DOMODOMO

DOMODOMO, nestled in the heart of Soho, was New York City’s first hand roll bar when it opened in 2015. The restaurant has a very unassuming appearance on the outside but the inside is a completely different story. The inside is meant to look like a restaurant one might find in a Japanese fishing village with wood accents and a long sushi bar countertop. The result is a warm and inviting space, with lots of natural lighting.

I had met a friend for an early dinner at DOMODOMO on a regular Monday night. They were super accommodating when I asked for a bar seat. They actually have two sushi bars – one in the main dining room and another further in the back. We were seated in the back and had a very quiet, intimate dinner before more people started showing up at around 7pm.

We both opted for the Hand Roll Course ($28), which features an edamame starter and your choice of 5 different hand rolls from their list of hand rolls. There are 5 premium options excluded from the list, including uni and lobster.

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I opted for:

Salmon

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Bay Scallop, which is marinated in Korean style soy

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Unagi, smoked eel with chocolate kabayaki sauce

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Negi Toro

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Blue Crab, with garlic aioli and sautéed onion

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My favorite, by far, was the Bay Scallop in Korean style soy. It was so sweet and flavorful – with a tiny kick of heat. My friend also agreed with me that this was her favorite hand roll of the night. I also quite liked the Blue Crab, which was sweet and very subtle. I did not have a single bad hand roll – but next time I’ll probably not do the course and just get Bay Scallop rolls!

I also slid in a side order of Uni Sushi, which at $12 was kind of pricey, but so worth it. The Uni was so creamy and sweet – like sea butter!

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We finished the night off by splitting the Green Tea Cheese Cake ($7), which was a rather small portion but so good that neither of us could complain.

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Service was attentive and our sushi chefs made sure to pace us accordingly. They never put any hand rolls onto the stone slabs until we had both finished our appetizer and sushi. I’d definitely recommend DOMODOMO – and come back myself for some bay scallop hand rolls!

Sugarfish NY

Sugarfish, a very popular sushi restaurant in LA, has finally landed in NYC! Sugarfish, opened by chef Kazunori Nozawa, prides itself on delivering the classic omakase experience without the traditional omakase price point. Sugarfish also features Chef Nozawa’s signature warm sushi rice, which is a new experience for those of us who are used to the more traditional sushi rice preparations.

In classic NYC-style, the wait times for Sugarfish have been insane. On any given day, for lunch and for dinner, the wait times can go up to 2.5 hours. I came in with a party of 3 on a random Tuesday afternoon and we were quoted a 1.5 hour wait. It was more or less about that time – but there is a waiting area upstairs where the restrooms are that they don’t really advertise.

Once seated, our waiter came over to explain their menu. They’re known for their three omakase menus: the Trust Me ($33), the Trust Me Lite ($23), and the Nozawa Trust Me ($45). Each menu has some of the same basic items, but the two more expensive menus feature a little more extra as the price point goes up. We opted for 2 Trust Me’s – to keep it simple. The “Daily Special” was Large Scallops, which we ended up ordering on the side to try.

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First up was the Organic Edamame, which was served chilled. I actually like chilled edamame since it’s not as mushy as warm edamame. This was a nice opening to our meal!

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Next up was the Tuna Sashimi, which came pre-marinated. I really enjoyed the dish – the sashimi was fresh and the marinate was tangy and sweet at the same time.

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The first two pieces of sushi to arrive was the Albacore and Salmon. The Albacore came pre-sauced, so we were advised not to dip it in sauce sauce. The Albacore practically melted in our mouths – it was so soft and moist. The Salmon, however, was my favorite piece. It’s perhaps because I’ve always been partial to salmon, but boy was it fresh and delicious!

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Our last two pieces of sushi to arrive was the Yellowtail and, since they ran out of Hirame that day, the Sea Bass. The Yellowtail was very tasty – but the highlight of the plate was the Sea Bass. I’ve never had Sea Bass sushi before so this was a real treat. It came pre-sauced with a spicy, tangy sauce that really helped highlight the freshness and clean-taste of the fish.

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Our first hand roll to arrive was the Toro Hand Roll. They recommend that all hand rolls be eaten as soon as they arrive since the warm rice will cause the seaweed to wilt. Definitely be sure to eat it as soon as it arrives because crisp seaweed really adds to the mouth-feel of the roll. The toro was tender and melts in your mouth.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the previous hand roll but was completely blown away by the Blue Crab Hand Roll! The blue crab was moist, fresh, and had just a hint of saltiness. This is definitely my favorite hand roll of the two.

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We finished our meal with our added order of Large Scallop ($7.00). The scallop was super sweet and very fresh – something that’s a common theme at Sugarfish. If you’re a fan of scallops, definitely get yourself an order!

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Service was attentive and sufficient. Due to the fact that all items are served as they are made, sometimes we all didn’t have a particular dish at the same time. This wasn’t a huge issue as they’re meant to be eaten as soon as they’re placed onto the table, but it was a tad awkward to be at a different pace as my other dining partners.

I really liked that gratuity is included in the price of the meal – just like restaurants in Japan! All in all, Sugarfish serves up some really delicious and quality sushi. It’s not the best sushi I’ve had (in NYC and in Japan), but for the price point, it really cannot be beat.

Senya

Both the Boyfriend and I are avid sushi lovers. There’s nothing that makes us happier than a delicious piece of raw fish on perfectly seasoned rice. When it came time to find a spot to have our annual pre-Valentine’s Day dinner (we refuse to eat out on the actual day), I instantly thought of SenYa. Thankfully, SenYa is on OpenTable, so I hopped on over and snagged us a reservation in less than 5 minutes.

We arrived for our 7:00PM reservation on time and were seated right away. The restaurant is pretty small so reservations are definitely needed. A few of the tables were completely empty until about 1.5 hours into our meal – but they refused to seat any walk-ins. In true Japanese style, they would rather have the table ready for when the reserved party arrives, than seat a table, have to rush them for the table back, and make a few extra bucks. I really appreciate this style since it means my table is always ready when I arrive for my reservation!

We opted to share an order of their edamame ($5.00) and their Uni Toast ($18.00) for our appetizers. The Uni Toast was positively delightful! The tiny, mini toasts are topped with uni and marinated amaebi, or sweet shrimp. The result was a blend of sweet and salty. The uni practically melted in our mouths – like true butter of the sea! They come three to an order, so be sure to order two if you have a larger party.

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For our entrées, we opted to order two sushi entrées and split them. The first entrée to arrive was the SenYa Chirashi ($34.00), which features the Chef’s choice of 12 types of assorted sashimi over a bed of sushi rice. The pictures of the Chirashi online are completely deceiving – it’s huge! Unlike Hatsuhana’s Box of Dreams, which has maybe two bites of rice in each bowl, the Chirashi at SenYa has about 5-6 bites of rice with four pieces of fish on top – 2 of each fish. I sincerely think that the Chirashi at SenYa is the better deal. The fish was delicious – I think my favorite was either the slightly seared salmon with black truffle oil or the red snapper.

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Our second entrée was the SenYa Chef Assorted ($32.00), which features the Chef’s choice of 5 pieces of sushi, 8 pieces of sashimi, and a negi toro roll. The presentation was gorgeous! The assortment ranged from your typical yellowtail to more special cuts like otoro. My favorite was a toss-up between the slightly seared salmon sashimi with the black truffle oil or the otoro sushi. Both practically melted in my mouth, they were so fatty and tender.

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For dessert, we opted to split their Water Cake ($5.00) and the Green Tea Cheesecake ($7.00). The Water Cake is served with maple syrup and azuki beans. It’s sort of like a stiffer jello with barely any taste of its own. It really took on the taste of the maple syrup and azuki beans. The Green Tea Cheesecake was really tasty – you can order it with either green tea ice cream or vanilla ice cream. We opted for the green tea ice cream and the two paired very well together. Both weren’t too sweet and resulted in a very nice and simple dessert.

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Service was very attentive throughout dinner. Our empty plates were cleared in a very timely manner. Our waitress would explain every single fish in our entrees – sometimes with where they were from. The uni in the chirashi, for example, was a Maine uni. We were both very pleased and impressed with dinner and cannot wait to return to sample more of their delicious sushi!