Omakase: no-menu sushi - New York News

Omakase: no-menu sushi

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

When you sit down at the sushi bar at 15 East in Union Square there's one thing you won't find: a menu. That's because the chef's decide what you'll be eating. It's called omakase, a Japanese phrase that means "I'll leave it to you." Basically, it means the chef decides what's for dinner.

"Omakase means like the customer trusts the chef," Chef Masato Shimizu said. "And maybe kind of surprise, exciting."

Shimizu is the executive chef at 15 East. Night after night, he creates several innovative courses made of all kinds of fish, everything from tuna to octopus.

"Our octopus is very soft... very tender," he said.

This Michelin-starred restaurant has just nine sushi bar seats. Reservations for them are taken weeks in advance. The omakase menu starts at $120 per person.

Peter Stern has had it dozens of times.

"You're going to eat sushi, and the chef knows what is best," Stern said. "So why not let him choose?"

Daniel Gritzer from Food and Wine magazine said omakase menus are not necessarily a new idea but they're growing in popularity.

At a lot of these omkase restaurants because it is a chef's table there are very few seats so especially when demand is high is really hard to get it in," he said.

Like New York Sushi Ko, an intimate spot that opened six months ago on the Lower East Side.

"We only have 10 seats here," Chef John Daley said. "I like to create an intimate experience between the diner and myself. I can talk to everybody in the room."

Chef John Daley's restaurant has no a la carte menu. He dreams up the menu every day.

"If you're willing to participate in an omakase dining experience you are willing to put your trust, your evening in the chef's hands," he said.

That being said omakase may not be for everyone. But some say the element of surprise only adds to the meal. So if you're in the mood to take an adventure without ever leaving the sushi bar omakase may be for you.

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