Japanese Food at Chopped Parsley
This past Saturday I got to try out one of my neighborhood restaurants, Chopped Parsley. Located in Harlem at 146th St & Amsterdam, the Japanese restaurant opened in November 2015 and has gained a strong customer base. Owner Yumika Parsley lives by the motto “I serve what I eat, I eat what I serve”. She believes in putting her own spin on traditional recipes, which makes the menu at Chopped Parsley unique.
Yumika immigrated from Japan to New York City in the nineties and began a career as a recording artist. She released one album and one EP and performed hip hop and R&B tracks until the year 2000. In 2002, she started music producing for artists and films, then last year decided to leave all that behind and open her restaurant Chopped Parsley.
For my appetiser, I had the Yellowtail Ceviche ($9.50). Made with yellowtail, fresh lime juice, jalapeño, cilantro and olive oil, this ceviche has plenty of kick to it. The fish is sliced beautifully thin, and comes to life with the lime juice and the slight heat of the jalapeño.
Next up I tried the Kitsune Chicken Udon Noodle Soup ($11.50), which is a recipe from Yumika’s mother. Made entirely from scratch, this soup contains chicken, wakame seaweed, scallions & sweet fried bean curd. The dashi (or broth) is homemade with fine ingredients imported from Japan. I find it very impressive that the dashi is homemade here, as it is now common practice (even in Japan) to use the granulated or liquid instant dashi. The noodle soup at Chopped Parsley has a delicate, nuanced taste that is just not possible to achieve with instant dashi. No chemical flavor enhancers here! I especially enjoyed how tender the chicken was, and how flavorful the dish is as a whole. The sweet fried bean curd lends a delicious sweetness that is in no way overpowering to the dish, and the udon noodles make this soup filling and satisfying.
The Ikura Open Sushi with salmon roe ($8.50) is based on the idea of an open sandwich. The nori seaweed used is crispy and the salmon roe adds beautiful color to this dish.
The Steak Roll ($10.50) is not something you would usually find on a sushi menu, which is just another reason to love Chopped Parsley. Made up of strip steak & cucumber with a parsley tapenade on top, this roll is packed with flavor. Yumika explained how she wanted to put her own mark on this dish, and how she wanted to incorporate parsley. The tasty steak, paired with the crunch of the cucumber is so satisfying to the senses. The parsley tapenade also contains sun-dried tomato & garlic for extra bite, and this really was the icing on the cake for me with this roll.
I truly feel Harlem is very fortunate to have Chopped Parsley on it’s restaurant scene, as a healthy option for its customers. Compared with other pricey Japanese restaurants downtown, Chopped Parsley’s quality, homemade dishes definitely won’t break the bank and they will leave your stomach happy.
Chopped Parsley: 500 W 146th St, New York, NY 10031