Tadashi Yoshida is considered one of the best sushi masters in Japan. After the success of his restaurant Sushi No Yoshino in Nagoya, he decided to try and make his mark in the United States. “I thought, why not bring myself to the center stage of the world, New York City?” And so, he opened Yoshino in NoHo last September, with an impressive 20-course omakase-style sushi experience.
Yoshino joins a bevy of luxe sushi restaurants in NYC, but what makes Yoshida’s restaurant stand out is his dedication to rare ingredients, unique cooking techniques, and masterful skill level. He learned many of his techniques growing up at his father’s sushi counter Sushi No Yoshino in the Gifu prefecture in Japan. He then fine-tuned even more cooking skills working in a French restaurant in Yokahama before taking over his father’s spot and bringing it to Nagoya.
His signature dish, Yakisaba sushi, utilizes a handheld charcoal grill to char a piece of mackerel, which is then draped over shiso and pickled ginger atop a bed of rice. “I’ve been making it every day for 4 or 5 years,” he says. “The sound of fish cooking, there is nothing like it.”
Yoshida’s unique karasumi mochi was inspired by something he once ate in Kyoto, and he makes it by curing bora fish sacs in salt and sake for about four weeks. He then makes fresh mochi, wraps it around the finished karasumi, and grills it over charcoal. The result is a puffy, charred, and savory mochi bite filled with the cheese-like texture of the aged kurasami. “It’s that fine balance between the soft karasumi and the mochi texture that I visualize when I make it.”
Yoshida points out, “Here at NY Yoshino, 80 percent of the fish we use is from Japan.” He adds that when he closed his restaurant in Nagoya to come to NYC, many of his favorite fish vendors were supportive of his decision: “Because their fish now can be enjoyed by people in New York. So they wanted to ride along with me on my pursuit of the American dream.”
He adds, “...Moving from Nagoya to Yoshino NY is my third act. Life is about challenging oneself to the end, because I want to keep evolving.” As for what comes next, Yoshida embraces the uncertainty: “Not knowing what act four is going to be is the American dream. So I am always feeling excited everyday anticipating what could be next.”
Check out the full video to see more of Yoshida’s dishes and more of what it took to open Yoshino.