Sushi Ginza Onodera New York | One Of A Kind
At Sushi Ginza Onodera NYC, located on Fifth Ave near Bryant Park, executive chef Masaki Saito and his team serve up a one-of-a-kind omakase experience, one that is truly luxurious and surely well worth its distinguished value.
Upon entering their tall and grand entrance doors, guests are immediately greeted warmly by their well-trained and mannered staff in the vestibule. After walking through the next door and before being led by the manager to a seat, you are immediately drawn in by the interiors of the restaurant. The modern and elegant interior design with light wood finishes creates a very comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. With a ceiling that seems infinitely high, giving off a sense of openness and spaciousness, you might think that this feeling is done so to accommodate a larger portion of sushi and omakase lovers. However, the fact is Sushi Ginza Onodera only serves up to 16 guests at each of the two set lunch and dinner times at their counter. It is definitely a control factor in maintaining their impeccable service and guaranteeing everyone an exquisite experience, especially for those who choose to enjoy their meal at the sushi bar counter.
Besides the front row seats to a visual show of the preparation of the food when seated at the sushi bar, diners are exposed to much more; the interactions, tailored exclusively by the humorous Chef Saito, between him and the different guests every night. Whether they are visitors from Denmark indulging in their last meal in New York before departure the next day, or a married couple on their anniversary dinner date, enjoying their night out without their children, the interactions each person experiences is certainly different yet special.
Onodera offers two dinner options, the Omakase Course priced at $300 and $400 for the Premium “Kiwami” Course, translating to “pinnacle” and “highest place” in Japanese. Well deserving of its name, the Kiwami course impressively comprises of seven appetizers, 12 nigiri pieces, a tamago, miso soup and the dessert to finish this set off. The pleasure in enjoying the meal is not solely from the detailed handcrafted works of each appetizer and nigiris, but also from the choice of plates and bowls on which everything was placed. Bowls and other dishes, showcasing Japanese traditional styles, complement while working hand in hand with the food to create something aesthetically pleasing before satisfying every taste bud. Everything is prepared and presented with finesse and accuracy, from the three types of seaweed paired with a sake sauce, to the made in-house bamboo ginger perfectly sliced paper-thin, to the slicing of the ridges on each piece of fish, to the styling and positioning of each appetizer across the plates.
At Onodera, almost all the fish go through the process of aging, in the traditional Edomae style, right after arriving from fish markets in Japan and before serving it to customers.The process helps to preserve the fish and develops diverse umami flavors in every bite. The texture of the fish is significantly enhanced, creating one that is much more tender than its original texture. Not your typical idea of freshness, but when delivered to your palate, it is remarkable and undeniably memorable, making you wonder if it was actually fresh from the seawater. Besides the aging of the fish, the rice in which the fish is paired with is just as essential. The Koshihikari rice comprises of a mixture of two different types of red vinegar, which gives it a brownish color. The slight sourness to the rice also works as a way to highlight and bring attention to the sweetness of the Hokkaido sea urchin and several other fishes.
For each kind of fish, a different method is utilized, allowing Onodera to display a variety of aging methods:
Squid is aged for 5 days, each day covered in salt, then rinsed in hot water, wrapped in paper and vacuum sealed – a process that is repeated every day.
The medium-bodied golden eye snapper is aged for one week in konbu sea kelp.
Striped jack and red snapper are both soaked in hot water then cured for 3 days in salt. Bluefin Toro is marinated in soy with tuna zest.
The continuous process for the squid gave it a new texture, one with the perfect balance between chewiness and softness. The taste of the golden eye snapper is superbly delicate and sweet. The sprinkle of salt and tint of lemon juice brings out the absolute sweetness of the scallop. The Ankimo, monkfish liver marinated in wine, is so rich and creamy, completely filling every space in your mouth with such flavor, and lingering ever so slightly longer with the extra kick of spiciness added to it. It is no surprise that it’s been given the name “Foie Gras of the sea”. The sushi part of the omakase concludes with the sushi chef’s pride, the tamago.
The complexity of the miso soup and dessert really adds to the unique dining experience. Their miso soup is made with four types of miso, five kinds of dashi fish broth, Japanese kelp, bonito flakes, baby sardines and mackerel for the perfect balance and uniqueness to its flavor. For dessert, Green Tea Blancmange is the combination of uji matcha green tea with a base of coconut and milk, where each does not overpower and overshadow the rest.
Aside from the verbal explanation from Chef Saito, the servers also visually introduce and explain each fish being served through the use of an iPad. Chef Saito and the Onodera staff strive to provide every customer with a distinctive omakase journey. Everything you see and eat is truly a work of art, like the unique tiles on the wall behind the chef and facing each sushi bar guest. The tiles of the wall stand out because not one tile is the same, resembling the idea that there will never be a duplicate experience here.
One of a kind experience to go with its one Michelin star status. Now that it has gained its Second Michelin star recently, your time here is double its worth.
Sushi Ginza Onodera celebrates the U.S. release of Manzairaku sakes with a sake pairing dinner on Friday December 8. These legendary sakes have been produced in the Ishikawa prefecture in Japan since 1716, but are only now arriving stateside. Guests will meet the President of Koburi Brewery and enjoy these sakes paired with Executive Chef Masaki Saito’s exquisite omakase menu.
Sushi Ginza Onodera is one of New York City’s most unique omakase restaurants, serving the traditional Edomae style of aged sushi using the highest quality fish flown three times a week from Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji Market. The restaurant was just awarded its second Michelin star – the only New York restaurant to gain a star in the 2018 guide, and the only 2-starred Japanese restaurant in the country.