19 East 49th Street on Madison Avenue
about $480 for four omakases, with a few drinks, with tip
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There are two Sushidens in New York City, one on Sixth Avenue and this one on Madison. Whichever branch you pick, make sure you ask to be seated at the bar so you can talk to your chef and get the chance to eat fish that’s not on the menu.
One of the most memorable experiences I had at Sushiden was when our chef brought out some fresh shrimp, disassembled the heads, and used tweezers to pick the brain. He put all the gray and orange matter on top of Japanese mackerel with the shrimp body and made sushi. When we were done bowing in appreciation and glee, the chef deep-fried the shrimp head shells and offered them to us to snack on while we waited for the next course. No part of the shrimp was wasted.
Whenever I go to a sushi restaurant, I always start off with the uni, or the sea urchin. If it’s excellent, then I know the place will have more of the good stuff coming. At Sushiden, after the uni, the chef always asks me what I want next and that’s when I tell him that I’ll eat whatever he wants me to taste. The chefs will only ask you if you’re allergic to anything, and if that’s a negative, you will sit for the next hour eating fresh fish after fresh fish that melts in your mouth like butter.