New York's high-end Japanese market will get its first tempura omakase restaurant next Tuesday courtesy of Tempura Matsui, notes Flo Fab. The 19 seat restaurant will serve a tasting menu of seafood and vegetables that have been exceptionally carefully battered and fried. A succession of small bites and plates will be served in turn by a chef here, much like a sushi master serves his guests at an omakase dinner. The fry master in question here is Masao Matsui, who owned several tempura restaurants in Tokyo and at 65 came out of retirement to open this restaurant in Midtown. The major force behind the opening other that Matsui is America Ootoya, the American branch of a Japanese restaurant company that owns the well regarded Ootoya restaurants in town and more than 300 restaurants in Japan.
The $200 set menu works its way through several stages including house-made tofu, a small offering of sashimi, the tempura of course, rice, soup, and a few other dishes sprinkled in. There is also a $240 option that's listed on the site as "omakase tempura course," so it's unclear if it's an extra course or separate dinner menu. To pair with the meals are Japanese wines from Yamanashi Prefecture in Koshu region and 12 sakes.
The restaurant opens a week from today and reservations are already available on OpenTable. Keep in mind, dinner here is about 2 hours long, so there is an early and a late seating, meaning, no 7 p.m. reservations. Lunch is slated to start July 27.
For those in the neighborhood who prefer a sushi omakase experience, Tokyo’s acclaimed sushi counter Ginza Onodera is planning to open its first New York location this fall just a few blocks away.