One day I’ll get to Tokyo. Well, maybe not, but this restaurant is probably the closest I’ll get to it. (Spare me your comments about flying to Tokyo because the sushi taste differently) Have you ever tried to get someone to eat Nigiri for the first time? It’s literally the most challenging thing to do. Also, don’t let them think that Nigiri rolls differ from California Sushi Rolls, because they will lose their s*** when they find out it’s not wrapped in avocado and crab meat. Amateurs.
Sushi Ginza Onodera, a 2 Michelin Star restaurant, is located off of 5th Avenue in New York City and offers Omakase-only sushi. A restaurant that has a warm interior feeling with counter seating, is one of the best scenes you’ll have at a Omakase tasting. The restaurant also practices Edomade Sushi which uses an aging process to preserve its sushi.
I decided to dine at this restaurant for a quick lunch and I was thoroughly impressed. I was able to choose a 10 piece Nigiri Omakase with a Miso Soup and a dessert. Raw fish is pretty challenging to describe so describing it as if you were there with me is how I’ll identify each fish. (Besides their actual name).
Tilefish was the first up. This fish was very light in flavor, sweet, and has the same flavor similar to a crab.
Striped Jack was next. This fish was more meaty. It had a bit of a dry flavor to it, but the wasabi the Chef used with the rice, gave it a hint of spiciness.
Japanese Barracuda was third. This fish was lightly charred and was also meaty. It was a bit flakey with a firm texture.
Horse Mackerel was up next. It’s an oily fish so eating it with more of a brown rice was necessary. Mackerel is one of those fishes that should be eaten as soon as it’s caught or properly refrigerated. The chef tried his best to mask the flavor of the actual fish by lightly brushing it with Wasabi and Butter.
Ink Squid was up next. Think of Squid or Calamari that’s been lightly grilled. A sweet and meaty texture with a nutty flavor. This dish had a slight chew to it, but one of those “Can I have another piece?” Nigiri’s. By the way, I did NOT ask for another. (I should’ve though)
Salmon was the next piece that was presented to me. A very mild flavor to it, but was masked with the Wasabi and rice. This fish was a bit fatty but had a smooth taste to it. I thought it would be more firm than anything, but it was the exact opposite.
Sea Urchin was the seventh dish presented. A creamy, generous portioned, and fresh piece of Urchin sat on top of perfectly cooked brown rice. It had an ocean flavor with a sweeter after taste to it. (Another dish where I should’ve asked for seconds)
Toro Bluefin Tuna was the eighth piece of the night. This is the fattiest piece of the Tuna. It was definitely a meatier piece of fish with a smooth texture but a stronger taste to it. Think of eating a Rare Filet Mignon.
Yellowtail was the last piece of Nigiri of the night. This piece had a buttery taste to it, oily, with a tangy after taste to it. Yellowtail is one of the most popular Nigiri’s amongst the Amateur community. If I started eating Nigiri, I’d most likely order this as a starter.
The last dish of the night was a dessert. It consisted of Green Tea Brown Muhje. This had a bit of a bitter taste to it, which was surprising because Coconut Milk was added. A Black Bean was also added to the dessert, which gave it more of a dry flavoring. The dessert wasn’t my favorite, but the Nigiri were that good, I didn’t mind.
Overall, this restaurant is a go to immediately. For the price that’s offered and the selection of fish that are presented you can’t go wrong. I’d recommend going to dinner, where more exotic fish are offered.