Sushi Yasuda: Details Make Perfection

I was fortunate to go to Sushi Yasuda for lunch with my family for my dad's birthday. While I'm excited to bombard you with sushi pictures, I'm also looking forward to sharing more about the restaurant and its background. The place was founded in 1999 by Scott Rosenberg (sushi fanatic and partner), Naomichi Yasuda (partner and sushi maker), and Shige Akimoto (partner and manager). In 2011, Yasuda left Sushi Yasuda in the hands of his successors, Tatusya Sekiguchi and Misuru Tamura. From day 1, their goal has been to serve the best traditional sushi in the world. They focus on quality rather than glamour and excess. If you look at their menu, you'll see that they serve fish that most sushi places don't bother getting. 

Sushi makers and fanatics know that the most important part about sushi is the vinegared rice. Sushi Yasuda uses both Japanese short and medium grain rice along with Japanese red and white rice vinegars. They also use Japanese sea salt and a little bit of sugar. The water used in the rice is purified with bincho-tan, or Japanese charcoal. Sushi Yasuda imports most of their fish from Japan. The fish are selected one by one based on freshness, size, and "energy". Each variety of fish is stored in a separate box with different methods of refrigeration and storage for the most ideal preservation. 

If you sit at the sushi bar, the chefs will somehow be able to tailor your sushi to your energy levels, moods, and even the size and shape of your mouth. I don't know exactly how that works. The chefs try to gauge how adventurous or conservative your sushi tastes are and then try to match it with corresponding types of sushi.


FUN FACT: Martha Stewart loves this place so you might actually see her there if you go.


Chirashi at Sushi Yasuda
Chirashi
Time to talk about our experience and the food. There was a crazy situation that happened before we were seated. I'll leave that at the end if you want to read it. My dad got the chirashi, not the chirashi ume that comes as a prix fixe. A chirashi is basically a big bowl of vinagared rice with a variety of fish and vegetables. The word "chirashi" means "scattered" and it describes the dish pretty well. Sushi Yasuda's chirashi looked decent. It comes with tamago, salmon, tuna, roe, and some random vegetables. It's pretty much the same as your average chirashi but, of course, the quality is much higher. 

Sushi Matsu at Sushi Yasuda
Sushi Matsu
Steph and I ordered the sushi matsu. You get 12 pieces of sushi and a half roll with your choice of fish. The waitress gave us a sheet of paper with all the types of fish we could choose from. Some of the fish were marked as chef recommended. I think it's because those particular fish were more fresh or properly aged that day. The ones that stood out to me were the yellowtail, white king salmon roll, and the akami (tuna). The yellowtail was really soft and buttery but it still had a good distinct flavor. The white king salmon was new to me. It was less salmony, more buttery, and more silky than regular salmon. 

Jack Mackerel at Sushi Yasuda
Jack Mackerel
The Jack Mackerel was really amazing. We liked it so much that we ordered another 6 pieces. The fish didn't have that unpleasant fishy taste at all. It's very firm and savory. The texture is similar to that of tuna. It is perfectly oily and salty. The flavor is very mild and light but still present. Overall, the Jack Mackerel sushi was very balanced and delicious. 

We reserved about three weeks in advance. Since we were a party of nine, we decided to split up our group (3 at the sushi table and 6 in the dining area). We made two separate reservations for two different families. On the day of our reservation, we called to confirm. Everything was ready. When we got to the restaurant and asked for our two reservations, the receptionist had crossed off our reservation for three saying that they "cannot take separate reservations for the same group". Meanwhile, he goes ahead and gives our table to someone else. One of the apologetic hosts tried helping us but they said everything was now fully booked. You would understand that we were pretty frustrated as it was my dad's birthday and they were telling us that they couldn't honor our reservation. As we were about to leave, Shige came to the rescue. He said, "Sorry for the misunderstanding. Is it okay if we seat all of you in our dining table?". We agreed and we were so thankful. Since our experience, I've read a lot of bad reviews regarding their rude receptionist on Yelp and MenuPages. His attitude was unacceptable and inhospitable. NOT COOL.

Overall, I will come back to sit at the sushi table to get the whole experience. I appreciate how they don't accept tips. And, I also want to try the omakase. 


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Information:
204 E 43rd St
New YorkNY 10017
(212) 972-1001
Yelp
Website

Other Miscellaneous Pictures:


Assorted Sushi
Steph's Sushi Matsu
Tatusya Sekiguchi (Left)
Ebi Maccha-Age: flash fried prawns with green tea powder


Sub-par Chawanmushi. Weird consistency with bubbles. 



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