By Autumn Moon
With dimmed lighting, chic decor and an organic yet modern feel, Tiga is a sushi restaurant reminiscent of a chic eatery in Brooklyn rather than Port Washington.
Tucked away between shops on Main Street, Tiga boasts a small yet intimate environment. Canvas curtains layer the entrance, and pulling them away reveals white brick walls, wooden artwork and a bar area tucked to one side, while tables stretch to the back of the space. Greeted by smiling waiters and waitresses dressed in muted black, it’s also easy to notice sushi chefs with black porkpie hats just beyond the bar counter. It is quite obvious that owner Roy Kurniawan has taken care to create this rustic, yet traditional environment, as the food also reflects the debonair atmosphere.
Tiga’s ambiance clearly suggests that Kurniawan is no restaurant amateaur. In 2006, he was apart of a team of Manhattan sushi chefs who created the Sea Cliff Sushi Company. Later, in 2010, Kurniawan relocated to Locust Valley, where Bennett’s Sushi & Lounge was founded. In 2015, Kurniawan returned again to Sea Cliff for restaurant Wansuapona Musu, which ended up closing in 2017.
The cuisine at Tiga is evocative of Kurniawan’s Indonesian background, while also transfusing gourmet flavors from Japan.
The service was highly attentive, and shortly after sitting down, lemon wipes were placed in a ceramic bowl alongside an appetizer of popcorn with sweet and spicy seasoning.
Menu items were attached to parchment on a clipboard, and included a wide variety of plates that are constantly changing in order to keep the eating experience fresh for visitors.
Plates are divided into categories of soups and salads (such as spicy dumpling soup and red quinoa salad), cold dishes (black sesame tofu and crispy rice with spicy tuna), as well as hot dishes (such as truffle fries, charred edamame, and crab harumaki with shitake mushroom, carrot, asparagus and sweet miso). Sushi and sashimi are also featured a la carte and included rolls such as the ripple roll, which encompasses ingredients like tuna, yellowtail, avocado, jalapeno, mango, sriracha, topped seared albacore, shaved bonito, tobiko, scallion and sweet chili.
Food is recommended to be ordered as tapas to share, and is brought out at around the same time so the dining experience is unified for residents.
Vegetarian options are also given and feature such rolls as the part time lover: sweet potato tempura, topped miso eggplant, shitake mushroom, forbidden rice, the midnight rumbler: roasted carrot, avocado, roasted grape tomatoes, topped roasted bell pepper, almond pesto, forbidden rice, and the she’s a rainbow roll: sweet potato tempura, topped roasted bell pepper, avocado, shitake mushroom, spicy eggplant, forbidden rice, crispy basil.
All foods were served delicately on what appeared to be raku ware, a type of Japanese pottery that is traditionally characterized by it’s hand-shaped, fairly porous exterior.
As is expected from a high-quality eatery, prices were on the more expensive side and ranged from $6 to $26, amounting to roughly a $100 meal when split between two people ordering a few small dishes each.
For a Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m, Tiga was packed with people as they chatted to the sound of relaxed techno music, keeping the ambiance lively and modern.
Overall, the food at Tiga was delicious and refined, but at the heart of its attraction lies it’s promise of an upscale dining experience with just the right amount of traditional flair.
Tiga is located at 43 Main St., Port Washington. For more information, call 516-918-9993 or visit www.tigany.com.