In today’s age where there are so many restaurant shutters on a daily basis in NYC, it always feels good to have a restaurant that springs back to life. And even more so when my dining experience at the new location was even better one at the original location. Ushiwakamaru was exactly that place. I did have a pleasant experience at the original location in SoHo, but not a particularly memorable one. This time, though, there were really good standout pieces from the omakase menu.
There are two omakase options ($100 per person for 14 pieces and $150 per person for 20 pieces) and you can decide either all sushi or a mix of sushi and sashimi. I went for the latter and, of course, sat the bar (I can’t emphasize enough how much different it makes in your dining experience). The starters had some mixes of unusual dishes such as yam konjac with very nice texture and baby sea eel in the form of thinly cut noodle. Assortment of sashi was delicious, especially the tuna and amberjack that were just melting in my mouth.
Then came the sushi pieces. Some of the pieces were just sensational, such as the incredibly smooth Bluefin tuna, white shrimp that was displaying awesome freshness to it and salmon roe (I would consider this one of the best I’ve had in my sushi experience). Other pieces were more or less within the range of my expectations (which means still really good): golden eye snapper, uni (if the temperature were a little higher for this piece, I would’ve probably loved it even more) and toro. None of the pieces needs dipping on soy sauce as the chef aptly did all the seasoning already, but some pieces turned out a little too salty, such as fatty tuna with truffle salt, which sounds too good to be true but the salt quickly overwhelmed the fish. I don’t think I’ve had Japanese shark before for my sushi tasting, and it was a bit funky.
The star of the night appeared at the end, though. After finishing the omakase course, my dining companion and I were still not quite full, so we ended up ordering monkfish liver (which many consider foie gras of the sea). This dish was impeccable with the elegant texture that I still think about while writing this review. For dessert, the restaurant offers Lady M green tea crepe (Lady M is one of my favorite cake shops in the city, so I wasn’t complaining) and black sesame ice cream and red bean paste for a delightful finish to the meal.
The restaurant has somewhat concise sake and wine menu that would go well with your sushi tasting. I see that the interior of the new location has become a lot brighter and gives more modern feel to it. Getting a reservation about a week in advance wasn’t too difficult and it was relatively quiet on a Wednesday night (although by no means it was empty; it’s just that the atmosphere was on the more contained side). I’m so glad Ushiwakamaru is back with vengeance; it deserves to stay in the long run for this city that is obsessed with sushi.
- Creativity: 8.0/10
- Execution: 8.5/10
- Ingredients: 8.5/10
- Flavor: 8.0/10
- Texture: 8.5/10
Address: 362 W 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011
Telephone: (917) 639-3940