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  • [soft upbeat music]

  • Herrine Ro: New York City boasts of many

  • world-famous sushi restaurants.

  • It's home to chefs whose dedication and passion

  • rival those in Japan.

  • We ordered from three famous sushi restaurants

  • to find which omakase is best in town.

  • Welcome back to "Best in Town."

  • This season, I'm super excited to bring back

  • my close friend and a member of my small social circle

  • during this pandemic, Emily Christian.

  • Emily Christian: Yay, I'm so excited to be here!

  • Herrine and I have done our research,

  • and we have selected three popular

  • omakase spots in New York,

  • which are relatively affordable,

  • since places in the city have omakase for, like,

  • $800 a person.

  • Herrine: Yeah, so "relative" is the key word here,

  • but we will see you at the first stop.

  • [soft jazz music]

  • Emily: Our first stop is Sushi Katsuei.

  • Their Park Slope location

  • is considered one of the best sushi spots in Brooklyn,

  • and the West Village location that we're at now

  • is equally as popular.

  • Herrine: They are known for their traditional-style omakase

  • that features a variety of high-quality fish.

  • We'll see you there.

  • Aung Ko Win: Face mask off? OK.

  • I started making sushi 23 years ago in Japan.

  • We specialize in, like,

  • some part in Edomae sushi

  • and some part in authentic sushi.

  • Edomae is a time period.

  • That time period is only cured fish.

  • And also with a little bit of a garnishing.

  • Not the fusion. We don't go to the fusions, no.

  • Fusion is not authentic,

  • and we don't want to use the ingredient

  • besides the Japanese ingredients.

  • The omakase's change depends on the fish

  • coming from the Toyosu Market.

  • Depends on the seasonal items.

  • The fishes that we use are 90% from Japan.

  • The fish is from Tsukiji, Toyosu Market.

  • Now we get shipment from Japan.

  • Four days we can get shipment.

  • Before we get everyday shipment.

  • For example, like, a sea urchin from Hokkaido,

  • then the anago we have coming from the Tokyo Bay.

  • [soft upbeat music]

  • The one that you have here we call open omakase.

  • Open mean, like, no limited.

  • [soft upbeat music]

  • We set the first like a starter,

  • like three kinds of sashimi and 12 pieces of sushi.

  • Herrine: Everything we've tasted so far,

  • super fresh, delicate, and, like, held back.

  • And I think the holding back takes

  • a lot more skill to execute than, like,

  • throwing a bunch of things on it, you know?

  • Emily: Because just the raw flavors really need to shock.

  • You know, you have to, like,

  • have really, really, really good fish

  • to be able to not add too much for it

  • and for it to have that complexity of flavor

  • that it is having already.

  • Since the omakase has multiple pieces,

  • we'll only be showcasing the chef's favorite,

  • the most surprising, the best overall,

  • and the ikura and the eel

  • because each place has its own take.

  • Herrine: I'm assuming that we will eat with our hands

  • and not chopsticks.

  • Aung: It's also the preference too.

  • Eating with hands more delicious.

  • Emily: Just, like, gets the food to your face faster,

  • and that's something I can really get behind.

  • Herrine: Yeah, that too.

  • And we've washed our hands.

  • Emily: Yes. Herrine: Wash your hands.

  • Of the 12 pieces, which one's your current favorite?

  • Aung: Marinated bluefin tuna.

  • Emily: Oh, this one's the specialty?

  • Aung: Yes, this is one of the

  • traditional item of the sushi.

  • Herrine: Would you say that this is like a

  • quintessential example of what Edomae

  • type of sushi is? Aung: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

  • Herrine: At other sushi restaurants

  • when you get lean tuna like this,

  • it's very irony,

  • and it doesn't have other taste outside of that.

  • This was very rich. Emily: Rich, yes.

  • Herrine: And you didn't get that irony taste.

  • Emily: Mm-hmm. It had such a savory flavor.

  • It's a really deep flavor.

  • You know, when you were eating, it was like,

  • like this, like it was like this in my mouth.

  • Herrine: We're having a lot of gestures today.

  • Emily: Well, sometimes it's just, like,

  • there are no words to describe the flavor of this.

  • The rice, when you eat it, you can taste

  • each individual grain of rice in your mouth.

  • Herrine: That's exactly what I wanted to say!

  • Emily: Wow.

  • Each little added topping is so small.

  • He put, like, two drops of something

  • or one sprig of something, and yet,

  • when you eat it, it tastes like this explosion of flavor.

  • Herrine: That's a really good point.

  • It looks so small,

  • but it really explodes in your mouth.

  • Emily: Yeah.

  • Herrine, I think we're about to have some more mackerel.

  • Aung: Nama saba. Fresh mackerel from southern part of Japan.

  • Herrine: Thank you.

  • Aung: Topping with miso vinegar and sesame seed.

  • Emily: Awesome, thank you.

  • Aung: The water is getting cold,

  • so our mackerel has a more, like,

  • fatty and richer in taste.

  • I'll be surprised if you don't care for that mackerel.

  • Herrine: I normally don't like mackerel

  • because of that, like, scent.

  • How is it that yours doesn't have that scent?

  • Like, why am I enjoying --

  • Emily: How have you done it? Herrine: Yeah.

  • Aung: Mackerel's freshness is important.

  • Shiny fish goes bad very fast.

  • Emily: This had none of that. Herrine: This is the first

  • and only time that I enjoyed mackerel.

  • And I don't think it was because they hid the scent,

  • I think it was just, like,

  • paired with flavors

  • that really complemented it. Emily: Yeah. Absolutely.

  • Herrine: For me, that's the biggest shocker.

  • Aung: It's a bluefin fatty tuna.

  • Emily: That is a hearty slab of tuna, too.

  • It's not holding back at all.

  • Herrine: What makes the otoro here special?

  • Aung: I use normally, like, a not very big one.

  • The muscles are not very strong

  • and also more, like, delicate.

  • Herrine: Oh, that's, like,

  • that's richer than butter. Emily: Mm-hmm.

  • My favorite piece is for sure the fatty tuna.

  • Not the fatty tuna, but the fattiest tuna.

  • 'Cause what we ate originally I thought was my favorite,

  • which was just a fatty tuna,

  • and this was as-fatty-as-it-comes tuna,

  • and ooh.

  • Ooh.

  • It was like eating a really good piece of chocolate

  • in the way that it was so decadent and melty.

  • Herrine: The way that he pairs different flavors,

  • it's like you're getting sweet one time

  • and spicy one time

  • and sour one time,

  • so that your mouth is constantly

  • going through a new thing each time.

  • Emily: Going on a little mouth adventure.

  • Herrine: Yes, going on a little mouth adventure.

  • This is the fresh ikura.

  • Aung: Fresh ikura.

  • Fresh ikura, it's the start of season.

  • Fresh ikura is when you open up the salmon belly.

  • Skin is different,

  • and also the texture and skin is different.

  • Herrine: That was a lot.

  • Emily: I was so excited to eat.

  • [both laugh]

  • Herrine: The fish egg membrane,

  • it's, like, so much more soft.

  • Emily: You could press the little, you know...

  • Herrine: Balls. Emily: Eggs

  • up into the roof of your mouth,

  • and they would just kind of delicately explode

  • like a little tiny water balloon, you know?

  • Herrine: Your way with words, man.

  • So, eel is one of those things that you see

  • at every omakase restaurant.

  • Emily: Yeah.

  • Herrine: But every place

  • has its own iteration of this piece.

  • Mm.

  • Emily: You know what it is?

  • It's fluffy.

  • Herrine: Mm-hmm!

  • Has a little bit of a kick.

  • Emily: And just like a little cloud,

  • like a little eel cloud.

  • And that was just different, 'cause I usually --

  • [both laugh] My word choice.

  • I liked that you could taste the eel and not just the sauce.

  • Oftentimes when I'm eating eel,

  • I'm just tasting the sauce.

  • Herrine: Yeah, and when you go to places,

  • a lot of the times,

  • eel is, like, completely drenched in sauce.

  • Emily: Right. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah.

  • Herrine: Just a little light little drizzle.

  • Emily: It was perfect. Again, the balance.

  • Herrine: The balance.

  • Emily: The balance is what makes it so good.

  • Herrine: I would say that

  • without all the bells and whistles,

  • this tasted the most pure.

  • Compared to the other two places that we're going to,

  • this will be the most traditional way

  • we will experience omakase.

  • Emily: From what I can tell, I love it.

  • Herrine: Thank you for making this experience so great.

  • Emily: It was delicious. Thank you.

  • Aung: Thank you for coming.

  • Emily: So, our next stop is Sushi by M.

  • Herrine: And we will be trying their omakase.

  • Emily: And what makes this place so special?

  • Herrine: So, Chef Tim is known for using, like,

  • a modern twist to his traditional omakase,

  • and he has a lot of fun with his diners.

  • Emily: Ooh, I'm excited to figure out what that means.

  • Herrine: Let's go do it.

  • [soft upbeat music]

  • Tim Lin: I have been a chef 25 years already, so.

  • Even though I look so young though.

  • I learned sushi while I was in high school over here,

  • from my sushi master.

  • So, he's from Japan, and he taught me everything.

  • I know what kind of foods, what kind of evening

  • people like in this country.

  • 70% is from Japan.

  • I do the traditional omakase,

  • but I still want to find out my own style.

  • My style, I'm like slow casual.

  • We talk, and I serve you piece by piece,

  • and we talk, we drink.

  • Both: Yes, cheers, cheers.

  • Yeah

  • Rock your body

  • Oh, yeah, yeah

  • So, my sushi master told me that

  • people spend money on the sushi

  • and that you have responsibility to people, actually.

  • So I really want people stay here, have fun,

  • and have good sushi. That's it.

  • Tim: You're gonna have a good time here.

  • Emily: We are gonna have, I can feel it already.

  • Tim: I promise.

  • Emily: We've been having a good time.

  • Herrine: We have been having a good time.

  • We've been having a grand old time.

  • Tim: Before I start making the omakase for you guys,

  • one shot. Emily: Cheers.

  • Herrine: Cheers.

  • Oh, we're doing the whole thing, OK.

  • Tim: Only the one shot though.

  • Emily: You said shot and I was,

  • I didn't register until halfway through.

  • Tim: I prefer people pick up

  • and get a piece <