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Sushi Yasuda, New York

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The business district of Midtown Manhattan is unsurprisingly loaded with Sushi Restaurants. Among those many places, one that stands out and which I first heard of from Luxeat and Chuckeats is Sushi Yasuda. After I had lunch at Bar Masa on my last New York visit 2 years ago, I now felt compelled to give Yasuda a try. So I went there on my own for a late lunch on a monday and luckily it wasn’t a problem to get a seat at the bar right in front of Yasuda-San, a charming and funny person who – I found out during that meal – really knows what he’s doing

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Minimalist table setup, leaving the Sushi at the center of attention

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Maine Sea Urchin vs Alaska Sea Urchin, both deliciously rich as they should be. The latter was a bit more intense and iodine then the Maine one. I saw on Wined and Dined Blog, that Yasuda also serves it with quail egg yolk: how decadently rich must that be? Next time!

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Peace Passage Oyster. it’s slightly sprinkled with salt. It tastes fresh and delicious and is even eleveated by the slightly warm and perfectly cooked rice. This attention to details that are changing everything amazes me, why can’t they do it in Europe?

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2 different Toro qualities. Both rich and with a clean taste, simply perfect!

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Squid, carefully brushed with the right dose of soy sauce and sprinkled with lemon. Here again, the slightly warm and perfectly cooked rice interacts marvelously with the squid.

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Octopus, cooked after Yasudas own recipe, has some bite to it, but isn’t chewy or tough.

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Toro maki

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Hmm, what was this? I think it was some kind of Mackerel..

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Giant clam, he explained is very rarely served in Sushi bars, don’t remember the flavour very well.

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Shirayaki Eel maki after Yasuda’s own recipe. The eel has a sweetness and melts in your mouth among slightly warm rice and crispy seaweed sheet. I rarely had a feeling like this that a maki roll can be a genius composition of taste and texture, as well as temperature. Excellent!

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White king Salmon is intriguing in a good way with an unexpected rich taste for a white fleshed fish, slightly different from the usual salmon flavour, more reminiscent of fatty tuna texture and richness. Yasuda explains that only some 20 fish are imported from Canada to the US per year. Many of the White Salmons in other Sushi restaurants aren’t actually Salmon, he explains. Anway, this was a perfect piece to end my lunch.

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Master Yasuda and his team

Wow, this place left a great impression on me! First, because I felt great since I haven’t had Sushi of that quality in about 2 years – it is completely lacking in Europe. But also the way Yasuda-San treats his customers impressed me. He is completely transparent about his cuisine, repeating untiringly that there isn’t any secret about it. He spends the money where it makes sense: He doesn’t focus on getting the most expensive fish on the table, although his quality is very high standard, he doesn’t grate fresh wasabi root on your plate, being unable to blindly pick the right quality at the Tokyo market through a phone call. But he puts a great focus on details such as the right cooking of the rice, the exact serving temperature, the quality of the nori leaves, the preaparation of the soy sauce (his own) or the seasoning of the sushi which shows his great experience and talent.
Also, I like the atmosphere: it is much more alive and less austere than at Bar Masa for example. And while we’re at it, I wouldn’t be able to say how the Sushi quality compares to Masa, having a 2 year break between the 2 experiences. I definitely had a top notch Sushi lunch at both places. But somehow, seeing how the Sushi is made by an expert in front of you is priceless.

Sushi Yasuda
204 East 43rd Street
New York, NY 10017-4713
(212) 972-1001

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  1. Luxeat (guest) Said,

    Very nice , the two kinds of sea urchin look beautiful..

  2. Mangetsu Izakaya Restaurant, Frankfurt – Japanese Restaurants — Blind Tasting Club – Wine and Dine Blog Said,

    […] way at least, I believe I can somehow tell the difference (I’m pretty sure though I know how real delicious Sushi tastes like!), and luckily a few Japanese friends also helped me with their […]

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