TravelNoise: Suzuki, New York City

06 May 2017

If you weren’t aware of Kaiseki before, don’t worry — I wasn’t either. At least, not until I visited Suzuki. Subtly staking its claim in midtown Manhattan, Suzuki sits stealthily below street level, only to be found by walking through heavy, glass doors and being escorted into an elevator — and then down to the basement.


I’m making it sound way creepier than it actually is. In fact, the extra steps to the restaurant feel a little bougie, like the venue is so important, it can’t even be seen in broad daylight.

My guest and I walked out of the elevator doors to find a dimly lit hallway. We arrived at the front desk and were greeted warmly and shown to our table. As we walked into Suzuki, we quickly noticed two other entrances: one to Satsuki and one to Three Pillars.

The entire establishment is owned by Yuta Suzuki, son of New York sushi legend Toshio Suzuki. Toshio has trained major culinary chefs and influencers like Masaharu Morimoto, so he’s an undisputed badass. It makes perfect sense why he would be behind the sushi bar at Satsuki, known for its 10-seat counter service of a curated omakase sushi dinner, and Three Pillars a bar and lounge serving a selection of wines, sakes and Japanese beers. Suzuki completed the circle by offering a traditional Kaiseki experience, which consists of a 10-course meal, all up to the chef’s interpretation.

The dining room of Suzuki is a tug-and-pull design of both a modern and traditional layout. The place seats 100 plus, and each place setting includes a bright red, circular mat, chopsticks and their rests. Though dimly lit, artfully-placed lighting along the wall and metallic fabrics, on the chairs and headboard-like wall fixtures, really brightened the space.

We were seated and our waiter came over swiftly to offer their recommended sake ($30), which was so smooth that we actually swooned. We looked over the extensive menu, which featured specifically only Kaisekis. There were four separate offerings, and after letting our waiter know our fate was in Suzuki’s hands, executive chef Takashi Yamamoto offered us to try the “ultimate” Kaiseki ($150 per person).

We were warned that the ten-course menu items would come out to us slowly, so we could savour each one. Co-owner Yuta checked on us frequently and ensured our plates were perfect. The presentation, by the way, was so flawless, I’m not even sure what else to say. The entire night was incredible.

I could talk your ear off about every single course, but that would take forever (especially because within each course were multiple components), so let me review some highlights:

The third course, Tsukuri, featured the freshest sashimi I have ever tasted. It was seasonal and expertly arranged tuna among other seasonal sashimi on ice in a large glass jar. Yakimono, our sixth course, was marinated grilled codfish so tender and silky, I literally could not believe it was codfish. The seventh course brought out was an entire hot pot with A5 rank wagyu beef and veggies. The waiter served our hot-pot beef raw, and we had the opportunity to cook it to our preferred doneness.

All the fish we consumed was by far the best I’ve ever had, and the plating of the dishes was so expert, I actually felt so unworthy of the experience laid out before me. (Ask my guest: we exchanged looks with every presentation that screamed we are peasants!!!)

We ended the night with an equally-light and fresh dessert: strawberry mousse with seasonal fruits.

Though we were definitely full, the small portions of each plate and lightness of the courses allowed us to move around with ease. We were pleasantly surprised when our waiter and accompanying contacts came out with the executive chef to ask us what we thought they could have done better. We sat speechless — they genuinely wanted to improve the experience of their guests.

After we were finished, we got a tour of the entire establishment, looking through Three Pillars and Satsuki as well as a private meeting room which our contact explained could be rented out for meetings or private parties.

We definitely got the special treatment at Suzuki, there was no doubt about it. After saying goodbye and many thanks to our hosts, we walked out feeling totally pampered and said if we had unlimited funds, we would absolutely be back the next day.

Suzuki is not just another Kaiseki-focused restaurant — it really is an incredible experience you won’t be able to match. It’s just that simple.

Address: 114 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036
Telephone Number: (212) 278-0010

Sami Allen

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