Yoshino Earns Four Stars from the New York Times

November 15, 2022, 11:21.22 pm ET  


Photos: Evan Sung                                                                                                 

It’s not often you see a four-star review from the New York Times. Then again it’s not often you see a sushi restaurant like Yoshino (342 Bowery, NYC) led by sushi master Tadashi Yoshida who left his his critically-acclaimed restaurant, Sushi no Yoshino in Japan, to bring his vision to New York City where the price for his 21-course omakase is upwards of $600.

Yoshino, Sushi, NYC, Omakase

 Yoshino, Sushi, NYC, Omakase

In his review, critic Peter Wells writes while some some sushi restaurants start strong, and others finish strong, “A meal at Mr. Yoshida’s counter is more like a helicopter: it goes straight up.” Wells also writes that Mr. Yoshida also instructs diners on how to properly eat his food: “Take a little bite, then sake” and so on.

Yoshino, Sushi, NYC, Omakase

 Yoshino, Sushi, NYC, Sushi

Chef Yoshida has forged deep relationships with the top seafood suppliers who only provide fish to a highly selected list of top restaurants in Japan and even fewer establishments outside of Japan, allowing him to serve some of the best fish in the world.

While the menu is hyper-seasonal, cornerstones of the service include shari (sushi rice), seasoned with a mix of three vinegars favoring acidity over sweetness, and Chef Yoshida’s perfected proprietary nigiri soy sauce. The nori (seaweed), which is harvested from the Ariake Sea, is considered among the best in Japan.

 Yoshino, Sushi, NYC, Mackerel

Yoshino, Sushi, NYC, Mackerel w Charcoal

Yoshino, Sushi, NYC, Mackerel w Chef

Yoshino, Sushi, NYC, Mackerel Prepared

A mainstay among the courses is Saba Oshi Zushi, cured mackerel pressed to a tightly packed bed of rice and torched with a handheld binchotan charcoal grill. It is cut into individual pieces and served with a sheet of nori. Chef Yoshida is also known for serving three cuts of wild Bluefin tuna at each service: Akami, lean tuna; Chutoro, medium fatty tuna; and Otoro, fatty tuna. Toyosu Fish Market’s highest auction priced Wild Bluefin Tuna from Oma, which rarely ever leaves Japan, makes regular appearances at Yoshino.

Yoshino, Sushi, NYC, Sushi Bar

Chef Yoshida’s counter, which seats ten for two seatings daily, is equally as exciting. Designed for comfort, the chairs are handmade in the mountain village of Yoshino in the Hida Tskayama region. The wood used also has history, sourced from trees that at at least three centuries old. The counter itself is well over 300 years old. Other furnishing feature “kumiko,” a style of woodworking that relies on interlocking pieces of wood.

Yoshino, Sushi, NYC, Sushi Bar w Chef

Even Chef Yoshida’s whites are custom made by famed Japanese designer Takeshi Wakabayashi. His knives are forged and sharpened by Katsumi Sakashita, a master craftsman from the Saga Prefecture, the southwestern most part of Japan’s main islands.

Yoshino is truly special, and if the Times’ is right, worthy of the price of admission.

 

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