It’s not often we’ll go out to eat without snapping photos of our meal, but this night out was different. We headed on a cold and rainy night to Sushi Nakazawa, a sushi bar with a unique story. Some of you might be familiar with the documentary by David Gelb, Jiro Dreams of Sushi. You may have noticed a kindly faced apprentice mastering the art of the tamago (egg custard), meet Daisuke Nakazawa who has since been tempted away to open his very own New York restaurant.
What makes Jiro’s restaurant special, and the documentary such a hit was his unwavering devotion to his craft, it earnt him three Michelin stars and the undisputed title of the worlds best sushi. Like Jiro, Nakazawa is shonkunin; that is, defined by the mastery of his craft and the use of it for the betterment of society.
Nakazawa serves only the finest sushi in a twenty course selection, there’s no additional seasoning, no soy sauce or wasabi and the sushi is to be eaten in a single bite. So why no photos? Because this is sushi which must be properly appreciated by eating as soon as possible, to delay is to doubt the careful preparation of the chef to serve your sushi to you at the perfect moment.
Before starting the meal the servers demonstrate what seasoning has been used in making the sushi, politely insisting that additional changes would not be needed. The menu is known as omakase, indicating that the sushi is selected by the chef. This is how Nakazawa is sharing his skills with the world. Such a meal can be an unusual experience for a customer who is used to dictating their own tastes but it’s about accepting the wisdom of your chef
Nakazawa did not disappoint, our sushi was a work of art. A medley of flavours and combinations that flowed from one to the next. A selection of tuna or salmon, treated slightly differently could have startlingly different flavours, each a moment to be savoured. The matched wine (you could also choose matched sake) served only to enhance the sushi, with even a red chosen by the someliar combining perfectly, surprising given how subtle and delicate the fish was.
This is a meal one must experience for themselves and we could find nothing to fault in the food or service. This is a once in a lifetime experience and well worth the expense and preparation to get a booking. We recommend booking at the very latest a month in advance to avoided disappointment – but two months out is probably more realistic.
Omakase is 20 courses of sushi nigiri, $120 in the dining room and $150 at the bar. The meal is the same but the experience more intimate.
Matched wine is $90, matched sake is $45.