Review: Tanoshi Sushi Sake Bar, NYC


Prepare yourself for some major sushi porn. This is, in my opinion, one of New York City’s best-kept secrets. For a small, hole-in-the-wall 10-seater sushi bar with absolutely no pretences, this really wowed us both. This was an even better meal than the 1 Michelin-starred Jewel Bako. And here’s why.

Overall: ★★★★1/2 No bullshit. Just top quality sushi with premium ingredients.
Price: $$$


Paying no heed to fancy decor or stuffy service, Tanoshi almost seems to know that its sushi can speak for itself. The rest of it is moot. It takes pride in preparing and curing its fish in the Edomae-style. This means combining vinegared rice with various raw seafood toppings,prepared with techniques like simmering in broth, or marinating with vinegar and salt.

Here’s the Fluke with light sauce.


Next, the deep sea Sea Bream with salt.


And then, a lightly-blanched Big Eye Tuna with yuzu and light sauce.


Each piece is carefully sliced, seasoned and accompanied with flavours and ingredients that bring out only the best in the flavour of the original fresh fish.

Next up, the Barracuda with minced ginger.


I was particularly impressed with the way the rice was seasoned. Cooked to just the right amount of polished softness, it was seasoned with a delicious amount of vinegar.

This Korean Fluke came with Shiso Plum which gave it a beautiful tart edge which brought out the sweetness of the white fish.


I’d never had Red Snapper or Tai flavoured with marinated sakura leaf. This was  definitely something unique.


The fish was served at room temperature, while the rice at body temperature which is slightly warmer than the fish. Which reminds me of how Hashida in Singapore serves it. Perfection.

This is the Spanish Mackerel or Aji topped with ginger.


Mackerel is always one of my favourites because of its robust and unique umami flavour.

Then came this one with sliced fresh sweet hotate or Scallop.


And who could resist a simple but heavenly Uni Gunkan?


This Sea Eel or Anago was also impressive. With a soft but not mushy melt-in-your-mouth texture and a light sweet sauce, this was something special.


And finally, we ended off with some Toro Maki which was absolutely delicious. Again the quality of the rice really shone through.


Now, although we were technically done with our omakase, we still couldn’t get enough of the sushi! We ordered an additional Uni Ikura Gunkan – sea urchin with salmon roe.


And this beauty — the Botan Uni Gunkan, which is a Botan shrimp and sea urchin.


Then, we were finally satisfied and slurped down a hot bowl of miso soup with relish!

I highly recommend this place. You really get what you pay for and rest assured you will come away satisfied and knowing you got the best in premium ingredients and dedication to each piece you put in your mouth. If you love your sake, there’s good news! You can BYOB with no additional charge. There is also a sake store just across the street selling a good variety at very reasonable prices. So, if you’re ever in New York, make that trip down to the Upper East Side for an unforgettable omakase experience.

Tanoshi Sushi Sake Bar
Address: 1372 York Ave, New York, NY 10021, USA

Hours: 6-10.30PM


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