food for the simplistic presentation, preparation, and use of superb ingredients and how it concentrates on the quality, taste, and respect for the food, not the chef's ability to create complex sauces or infused tastes. The presentation is very cool, but I missed the flavorful standalone qualities that quality seafood has elsewhere.

.

All the staff is absolutely professional!! I sometimes see the waiters don't have enough knowledge of their dishes. But they do. (that is A MUST, but not every restaurant can do...)
If you want to dine with large party, I recommend to make reservation BASEMENT. There's nice and quiet, small but enough for 6 (or more).

2
★★★★★

All the staff is absolutely professional!! I sometimes see the waiters don't have enough knowledge of their dishes. But they do. (that is A MUST, but not every restaurant can do...)
If you want to dine with large party, I recommend to make reservation BASEMENT. There's nice and quiet, small but enough for 6 (or more).

.

This place puts other overpriced Japanese restaurants to shame. Both fusion dished and Japanese dishes are excellent, and service is superb. Certainly not cheap, but its worth every penny. If your there, might as well pay up and get the expensive omakase - will not disappoint.

2
★★★★★

This place puts other overpriced Japanese restaurants to shame. Both fusion dished and Japanese dishes are excellent, and service is superb. Certainly not cheap, but its worth every penny. If your there, might as well pay up and get the expensive omakase - will not disappoint.

Pros: ambiance, tea

.

Incredible! One of the greatest meals in NYC. Don't you get tired of the new american and the dainty french cuisine? Those restaurants may be good, but they're all the same - chilean sea bass, foie gras, venison, duck, blah, blah, blah...you name it. This place offers food that is out of the ordinary, service that is unparalled and an incredible tea selection. It's very down to earth, no attitude and comfortable. Have already recommended to all my friends. Will definitely go back for another special night out.

2
★★★★★

Incredible! One of the greatest meals in NYC. Don't you get tired of the new american and the dainty french cuisine? Those restaurants may be good, but they're all the same - chilean sea bass, foie gras, venison, duck, blah, blah, blah...you name it. This place offers food that is out of the ordinary, service that is unparalled and an incredible tea selection. It's very down to earth, no attitude and comfortable. Have already recommended to all my friends. Will definitely go back for another special night out.

.

Excellent presentation of service and food. Interesting and unique food flavors, comfortable atmosphere, knowledgeable service staff, well-thought wine/sake/tea list.

2
★★★★★

Excellent presentation of service and food. Interesting and unique food flavors, comfortable atmosphere, knowledgeable service staff, well-thought wine/sake/tea list.

Pros: Service Knowledge, Comfort

Cons: Elevator to Bathroom

.

I went thinking I was going to eat sushi but this isn't a sushi-house. Regardless, I have to say that I was not disappointed. Ever little piece of food that was on my plate had such a distinct taste. You can tell that it was well thought out. I was impressed with the service. I had 3 people wait on me at all times. The decor needs some work but you become so engrossed in your meal that it didn't even matter.

2
★★★★★

I went thinking I was going to eat sushi but this isn't a sushi-house. Regardless, I have to say that I was not disappointed. Ever little piece of food that was on my plate had such a distinct taste. You can tell that it was well thought out. I was impressed with the service. I had 3 people wait on me at all times. The decor needs some work but you become so engrossed in your meal that it didn't even matter.

Pros: service, food

Cons: decor

.

Kai is by far one of our favourite restaurants in Manhattan, with its minimalism and simplicity and food served with minute perfectionism. Every dish is an absolute winner. If you try just one restaurant then it should be this one! Attention to detail

2
★★★★★

Kai is by far one of our favourite restaurants in Manhattan, with its minimalism and simplicity and food served with minute perfectionism. Every dish is an absolute winner. If you try just one restaurant then it should be this one! Attention to detail

.

Minimalistic and refined would be the best way to describe Kai. The presentation is hauntingly simple. The mixture of textures and flavors experienced through the meal are perfected through painstaking attention to detail. The teas offered throughout the meal are excellent. Mood and quality are controlled expertly by the staff. To top off my meal, I ordered excellent Daiginjo type chilled sake which was a perfect compliment to the meal. Definitely go to Kai for a sophisticated and interesting meal.

2
★★★★★

Minimalistic and refined would be the best way to describe Kai. The presentation is hauntingly simple. The mixture of textures and flavors experienced through the meal are perfected through painstaking attention to detail. The teas offered throughout the meal are excellent. Mood and quality are controlled expertly by the staff. To top off my meal, I ordered excellent Daiginjo type chilled sake which was a perfect compliment to the meal. Definitely go to Kai for a sophisticated and interesting meal.

.

In constant search of a great Japanese restaurant, Kai brought to you what an experience in the art of kaiseki style dining should be. The wait staff was accommodating, informative and on the ball. The food was impeccably presented, every course had an interesting palate of flavors that fused well, fresh and delicious...you will not be disappointed. Wonderful selection of Japanese teas as well. The decor is very simple...minimal, stark, but chic.

2
★★★★☆

In constant search of a great Japanese restaurant, Kai brought to you what an experience in the art of kaiseki style dining should be. The wait staff was accommodating, informative and on the ball. The food was impeccably presented, every course had an interesting palate of flavors that fused well, fresh and delicious...you will not be disappointed. Wonderful selection of Japanese teas as well. The decor is very simple...minimal, stark, but chic.

.

What a transporting experience... every course
served was a feast to the eyes. I thought the Salt Crusted Cod with Tea Leaves was just magical...
and the handmade soba noodles perfectly executed!
My Japanese host said it was better than the ones
she has had in Japan. Thrilled on my new discovery.

2
★★★★★

What a transporting experience... every course
served was a feast to the eyes. I thought the Salt Crusted Cod with Tea Leaves was just magical...
and the handmade soba noodles perfectly executed!
My Japanese host said it was better than the ones
she has had in Japan. Thrilled on my new discovery.

Pros: Great Place Settings!, Food is refined, Not noisy

.

Very inventive, beautifully displayed food. Excellent service. Overall, a fine experience unlike any other.

2
★★★★★

Very inventive, beautifully displayed food. Excellent service. Overall, a fine experience unlike any other.

.

My challenge is to find Sushi for my business partner who only eats the best Sushi.
I found it here at Kai, fresh, authentic but free-style and the service, which is just as important as the food, was A+. who is the decorator.

2
★★★★★

My challenge is to find Sushi for my business partner who only eats the best Sushi.
I found it here at Kai, fresh, authentic but free-style and the service, which is just as important as the food, was A+. who is the decorator.

Cons: needs delivery

Editorial from

The Scene
This tiny sliver of a restaurant, perched above a gallery-like Madison Avenue Japanese tea shop, specializes in kaiseki, a meal of tiny courses traditionally served with tea. The layout is spare, with deep-brown wood…

 

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