210 East 9th Street
New York, NY 10003
HASAKI’s a very small, traditional sushi-ya with a ton of sushi, sashimi and non-fish options. They have held this same, understated, sub-ground-floor spot since 1984, over four decades! That says something, it says a lot. With all the new sushi-yas sprouting up left and right, HASAKI maintains their crowd, with a constant churn of patrons from all walks.
HASAKI have made changes along the way though. I’ve been coming here since I was in college, which is a while back. Back then, HASAKI had a super simple one page menu. Even just a couple of years ago, HASAKI had a two page menu, and did not serve an omakase. Now, they have 7 different kinds of omakases:
- $140 Kaiseki – 6 courses of cooked foods along with sushi/sashimi
- $100 Premium Sushi – 12 pieces and a roll
- $80 Special Sushi – 12 pieces and a roll (different fish)
- $60 Traditional Sushi – 9 pieces and a roll
- $65 Assorted sashimi for 1
- $140 Assorted sashimi for 1
- $65 Assorted sushi & sashimi for 1
- $140 Assorted sushi & sashimi for 1
We decided to try Chef Mori’s “Premium Sushi Omakase”:
- KASUGO DAI (baby red snapper) – Lovely start! Super fresh, super yummy!
- HAJIBIKI (Red colored snapper) – Not a red snapper, but a red colored snapper. Looks like a tuna, taste like a white fish, how INTERESTING! Per Chef Mori, this is a very rare and premium fish. First time I’ve ever had it!
- SHIRO SAKE (white salmon) – Usually not a huge fan of salmons, but this super mild and ever so slightly chewy, was so good!
- OTORO (super fatty tuna) – The gloriousness of a super fatty tuna is undeniable. It’s a bit much for me, but this was a very good cut, very fresh.
- TRUFFLE PARMESEAN and Truffle Paste – Never saw this as a sushi before… Shredded parmigiana-reggiano, layered with shaved truffles and truffle paste. It’s almost like risotto, except no sauce, and with Japanese rice. Earthy, nutty, yumminess!
- SAYORI (Needlefish) – I really do enjoy a good SAYORI. This was fine, but even with the SHISO, it was still a little fishy…
- SHIMA AJI (Striped jack) – Very good despite almost no crunch.
- NAMADAKO (live octopus) – I was just about to complain that this was sliced so thin that you don’t get very much, and then commend them for it still being perfectly chewable, which most of the time, NAMADAKOs aren’t when served as sushi. Then I realized how dumb I was being. When you go and pay 8-12 bucks per BITE of food, you aren’t exactly shooting for quantity, so why would I start complaining about a piece sliced too thin? So long as it was good, what else do I want?
- AJI (Horse mackerel) – When I was giving the chef my usual, “please no SABA…” spiel, he asked specifically about whether I could have AJI, stating it was very fresh today. It was fine, but nothing out of this world that I would specifically inquire about…
- BOTAN EBI (large sweet shrimp) – Boyfriend and I are both huge fans of BOTAN EBI, and for whatever reason, haven’t had much of it lately. The shrimp itself was super fresh, beautifully crunchy, all around a great bite. Did you notice it though? Doesn’t it look “short”? It’s as though they gave us half a shrimp, or at most, two-third. I don’t like that…
- MAINE UNI with Caviar – Usually not a fan of Maine UNI, but this was pretty decent. The Caviar was low quality though. I don’t like it when they try to dress things up, but use low quality attire. Feel me?
- MIYAZAKI A5 Wagyu Beef with truffle salt – YUM…. This reminds me of our last dinner in Tokyo. Where we had that crazy fancy, top shelf, A5 MATSUSAKA Wagyu. Not quite that good, but darn good!
- TORO TAKUAN (half roll) – Very good, but so marks the end of our omakase. I’m still SO HUNGRY!
- Cucumber, SHISO, Sesame seed (half roll) – I think this was chef throwing us a bone… I’m just not huge on veggie rolls…
- MIRUGAI (Giant geoduck clam) – Beautiful texture, beautiful crunch.
- HOTATE (Scallop) – I don’t know why, but I’m quite enjoying the NORI (seaweed) in the middle. It gives it a little something something…
- TOBIUO (Flying fish) – I have NEVER TOBIUO served this way! It’s usually ABURIed (torced), if not all the way cooked. This was amazing as a sushi! So light, so refreshing. Marvelous!
- KASUGO DAI (baby red snapper) – Just as fantastic as the first serving!
- IKA (Squid) – I didn’t have it, just boyfriend, so not sure what kind of IKA this was, but boyfriend said it was very good…
- SHIRAUO (Japanese baby anchovies) – A little fisher than I prefer…
- IKURA (Salmon roe) – A little thick and gooey. My favorite place for IKURA is still USHIWAKMARU. We really need to make a trip back there, if only the chef wasn’t so “high maintenance”…
This was a GOOD meal. For a simple, hole in the wall-ISH restaurant tough, it was overpriced. Please note that “hole in the wall” is an offensive statement, those are the BEST kind of restaurants. Chef was super friendly, super talkative, and just a pleasure to be in front of.