Sushi of Gari


402 East 78th Street, New York (btw 1st Ave and York Ave)

Phone: 212-517-5340

The art of sushi making is such a traditional one that few classically trained sushi chefs (the purists) dare to stray away from its techniques, but not Masatoshi "Gari" Sugio. Gari has been creating avant-garde sushi at his restaurant (he calls it Avan Gardo Japanese Cuisine on his website), Sushi of Gari, in New York since 1997, as part of his attempt to adapt to his American customers’ taste. Among his more famous creations: salmon sushi with onion cream and roasted tomato, marinated tuna sushi with tofu mayo, grilled toro with jalapeno sauce etc. There are also the use of unusual sushi ingredients such as pine nuts, arugula, jalapeno and fried lotus root. You can be sure that each piece of sushi you eat is packed with flavors that complements the fresh fish perfectly, delivering enormous satisfaction and a happy fuzzy feeling after eating it. Aside from that, you can see techniques used such as torching of some of the raw ingredients or a strong sauce (ie: uni/sea-urchin sauce) to mask the aroma of raw-ness. Even the knife skills are used to alter the sensory perception of the texture of the underlying commodity. Sushi of Gari tries very hard to make its sushi accessible to people of different cultural sensitivities in food.

It was our first time at Sushi of Gari after a long time prodding from our regular yaokui buddies (CP and WY), so we went with their famous omakase and it turned out to be quite an eye opener. Our sushi chef Tomo san (who looks eerily familiar to another friend of ours, HJ), is a quiet man, but very skillful in creating sushi. Watching him make the sushi with the assortment of pre-prepared sauce bottles and his delicate and high precision knife skills was an enjoyable experience. There’s definitely a big contrast between the sushi at Sushi of Gari and Sushi Yasuda. One’s avant-garde while the other is traditional. We like the traditional sushi a lot but we also adore the "avan gardo" sushi at Sushi of Gari. They are spreading their experimentations and sushi evolution through their 2 other locations at Sushi of Gari 46 and Gari (NYC West). There's even a location in Tokyo's Minami Aoyama. As an option, you can try Sushi Seki, which is from the school of Gari (Chef Seki worked with Chef Masatoshi Gari previously). We had our fix at the original "headquarters" of the Sushi of Gari empire at the Upper East side. Although very pricey, Sushi of Gari is definitely a must try for any sushi lovers out there.

20 pieces of heavenly sushi from chef's omakase (click on pic for full size)
clockwise from top left: red snapper with arugula salad and fried lotus root, torched cod fish, seared salmon, yellowtail (a type of hamachi) with jalapeno sauce, tuna (maguro) with tofu mayo, shabu-shabu snow crab

clockwise from top left: sliced big clams in basil sauce, toro diced with yellow pickled radish, torched squid (ika) and uni sauce, diced tuna (maguro) with seaweed (nori) tempura, salmon with onion sauce and torched tomato, sweet shrimp (ama-ebi) ceviche

clockwise from top left: fried oysters, egg (tamago), grilled fatty tuna (toro), diced sea eel with avocado, lobster, torched uni, fresh kumamoto oyster, mackerel with pickled turnip and shisho leaf

Aside from the sushi, the bread pudding with caramelized banana and vanilla ice cream at Sushi of Gari is not to be missed!

Sushi of Gari on Urbanspoon


chee said...

YO guys. This place rocks, ya? Look at those pictures!!!!I am going back this weekend! Pls dun tell WY, wanna surprise her!

Sarah and Gan said...

yea the sushi there was awesome! hey, you just hope that WY don't see my posting before you surprise her!

Heavenly Housewife said...

I have never eaten sushi yet, but they definitely look beautiful. Martha Stewart talks about this place alot, I know its one of her favorites :)

nanette said...

YH and I just went this past weekend and left with very happy mouths and stomachs. The only problem with sitting at the bar is that you keep seeing new things that you want to try!

Sarah and Gan said...

yea i agree! I'll have to sit at the table instead of the sushi bar the next time too!

Aegistance said...

I was there on my last day in NYC, and got the honor to be there when they made the prep. The guy I talked to said that the omakase was special because of the sauces, He said they make it look fancy. But by just watching them doing the prep I knew he was just braggin :P The sushi is amazing here.

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