You may have heard of Nakazawa from the infamous Jiro Dreams of Sushi documentary on Netflix. He is one of Jiro’s numbered apprentices who has opened his own gig in New York, lucky for us. For those of you who’ve never heard of any of these people Jiro Ono is a Japanese chef who has been proclaimed as THE sushi god by the entire culinary industry. His 10-seat train station restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro has 3 Michelin stars and offers an omakase menu for approximately $280. Daisuke Nakazawa is one of Jiro’s proteges so since I couldn’t make it to Tokyo, I had to go and find out how good Jiro’s teachings really are.
Let me start by talking about the restaurant itself – it is VERY simple with a minimalist design and a black and white interior, reminiscent of a professional kitchen. Yet it is somehow comfortable and intimate. We got a table for two right by the sushi bar – we couldn’t get an actual seat at the bar – that was close enough to be able to intimately watch the chefs prepare all the fish. That alone is a very interesting spectacle – watching enormous fish knives glide skillfully back and forth, preparing delicious sushi, piece after piece.
The sushi was incredible – the 9-course omakase menu was about $80 and was amazingly diverse in both the variety of fish and its preparation, always highlighting the purity of it – simple, clean taste profiles with a focus on craftsmanship, proportion, and harmony. It was the best sushi I’ve ever had. Keep in mind, I have not been to Japan yet.
To go along with the sushi, Nakazawa has an incredible sake menu which pairs amazingly with the fish. I haven’t been able to find the sake I had there in stores anywhere. You have the choice of ordering the pairing or a single glass to taste.
Another aspect of the experience I really enjoyed was having the option to eat with my hands. The way they set up the table included a folded up wet napkin that you dab your fingers on between courses, eliminating the need to use utensils and ensuring the perfect hand-to-mouth sushi experience.
Simple, incredibly delicious, and with a well-paced service, Sushi Nakazawa has landed safely on my New York city sushi favorites list.