We were in search of a good sushi restaurant in New York City and came across pretty positive reviews of one Jewel Bako online. This casual yet elegant restaurant brands itself as serving ‘high-end’ omakase and sushi.
If I were to be brutally honest, I’m not quite sure why they received a Michelin star.
Overall: ★★★☆☆ Fresh fish, but rough around the edges.
We weren’t able to get a sushi counter seat despite our reservation and were shown to tables instead. Still, I decided to go with the Sashimi Omakase while Sean went with the Sushi Omakase option. Both added up to roughly USD$11o each.
The sushi arrived on a platter and there was a good variety of fish including barracuda, flounder, sea eel, red snapper and even a negitoro uni roll. The fish was fresh, but the rice average at best, being a little low on flavour.
Here’s my sashimi platter. Again, there were generous helpings of scallops, squid, botan shrimp, both chutoro and otoro.
Overall, while the fish was fresh, there was a certain lack of finesse when it came to service. We were served miso soup before our meal of raw fish arrived, the soy sauce and wasabi tasted like they were bought in a supermarket. For the price point (and that star), I was expecting something slightly more than just standard slices of sashimi arranged on a plate. There wasn’t anything entirely original or exceptional about the food here.
A quick peep at the counter revealed the chef on duty to be pretty young, probably in his twenties. And service was a little sloppy as it got more crowded later in the evening. Also, it got really noisy as the diners started drinking. And it was no longer the cosy, elegant restaurant we started the evening out at.
Plus, we still weren’t exactly full and had to order another roll to fill us up. Even that was pretty average.
If you’re just looking for quality fish, this will satisfy you. But for the same price, I’d recommend you take your money elsewhere like Kura or even Tanoshi Sushi and Sake Bar for better sushi and service.