From fashionable ramen joints to upscale sushi bars, here’s a handpicked selection of Japanese restaurants in New York.
People watch as you feast at Sushi Nakazawa, a chichi counter serving Daisuke Nakazawa’s divine omakase. The 20-course tasting menu is a culinary journey using flip-fresh ingredients sourced from across the globe. Enjoy the likes of soy marinated king salmon, longtail tuna and Japanese sea urchin, but note that the menu depends on the catch of the day.
The Manhattan outpost of this Brooklyn-born chain, Sushi Katsuei is another omakase option in a sparsely hip dining room. Purse-friendly sashimi and sushi menus make this a good lunchtime spot; come dinner, the kitchen dishes out larger plates like salmon teriyaki and chicken katsu.
With a star turn on Netflix’s The Chef’s Table, Ivan Ramen is as famous for its straight-talking owner Ivan as it is for the bowls of complex, delicious noodle soup. The colourful dining room and quirky vibe add to the atmos, but it’s the innovative menu that really draws the crowds. Triple pork garlic mazemen and chicken paitan standout, as does the impressive craft beer selection.
So good is the Japan-trained Jewish chef that his second outpost Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop is also worthy of a mention. Located in Gotham West Market, this simple counter is popular with lunching worker bees, and although you’ll have to line up, the wait is rarely long. Opt for a Big Apple take on traditional Asian steamed buns (with pastrami, spiced mustard and daikon slaw) or a hearty bowl of their signature rye-noodle ramen.
Meanwhile, over in Flatiron, sleek n’ concrete Sugarfish is maestro Kazunori Nozawa-san’s east side venture, and like the LA original, continues to set pace with its superb raw cuts. Offering more than just sushi – with a wow-factor sake menu too – dining here makes for a heady evening out. If in doubt of what to order, simply follow the Nozawa mantra: “don’t think, just eat!”
Sushi Nakazawa / 23 Commerce St / +1 212 924 2212 / lunch & dinner daily / sushinakazawa.com
Sushi Katsuei / 357 6th Ave / +1 212 462 0039 / 5pm-10pm Mon-Thu, 4.30pm-10pm Fri, 12pm-3pm & 4.30pm-9.30pm Sat-Sun / sushikatsuei.com
Ivan Ramen / 25 Clinton St / +1 646 678 3859 / 12.30pm-10pm Sun-Thu, until 11pm Fri-Sat / www.ivanramen.com
Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop / 600 11th Ave / +1 212 582 7942 / 11am-10pm Sun-Thu, until 11pm Fri-Sat / www.ivanramen.com
Sugarfish Flatiron / 33 E 20th St / +1 347 705 8100 / lunch and dinner daily / sugarfishsushi.com/nyc-flatiron/