14 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10014
Love that there are so many new Omakase additions this year! Chef Tatsuya Sekiguchi, a Yasuda alum, took over the short lived spot of Akashi (another Yasuda alum), and opened up OMAKASE Room by Tatsu in June of this year, and so far, so good!
In terms of the space, and atmosphere, I love the simplicity of this little 8 seat, clean, modern, all wood sushi-ya, and love that there’s seating for those waiting. Only complaint is the acoustics. They don’t play any music, which I don’t care about, but it makes the chatter that much more crisp. You hear everyone’s conversations! And of course, we’re always the lucky ones that gets sandwiched between hyenas, chackling on about their men, their friends, and their super important jobs.
In terms of the service, spectacular. Tatsu-san is super friendly, and a bit of a ham even. His English is a little bit limited, but plenty sufficient for casual chatter, and more than enough for sushi chatter. The rest of the staff is great, not at all snooty and super attentive.
Before we get into the most important thing, the food, I do have one complaint, the sake. Omakase Room by Tatsu has a decent menu for sake, however, it is by glass or carafe only. They do not offer by the bottle. And their serving size for a carafe is more like a glass, and their glass is more like a shot. It is a JOKE, and the biggest rip off ever. Now that this is off my chest, let’s get to the food!
- KANPACHI (Amberjack) – Good first piece! Very light gumminess, very nice crunch, great soy, and great rice!
- AJI (Horse Mackerel) – One of the lightest piece of AJI’s I’ve ever had. It was almost bright, very nice!
- AKAMI (Lean Bluefin Tuna) from NY – I had no idea we have Bluefin in NY! No funky tinge no aftertaste, lovely piece! Now that is happiness in my mouth!
- KOMBUJIME (Japanese Seaweed) Trigger Fish – I love KOMBUJIME marinated white fishes! Very nice flavoring, you really taste the toasty-ness of the kombu. Beautiful!
- HOTATE (Scallop) – So good! So light, almost no taste of the sea.
- KINMEDAI (Golden Eye Snapper) – YUM, YUM, YUM, YUM, YUMMM! Love KINMEDAIs! This was super fresh, super delicious. I wonder… Does Tatsu-san not do ABURI-ing (torching)? Only way to make this yummier is to ABURI the skin.
- EBI (Shrimp) – Not a KURUMA, not a BOTAN, not a SHIRO, not an AKA, not an AMA, none of that. This was plain and straight, thin, needs to be boiled before eating, in other words, supermarket grade, EBI. After 6 fantastic pieces in a row, the streak ended with this seventh piece.
- IWASHI (Japanese Sardine) – What a recovery! From the abysmal EBI to this beautiful IWASHI. Tatsu-san didn’t do the normal dressing of ground ginger and chopped onions, instead, he did a small slice of SHISO in between the fish and the rice. Very different, and very good!
- SAWARA (Spanish mackerel) – I’m not a fan of SAWARAs in general, and this was no exception. This was super vinegary, but bland otherwise, maybe A LOT more soy? We did get to watch the chef smoke the fish though, so that was fun!
- OTORO (Super Fatty Tuna) from Spain – Really fantastic! No funky aftertaste, no chewiness, and melt in your mouth fattiness.
- MIYAGI Oyster from Washington with Cyprus island Black Sea salt – YUMMMM!!! I haven’t had an oyster this good in a long, long time. Delicious!
- SHIMA AJI (Striped Jack) – Really thin cuts, but super fresh with great flavor. Really good!
- Ocean trout from Iceland – Incredibly fatty, just the way I like it! The fresh taste of the ocean rather than farm is very prominent.
- TAKO (Octopus) – Decent, but nothing to write home about. Tons of places have great NAMADAKO, or NIDAKO, but hands down, there’s really one place worth having TAKO, Ushi. I will always make the trip just for Hideo-san’s TAKO. My mouth waters at the thought!
- UNI from California – YAY! It seems recently, like this last month, maybe two, California UNI is doing a comeback. Good stuff!
- IKURA (Salmon Roe) – Decent, but not great. So sorry to compare Tatsu-san…. But this again, is Hideo-san’s specialty. Tatsu-san’s had too many crushed pearls, and not seasoned enough.
- Butterfish – So glad Tatsu-san didn’t go and grill this fish. I hate Butterfish grilled. Raw? YUMMY!
- NEGITORO hand roll (Fatty Tuna and chopped scallions) – Not good! The quality of this TORO is really bad, especially after those two spectacular servings of AKAMI and OTORO. The only good part was how crunchy the NORI was. Tatsu-san does keep his NORI in a warmer. That’s a sad silver lining though…
The food was fantastic. We had 13 stellar servings, 2 mediocre servings (TAKO and IKURA) and 3 really not so good servings (EBI, SAWARA, and NEGITORO). The only true complaint is that Omakase Room by Tatsu is pretty irritating for drinkers. If you’re sharing a carafe, you’ll need a refill every other sushi serving. Not fun. We’ll return soon though!