If you want to piss off the chef at Akariba, the sweet little sake and oyster annex carved out of the Japanese brasserie Zenkichi in Williamsburg that opens to the public tonight, order the potato mochi. It’s not on the bar menu because the chef finds it such a hassle to make, but it’s available on the restaurant side, so those in the know can ask for it alongside their Kumamotos and junmai next door.
The perfect little deep-fried potato rice spheres come with shichimi pepper Japanese mayonnaise, and are more addictive than French fries. The texture is soft and whipped, and just a little sticky, the way mochi can be. So, why exactly is it such pain to make?
“It’s my favorite thing on the menu,” says partner Shaul Margulies. “It’s labor-intensive because it’s super gentle in the deep fryer. Leave it for seconds too long, and it explodes; too little, it’s undercooked. Full-time job.”
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 23, 2010