The team behind hit Japanese cocktail bars SakaMai and Bar Moga is expanding with a new kaiseki restaurant in the East Village this week.
Called Tsukimi, the restaurant will serve an 11-course Japanese tasting menu including dishes with caviar and uni, bluefin tuna, and washu beef from executive chef Takanori Akiyama. He and business partner Karen Lin will open Tsukimi on Wednesday, June 26, at 228 East Tenth Street — with only one seating per night this summer.
That menu will cost $195 per person, with a beverage pairing option for an additional $125. Lin will handle the latter, which will begin with sake only, though other wines will be added in the fall, she tells Eater.
The meal can start with nori and fluke, progress to a dish with bluefin tuna, goldeneye snapper, and bigfin reef squid, and end with olive oil yogurt, according to a sample menu (see it below). Of the 11 dishes, three will be sweet. They’ll all be served within a 14-seat space that’s divided in half by an aisle, with two seven-seat counters facing each other, a space designed by Brooklyn-based Studio Tack.
Akiyama began his cooking career in Tokyo before working at several NYC restaurants like Forbidden City; Lan, where he was a partner; and Dieci, which was located in the same space that now belongs to Tsukimi. He now heads the kitchens at SakaMai and Bar Moga, where Lin is also general manager.
Kaiseki is the most formal style of Japanese fine dining, where seasonality and pristine visuals come into play. The format has been highly influential in shaping the modern, global concept of tasting menus, and though there are several kaiseki restaurants in New York, it’s still less ubiquitous than high-end sushi omakase.
This summer, Tsukimi will offer only one seating at 7 p.m. After Labor Day, two seatings will become available, at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. The restaurant will be open from Wednesday through Sunday.