Manhattan, there are good to great sushi places everywhere, but in Brooklyn, finding a legit sushi restaurant is not always an easy task. I enjoyed my trip to 1 or 8 in Williamsburg last summer, but whenever I needed a sushi fix, Manhattan, was always the natural destination to explore. Enter Sushi Katsuei. On a recent Sunday afternoon that was unusually nice outside after a dismal March, my fiancée and I decided to cross the Brooklyn Bridge from downtown Manhattan to enjoy the weather. I knew that she was having a craving for some delicious omakase, so I took her all the way to the Park Slope neighborhood (it took us one hour and 20 minutes to walk from Manhattan but we didn’t mind the pleasant walk) to check out this neighborhood sushi place. A friend of ours who lives in Park Slope complimented this place before, so we knew good things were about to happen when we stepped into the sushi counter.
Katsuei offers one of the more affordable omakase options in the city (the basic sushi course with nigiris and one hand roll starts around $50 per person), but we were beyond starving after all the walk so ended up getting 14 nigiris and one hand roll, at slightly over $100 per person (still a bargain compared to the other high-end sushi palaces in the city where a simple omakase can easily top $200 per person). The quality of the fish was on the above average level and the sushi chef added different ingredients like yuzu on top of each fish to add flavor without having soy sauce on the side. The firmness of the rice was pleasant as well.
My favorites from our meal included nigiris of o toro, king salmon, horse mackerel, kanpachi, golden eye snapper and chu toro, each displaying remarkably smooth texture that amply displayed the freshness of the fish. Other pieces like clam, marinated tuna, baby squid, fluke skin and Hokkaido uni were also good, but not as memorable because of slight issues on texture (clam didn’t have the same crunchy texture that I would experience from the best in other places) or flavor (I felt marinated tuna didn’t really need extra seasoning). There were also some pretty unique pieces like baby squid and fluke skin that intrigued me on first sight and delivered satisfaction to my palate. Other times, I didn’t understand why the chef put too much salt into the striped beakfish which I thought was fine as is in its pure form, and king crab was simply forgettable. Overall, however, the level of nigiris at Kausuei was maintained at a consistent level and certainly far better than run-of-the-mill cheap sushi joints in the city.
I was able to get a same-day reservation in the morning for two seats at the bar in the early evening, but the place does pack up pretty quickly with Brooklynites, so it’s always a good idea to book in advance. There are some nice sake and beer selections you can complement your meal with. Katsuei doesn’t scream fancy sushi, but for if I were somewhere in Brooklyn and suddenly had a calling to have an affordable yet above-average quality omakase meal, it will certainly fit the bill nicely.
- Creativity: 8.0/10
- Execution: 8.0/10
- Ingredients: 8.5/10
- Flavor: 7.5/10
- Texture: 8.0/10
Address: 210 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Telephone: (718) 788-5338