Sushi Yasuda is a Japanese restaurant in New York city founded by Naomichi Yasuda, Shige Akimoto and Scott Rosenberg in 1999. I first encountered the name "Yasuda" in an Anthony Bourdain episode on his quest to find the best sushi in the world. Since the opening of Sushi Yasuda, Chef Yasuda has also opened a second branch in Tokyo. Currently, Sushi Yasuda is ranked #7 in Zagat's NYC's 100 best restaurants. Since Japanese cuisine is my favourite of all time, I knew I had to take the opportunity to check out the restaurant as I planned my trip to NYC this summer.
Since it was my first visit to Sushi Yasuda, I opted for the omakase menu and sat by the sushi bar for the full experience. The daily fish recommended by the chefs are marked with a red star on the menu.
The meal started with some pickled okra and fish in radish sauce. The okra was the perfect little appetiser to get our palettes going, and the fish in radish sauce brought back memories of the moreish sauce I used to dip my crunchy tempura in when I was last in Tokyo.
The sashimi selection of the day were scallop, octopus, red snapper, tuna, salmon, yellowtail and sardine. My favourites were the scallops and salmon. The only selection I didn't appreciate was the sardine.
After the sashimi, we had a marathon of nigiri, beginning with flounder. Can't say I've had flounder before, but it was delightful.
Yellowtail has always been a favourite of mine, the sushi rice just heightened the favour of the fish even more. The sushi rice at Sushi Yasuda is definitely some of the best I've ever tasted.
The cherry stone clam is not only pretty to look at, but it was absolutely mind blowing. It was both me and my friend's top 3 of the evening. In fact, we ordered another at the end of the evening.
Although I'm not usually a big fan of fatty tuna, I have to say Sushi Yasuda changed my mind. This blue fin fatty tuna melts in your mouth in all the best ways.
The anago sea eel definitely taste better than it looks, and I was pleasantly surprised.
Personally, I preferred the blue fin fatty tuna, than the toro. The toro had a more chewy and meaty texture.
King salmon is another one of my usual go-tos at Japanese restaurants. Interesting to taste the difference between the king salmon and the sockeye above.
Of course, the uni was the highlight of the meal that evening. Although I am already a massive uni fan, I have to say this is probably one of the best uni I've ever had. This was definitely 10 out of 10. Please splurge and order this if you ever find yourself at Sushi Yasuda!
Nothing would have compared after that uni, so unfortunately this seared tuna was quickly forgotten.
The name engawa doesn't bring pleasant after my experience at the Engawa restaurant in London. However, Sushi yasuda has definitely changed my mind, and I have to say this will become a regular order if I ever find myself at Sushi Yasuda again.
White King Salmon
Who knew salmon came in white? One of the things I loved most about Sushi Yasuda was definitely the variety of fish the restaurant introduced me to.
The omakase menu at Sushi Yasuda works dependent on the diner's preference, rather than like a chef's tasting menu. At this point, we were asked whether or not we wanted more nigiri, or to move onto desserts. Unfortunately, my friend and I were both happily stuffed at this point, so we had to forego desserts for the evening.
The visit to Sushi Yasuda was one that definitely brought back great memories of Tokyo for me. The restaurant has a minimalistic decor, and the focus is definitely on serving great sushi in the most traditional and classical way. If you are looking for Japanese food with an interesting twist, this is definitely not the place for you. The atmosphere at the restaurant was also more casual than I had anticipated it to be, which makes it great for those who want to make Sushi Yasuda a regular spot to come back to.