The chef behind two Michelin-starred Manhattan restaurants has opened a new, more casual spot selling sushi hand rolls. Sungchul Shim, the chef at Korean fine dining restaurants Kochi and Mari, opened Mari Ne, a hand roll restaurant at 135 W. 41st Street, near Sixth Avenue, on Tuesday.
The restaurant is an offshoot of Mari, the “less exorbitant and more interesting approach” to the omakase experience. The format is similar to KazuNori, the popular hand roll chain from Sugarfish, or Nami Nori, which opened in the West Village in 2019.
The small restaurant (15 counter seats) serves hand rolls that cost around $5 each. Scallop, shrimp, spicy tuna, and blue crab balance on an oval of rice wrapped in seaweed; they are inspired by popular menu items at Mari, according to a chef behind the counter. Sets of four or five from $22 to $27 are listed, along with mandu, and a small bowl of pho. The idea is that lunch will be served in under half an hour for around $30.
Shim trained at the Japanese and French fine dining restaurants Neta and Per Se before opening his first restaurant, Kochi, in 2019. (The Korean restaurant, which serves grilled skewers on a tasting menu, was awarded a Michelin star two years later.) In 2021, Shim opened Mari, which serves Korean hand rolls on a $145 tasting menu. Michelin recognized the restaurant with a single star last year.
Mari Ne is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.