Review: Omakase

SASHIMI

SASHIMI

SASHIMI

SASHIMI

SALMON

SALMON

SQUID NIGIRI

SQUID NIGIRI

KAMASU NIGIRI

KAMASU NIGIRI

UNI CHAWANMUSHI

UNI CHAWANMUSHI

CHEF JACKSON YU

CHEF JACKSON YU

I had the privilege of dining at the Michelin-starred Omakase last week, where I enjoyed some of the best sushi of my life.

For those of you unacquainted with the “omakase” concept, it’s a fixed menu consisting of dishes selected by the chef. At Omakase, they have two omakase options: $150 or $200, plus an additional $80 per person for sake pairing.

We opted for the $150 dinner, which comes with 2 appetizers, 1 sashimi, 10 pieces of nigiri, and 1 owan – more than enough food even if you starved yourself the whole day in anticipation of this meal (yup, guilty).

I knew we were in for quite the treat the moment I stepped through the door. The interior was refined and intimate, with a total of just 14 seats. Of course request to sit at the sushi counter – you’ll have a completely different experience than if you’re relegated to one of the tables by the bamboo window treatments (which, while pretty, will deprive you of the up-close view of the talented head chef Jackson Yu’s knife skills).

Chef Yu was a marvel to watch, and incredibly attentive and friendly to boot. He explained how everything was made/prepped in-house, including the special soy sauce, baby ginger (different from the usual pickled ginger you get at other sushi restaurants), and fresh wasabi. I’ve only enjoyed fresh wasabi once before (in Beijing, at Bei in the Opposite House) and it’s hard to go back to the preservative-laden stuff. Here, you can watch them ground the wasabi root into paste right in front of you.

But of course the star of the show is the fish. The fish is flown in three times a week from Tokyo's renowned Tsukiji Market (the largest fish market in the world) to ensure freshness and quality. You know other places that inadvertently mask the flavor of the fish with other ingredients? That would NEVER happen here.

Every piece of nigiri melted in my mouth. I can’t even remember all the types of fish I ate, but I was impressed by the variety, which ranged from toro to kamasu (barracuda) to saba to monkfish. The jack mackerel was sliced beautifully (the silver colors were unreal), and the uni in every form was absurdly good, especially the uni chawanmushi (sea urchin in steamed egg dish).

No extra soy sauce or wasabi was ever needed, and I was in love with their rice, which is actually timed to cook depending on the time of your reservation. I could eat it on its own, it was so good – but it was also the perfect complement to the fish.

To top it all off, the dishware (all custom-made by Japanese artisans) is gorgeous, the staff is incredibly sweet and professional, and you get a glass of complementary sake upon your arrival.

If I could afford it, I’d try and dine here on a regular basis. Since I can’t, I want all of you to enjoy yourselves as much as I did. Book a reservation here the next time there’s a special occasion, and tell Chef Yu that Tiffany Wang sent you ;-) Happy eating, everyone!! x

Omakase. 665 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94103.