I was long overdue for an omakase. I’ve heard of Ushiwakamaru many times, but never had a chance to try it. It’s original Greenwich Village closed and it is now located in Chelsea. It was a Saturday night and all I wanted was a sushi fix. I was able to make a reservation for the sushi bar just a few days earlier.
I walked into a fairly bright dining room with around 12 tables and a long sushi bar. The hostess checks my coat and leads me to my seat.
I was seated at the end of the sushi bar. The bar was full and within an hour all the tables were occupied.
I was in the mood for some sake and the nice waitress offered some suggestions. I wanted one that was not too dry, but not too sweet. I ordered a carafe and the waitress came back with a selection of cups to choose from. Very cute. The sake was nice and mild.
I already knew I wanted the sushi omakase. They offer a 14-piece one for $140 and a 20-piece for $200. I went with the 14-piece and would add pieces later if needed.
A small dish of carrots, mushrooms, and what seemed to be radish started off the omakase. Just a few bites to warm you up.
The appetizer was next. It consisted of 3 different items.
From left to right: Yam cake with miso sauce, tuna and scallions on an endive leaf, and Japanese eggplant.
The appetizers were pretty good and I was more than ready for the sushi!
A plate is placed down in front of me with some ginger and freshly grated wasabi.
The sushi chef started slicing up the fish for the nigiri.
The first piece was Red Snapper with sea salt. The small pinch of sea salt brought out the flavor of the mild fish.
This was followed by Wild Yellowtail. It was a delicious melt-in-your-mouth piece of yellowtail! A memorable piece!
The Japanese Barracuda was next. It made for a firmer bite and had a slight char flavor due to the quick sear of the blow torch.
The Wild King Salmon was slightly torched. It was so soft and buttery. It was very good! Salmon will always remain a favorite.
Next was a piece I don’t see that often, but have had before. The Needlefish is pretty mild and topped with scallions. The chef made sure to say what each piece was when placing it on the plate and never minded repeating himself.
A nice small mound of King Crab followed and it was delicious. So simple and very flavorful.
The Striped Jack was yummy. It reminded me of the Red Snapper. It is also a pretty mild fish and it seemed to have a bit of a ginger sauce on it?
The chef torches the next pieces for me and a couple of people sitting nearby.
I usually don’t know what to expect when a piece of clam is served. I have found that it can be a bit too hard for my liking or pretty soft and delicious. This one made the cut!
I love Otoro. I think charring it is a waste of such a delicious piece of fatty tuna, but the charred flavor worked really well with the distinct taste of the truffle salt. It was a very savory bite.
I’m a huge fan of Uni, especially the type from Japan. It seems to be the sweetest variety.
This was probably my least favorite piece of the night. I’m glad I got to try some Cod Fish Roe because I don’t see it all the time, but it was a bit too salty for me. This also happened to be the last piece of the omakase. The chef asked if I would like anything else. Yes, please!
I told him I wanted two more pieces, his choice. He smiled and nodded his head.
I recognized the following piece. It was definitely Abalone. I was not sure what it was topped with and the chef explained it was the liver. Ah, now that made it different! Abalone can be pretty firm and slightly crunchy when you bite into it. I enjoyed this piece though.
Okay. so I still wanted one more piece. I probably should have just gone with the 20-piece omakase, but the 17 pieces ended up to be perfect.
I requested the piece this time and asked for Chutoro.
The medium fatty tuna was delicious! It was soft and melted in my mouth. It was a great way to end the omakase and I was fully satisfied.
I almost forgot that I had still had miso soup on the way. The waitress asks if you prefer it before or after your omakase.
It was a dark miso soup with Nameko mushrooms and cubes of tofu. I believe you’re typically given a seafood one, but due to my shrimp allergy I was given this one. It was good.
I finished the soup and was handed a small dessert menu. I was about to skip it, but saw that they had Black Sesame Ice Cream. Yep.
It was so good. Creamy and still refreshing on a chilly night. The black sesame seeds gave it a nice nutty flavor. It almost tasted like peanut butter.
I’m glad I finally made it to Ushiwakamaru. The omakase was delicious and they offer fish you do not see very often. The service was excellent and everybody was very nice. The price was just right even after ordering a few extra pieces, dessert, and a carafe of sake. I would definitely come back.
362 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011