Tadashi Yoshida, one of Japan’s most respected sushi masters and owner of the now-closed Sushi No Yoshino in Nagoya, will open Yoshino at 342 Bowery in Noho on September 23.
This much-anticipated debut, which has been in the works for three years and has been delayed due to the pandemic, is one of the biggest sushi openings in New York City to date, and the first time a sushi master has closed. its introduction. -only counter in Japan to be launched in the Big Apple. The 10-seat, 20-course omakase sushi experience is priced at $ 400 per customer.
âIn New York, I’m competing on the world stage,â says Yoshida, who missed the opportunity to move her sushiya to Tokyo. He wanted to “take the opportunity” to show off his skills on what he thinks is a more global platform with a larger audience. And just like the snug, nine–The sushi counter he once operated here in New York City – where he teamed up with art collector and managing partner Alberto Fis – it will feature a 700-square-foot stage in what was once a Subway store. The serene space is now outfitted with earthy moss green plaster walls, a coffered wood ceiling, and a silky 20-foot dining counter made from a single piece of 300-year-old hinoki (the other half of this tree resides in the Tokyo Imperial Palace). The aesthetic blends traditional Japanese design with a contemporary twist – a similar reflection of Yoshida’s Edomae omakase with subtle French influences.
Growing up in a family of cooks – Yoshida’s father owned a sushi counter in Gifu Prefecture called Sushi No Yoshino – a career in food seemed like a natural path. But, in fact, baseball was Yoshida’s first love. It wasn’t until high school, when his dreams of being a professional baseball player were shattered, that he began to consider sushi. Before taking over his father’s sushi bar in 1995 (which he eventually moved to Nagoya), Yoshida worked at the French restaurant J’ai Faim in Yokahama, and that experience continues to shape the food he serves today. While Sushi No Yoshino was to critical acclaim, Yoshida ultimately charged $ 300 for the omakase experience, where he was one of Japan’s most coveted sushi counters.
Yoshida points out that for those who have dined with him in Nagoya, Yoshino in New York will offer the exact same experience: it’s a special occasion meal rooted in traditional Japanese sushi philosophy, though embellished by Western thought and luxury ingredients.
Diners can expect a meal to begin with six tsunamis embellished with white truffles and caviar, as well as atypical Western ingredients in sushi meals, such as olive oil and heavy cream. For Yoshino’s debut, Yoshida is considering mushroom classes – such as matsutakes and white truffles – to celebrate the fall season.
Unlike her unique take on small appetizer courses, the sushi part of Yoshida’s omakase is all Japanese, with around 10 bites of Edomae-style nigiri, followed by a bun, tamago, miso soup and dessert.
Sushi lovers know the importance of rice to a meal, and Yoshida seasons her shari with a blend of three vinegars and favors acidity over sweetness. For fish, about 80 percent of its seafood comes from Japan. Nationally, it sources Hawaiian abalone, Massachusetts scallops and some of its tuna (20% will come from Boston and the rest of Japan).
And for the diners who book during Yoshino’s early days, Yoshida has prepared a special fish. At Toyosu’s tuna auction, he bought the highest rated tuna in all of Japan that day: Oma bluefin tuna from Oma in Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan. He generally ages his tuna from 10 to 14 days depending on the size and the different cuts of the fish. Yoshida also uses a little-known aging technique to stimulate umami in her fish by placing pieces in vacuum bags and aging the pieces in ice water for two to three weeks.
While Yoshida’s menu often changes based on market availability, he plans to serve a number of the bites he’s become known for. This includes the pressed sabazushi (mackerel) which Yoshida burns with a hand grill containing binchotan charcoal so that the top of the fish is charred. And the second is a rarely found maguro bite. Yoshida cuts a specific part of the tuna, known as chiaigishi, which is buttery, but contains an ironic flavor, which is why many sushi chefs don’t serve it. He then uses a technique called kuragake and cut the fish so that the tuna looks like a horse saddle, and drape it over the rice.
While the Chief has long given up baseball, it’s clear Yoshida is looking to hit a home run here in New York City. Yoshida recognizes how strong New York’s high-end omakase sushi scene has grown over the past decade, and for that exact reason, he believes now is the perfect time to open here – at a time when New Yorkers truly understand and appreciate the art of sushi like never before.
It’s important to note that despite the incredible efforts here in New York by chefs who hail from legendary Tokyo sushi counters, like Daisuke Nakazawa who worked under Jiro Ono at Jiro, and Shion Uino who worked under Takashi Saito at Sushi Saito, Yoshida marks the very first New York sushi counter from a true sushi master, not a protected.
When Yoshida turned 50 two years ago, he decided he needed to take the next step in his career even though he was in his prime. From 2017 to 2018, Sushi No Yoshino was one of only four sushi restaurants in all of Japan to win back-to-back gold awards from the country’s most prestigious restaurant ranking site, Tablelog. All this considered, when Yoshida met Fis through a mutual friend and a regular diner, the opportunity to move to New York presented itself. Yoshida jumped at the chance and within two weeks he shut down Sushi No Yoshino with the intention of moving to New York.
Yoshino is open Monday through Saturday, with seating available at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.