Japanese Culinary Center In Midtown East, New York City

The Japanese Culinary Center opens its doors--and far-flung offerings

Need a three-foot-wide wooden bowl for cooling sushi rice? How about white-rubber fishmonger boots? Or maybe an automatic sushi maker (whatever that is)?

Whatever the yen–necessity or curiosity–you can now feed it at the just-opened Japanese Culinary Center (JCC) in Midtown.

Run by New York Mutual Trading, an 83-year-old company that imports more than 4,000 Japanese products, the JCC serves as the company's showroom. As such, it's both pristine and slightly strange, with boxes of plastic grass (for sushi containers) sharing space with high-quality iron Yamaga pots, decorative curtains, a knife selection that rivals Korin's, and beautiful Bizen-yaki: thick, wood-fired clay platters that start at $200.

The JCC will soon also start selling hard-to-find Japanese ingredients–including soy salt, artisanal shoyu and live-culture white miso–in home-cook quantities. Unfortunately, the center doesn't have a license to sell the hundreds of sakes and shochus it imports, but the clerks are happy to direct shoppers to local stores that do.

Japanese Culinary Center, 711 Third Ave. (entrance on 45th St. between Second and Third aves.); 212-661-3333 or nymtc.com