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Photo of Ushiwakamaru in New York, NY, US
Photo of Ushiwakamaru in New York, NY, US
Photo of Ushiwakamaru in New York, NY, US
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Japanese Restaurant

sushi • omakase • neighborhood

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Ushiwakamaru has 22 Tips

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  • Photo of Brian Boerman
    4 years ago
  • Photo of Eater
    4 years ago
    It's constantly busy, but you should be able to make a reservation with a few hours notice. The restaurant offers an omakase as well as a la carte sushi, plus soups, salads, and appetizers.
  • Photo of Bennettweber
    2 years ago
    This restaurant is no longer on Houston Street but is located at 362 W 23rd St. I discovered this sushi genius in Cliffside Park NJ through some South African friends.Over the years i have visited Hideo in all three locations. Our dinner tonight had some of the best sushi I've ever tasted. i had the omikase and was only disappointed in the special appetizer. Each piece of sushi and sashimi was beyond excellent.
  • Photo of Rick P
    2 years ago
    For several weeks, we saw the construction of a mysterious new restaurant in the neighborhood. And finally, Ushi Wakamaru! We wasted no time visiting the day after the soft opening and had a wonderful treat. Spotless restaurant with wonderful fresh fish and personal service. It was pretty obvious that most of the folks in the restaurant at the time were long time former patrons of the Houston St. location. They were treated like royalty. We ate at the sushi bar and enjoyed an awesome omakase at the hands of the sushi master. Pretty pricey, but worth every penny (and what great Japanese restaurant in NYC isn't?). Happy to be wandering next door many times in the future.
  • Photo of Stephen P
    3 years ago
    This is not only one of the best sushi meals I've ever had, it is one of the best restaurant meals I've ever had. The fish was excellent, the sushi expertly prepared. I had the omakase, my wife ordered a la carte, and my son tried two of the rolls. Everything, even the edamame, was exceptional. It is obvious that they take their craft very seriously here. The only downside is that if you don't live in the Village, it will ruin you for your local sushi place.
  • Photo of Fred G
    3 years ago
    OK. You're in New York City, it's 2am in the morning and you got the munchies. Know what I'm saying ? You don't want no pizzas, no falafel or hot dog, and no donut ! So, where r u gonna go? West Village ! Why ? After 12:30 when they close their sushi bar, it turns into a Ramen restaurant. And not just your cup noodle ramen; no, some really serious ramen. It is so good I went there two nights in a row. Given the time of the night, croud is funky, between, NYPD officers, students, clubbers, or after a long business day. Anyway, like my friendo George keeps saying: "what else?"....
  • Photo of Robbo4444
    3 years ago
    I was paying a quick visit to my son in New York while on a business trip and we were in our normal Soho neighborhood and without son's wife so we decided on sushi and lo and behold Ushi Wakamaru was just round the corner. I had read about this place in a magazine a couple of weeks earlier and it was serendipitous that we fell upon it. I won't ramble much more except to say if you have the chance and there is a table free please try it out you won't be disappointed . It's not cheap but good sushi and especially sushi in NYC isn't cheap so bite the bullet an go for it. By the way the only cooked item on the menu as far as I can remember (other than soup) was the freshwater eel - seared with a butane torch!
  • Photo of Lindsey S
    3 years ago
    This was my second time dining at the sushi bar at Ushiwakamaru. Both times have been enjoyable, and were somewhat later in the evening - this time we sat around 9:30pm. The fish varieties are plentiful, and they always have the staples for less adventurous eaters. I have only had the omakase, and this time I started with the live shrimp. Literally. They show you the shrimp and then kill/slice it up right in front of you so you cannot get any fresher! After the body is served to you - almost still pulsating - the head is fried tempura-style and served after. Extremely tasty. The other highlight that evening was the fact that they had both Hokkaido and Santa Barbara uni. I appreciate when sushi restaurants serve more than one as they are wonderful to have back to back so you can notice the subtle differences in texture and taste. The main reason I left this place as a 4 star and not 5 is because it is rated B. I am fearful of what B's can mean, and when you are dealing with sushi - something that needs to be fresh and properly handled so as not to be harmful to the diner - it is even more important. Had I realized they were a B upon entering, I may have skipped my meal. For now, I will likely wait til that gets upgraded before returning.
  • Photo of Noholife
    3 years ago
    Authentic Tokyo style omakase. Each time I come here I sit by the counter where Hideo-San expertly makes the most amazing sushi sashimi. The ingredients were flown in from Japan, Canada...etc. so fresh. The uni was plump and tasty, beautiful, directly from Japan. Baby sharks, various types of snappers... Service is always impeccable. Always a fun atmosphere at the counter. This is not the Americanized sushi place that has miso soup, salad thrown in, sushi/sashimi combo, California roll. If you are looking for those, this is not the place. If you care about where the ingredients come from, top quality seafood, creative cooking, then this is for you.
  • Photo of puuwai
    3 years ago
    My favorite meal out is sushi, I live in Hawaii so my sushi options are great, but this was the best sushi I have ever had. Seriously. This was really perfect. The service was warm and helpful, so I didn't feel intimidated by the "sushi etiquette" that some places push. Funny note: New York restaurants post a "grade" in their window given by the health dept., with the assumption you should always look for an "A". Good sushi restaurants all have "B"s and I'm guessing that the government thinks that raw fish needs to be kept at a colder temp, than a quality sushi place deems the appropriate temp to serve fish at. Don't let the "B" rating scare you off - it's good sushi chefs standing up for what they know is right.
  • Photo of tropicalnorth
    4 years ago
    Based on reviews, I chose this as my only sushi experience in NYC. I had heard it was traditional and the menu reflects that. Based on recommendations, I went for omakase menu for $70. I came at 6pm opening time and managed to get a seat without reservations as long as I left by 8pm. This turned out not to be a problem. I ordered sake and omakase. I was asked if I knew what it was - I have had many omakase meals (akin to chef's table) but nothing this sparse. I mentioned my preference for uni and tako. Instead of being served piece by piece, I waited while 4 other tables were served before me, then was given 13 pieces of sashimi. The snapper was very fresh and tasty as was the octopus but the slices were paper thin and less then 1" long. I was then given 6 pieces of nigiri sushi at which point the waitress informed me that my omakase was done. Yes, that's right no soup, no salad, no dessert - not even sliced fruit. They served a cup of hot roasted green tea afterwards. To top it off, perhaps to get me out the door, the waitress inexplicably tried to empty my carafe of sake (which I had been pouring myself to that point) into my cup and spilled it on the table. To her credit, she refilled my carafe but service in a Japanese restaurant is usually impeccable, I was surprised. This was much too expensive and impersonal service to recommend - for goodness' sake, add $5 to the cost of omakase and serve dessert and a miso soup. Omakase should be a meal, not an appetizer which one needs to add onto. Sorry.
  • Photo of Kristian K
    4 years ago
    After much research, I decided to dine at the sushi counter at Ushi Wakamuru. We were not let down. The staff are friendly and the food superb. I phoned to book a little over a week out and asked to be seated on the counter. The nice lady who sat us told us that the head chef would be serving us. Very nice indeed. We had the omasake and then ordered a couple more rolls beyond that as we wanted to further try more.
  • Photo of elizabeth n
    4 years ago
    I don't agree with the negative reviews. I have never had sushi in Japan, but there were certainly a lot of Japanese people in the restaurant and they were raving. I ordered sashimi and sushi omakase. I can't wait to take my entire family here. Delicious.
  • Photo of elizabeth n
    4 years ago
    4.5 Stars for me. I ordered Omakase: I had the restaurant choose my appetizer and a sushi/sashimi combo. I also had a seaweed salad and a glass of Pinot Grigio. It was delicious, service was perfect The restaurant only has 7 tables and 12 seats at the sushi bar. This is definitely the best sushi I have ever had. My rice was not warm and I did have the miso glazed cod. It was sweet, but I did not think overly so, and it was definitely not fishy -- in fact, I was aware of how "not fishy" the foot was. The sushi is soft as butter -- delectable. The presentation was very nice and I also loved the seaweed salad. Uptown was a zoo, so it was nice to be downtown away from all the mayhem. You can take any D train downtown, get off at West 4th. Go towards West 3rd when you come up from underground in the direction of Bleecker. Take a left on W. Housten, and the restaurant is right there. It is easy to miss. My dinner cost $103 + tip. The omakase costs more per person. You can order a la carte for less.
  • Photo of VeryFussyInDublin
    This restaurant was recommended to us by a Japanese friend who lives in New York and who is a regular customer. He reserved a place for us at the counter in front of Hideo-san, the master. The makase set ($100 per person) went on for ages, each piece more divine than the last. Perhaps the rice is a little too warm. We are Japanese speakers so we got to chat to Hideo-san the whole evening. In all a fabulous experience.
  • Photo of Lisa L
    4 years ago
    Wow, we were so disappointed in this restaurant! This restaurant is on the top list of many best sushi restaurants in New York. I think Time Out magazine has it as number one. My husband and I love sushi and enjoy many top sushi places in Los Angeles on a regular basis. I have also been to many excellent sushi restaurants in Tokyo and other cities in Japan. We were staying in the area and had to try this one based on what we read. It was tricky for our hotel to even get us a reservation that night but we got in. I will start with the positive and say that the service was good. Otherwise, this sushi was borderline bad. The miso glazed cod was overly sweet and fishy smelling. In fact, most of the sushi we ordered was fishy! My husband ordered a roll where the rice was actually very warm on the fish. I mean above body temperature and that is not what you want with sushi. The seaweed salad was quite nice but obviously most people go to sushi restaurants for the fish.The low ceiling and lack of ambiance didn't enhance our dining experience. I feel that this is the type of restaurants that has a great publicist but doesn't deserve the accolades because this sushi is mediocre at best.
  • Photo of almost406
    5 years ago
    I had a great meal here and thought I found my favorite sushi place, until I found another. That said, I would gladly go back here. The menu is fairly traditional in terms of offering (from a Japanese perspective - I would not go here if you are a spicy tuna roll person), but it is traditional in a good way. I liked it better than Sushi Yasuda
  • Photo of Kicks_n_Bites
    5 years ago
    Rank: A. Arguably, the best sushi place in all of Manhattan. As much as it pains me to give up this info, to get the best experience, be sure to sit at the bar with the head sushi chef Hideo Kuribara. Eating sushi at a table, even 30 seconds or a minute after he makes the sushi, alters the taste and is not the same experience. The sushi is at the top of the class and the other sushi spots in NYC all play second fiddle (Blue Fin, Bond St., Sushi of Gari, Morimoto, Sushi Azabu, Sushi Yasuda, etc.). The one sushi place I can not make a comparison is to Masa, but at the fraction of the cost of Masa's omakase, perhaps no need to. The scallop, giant clam, sweet shrimp, caviar w/ quail egg, fatty tuna, seared fatty tuna (personal favorite), roe, and uni (Japanese and California) are all personal favorites.
  • Photo of Zach N
    5 years ago
    Ushi Wakamaru is probably the best sushi downtown. The spicy tuna roll is not that great, but you shouldn't be eating spicy tuna rolls at this place anyway. Just order the sushi. It can be hard to get a table in this small place, but it is absolutely worth it.
  • Photo of teraflop
    6 years ago
    After a tiring day of heavy exercise, I walked up from my Tribeca hotel to this restaurant after researching carefully for a good, authentic nearby Japanese sushi/sashimi restaurant. There were many to choose from and the rating this place got attracted me. Additionally their website mentioned specifically they had Uni. I walked in, handed my coat to the pleasing hostess and was immediately guided to the sushi bar. 4 attending sushi chefs were there, knives ready. I salivated. I chose a selection of plain-vanilla items plus my beloved uni. The chef provided me with some unrequested delicious items, the best being a King salmon, and other varieties fresh from airplanes from Japan. When it came time for uni, my chef reached over and grabbed a wooden tray of the soft stuff. Another chef, who evidently had some priority took it back and I was then told "we have no uni." The other chef dished out large helpings to multiple clients, I guess being solo has its price, plus I wasn't a regular. Despite that, service was very good, the waitress was attentive and knowledgeable. Would I return? No. Again, not because of the quality of the food but just the fact I was on bottom of the pecking order made it clear I wasn't welcome to return. No muss no fuss.
  • Photo of cw0604
    9 years ago
    If you think you've had sushi before, you were wrong, you haven't had the real thing until you have been to Ushiwaka Maru! Traveled from California where we eat sushi on a regular basis. The sushi at Ushiwaka Maru is unlike anything we have ever eaten. Extremely fresh, great variety and the most knowledgeable sushi chef around (Hide). Sit at the sushi bar and request Hide if you want the ultimate experience. Not near Times Square (near battery park) but worth the cab ride. Make reservations well in advance. Pay the extra price and you will be extremely pleased.
  • Photo of MaxBethune
    10 years ago
    Remarkable sushi - try the chef's 15 piece special and gorge on the fatty tuna. Not cheap but worth every cent. Slight odd service style but the food saves the day.

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