Sakamai – Egg on egg on egg – sea urchin, aka uni, sturgeon caviar and scrambled egg – created by George himself. You have to scoop up from the bottom when you eat this so you can get a bit of each element on the spoon with each bite. It is a luxurious dish. I think I used my finger to swipe up every last drop.

Sakamai – Lower East Side, NYC

A few years ago I, Luis, our friend Andrew Kogan and our coworker Andrea Tolentino went to a ramen demonstration ran by Sun Noodles at the International Culinary Institute in NYC. It was the best ramen we had all ever had in many ways – the complexity of the broths, the texture of the noodles and each one was topped with the perfect toppings. It seriously was an amazing experience.

 

I was so thrilled about the demonstration that I decided to take a selfie with the the guys who presented to us and prepared everything we ate. Then out of no where my friend/old co-worker Melissa Cordaro comments on my pic on IG (or was it Facebook? I can’t remember lol) how we know each other… and it turned out she had grown up with George Kao, the guy who presented the demonstration.

 

For the next two years the three of us tried to make plans for us all to have dinner together.  We finally got together this past August at a Restaurant named Sakamai, an Izakaya and sake bar where George is the food and beverage director. I loved it so much that I went back again to take Luis for his birthday dinner; since he couldn’t make it to the first visit.

 

I have gone through the pics from both visits and selected what I think are the best ones. I hope to revisit and get some better photos for my post at some point, but I’ll let these pics do the talking for now. Please see descriptions in the captions of each picture below.

 

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Sakamai – cocktail menu – I had the Garden Mule.

 

 

Sakamai – my pretty place setting and my cocktail – the Garden Mule – Mizu Shochu, Aperol, lemon, carrot and ginger beer. Anything with ginger beer and aperol I am pretty much sure to love. Yum.
Sakamai – my pretty place setting and my cocktail – the Garden Mule – Mizu Shochu, Aperol, lemon, carrot and ginger beer. I am pretty much going to love anything that is made with ginger beer and aperol . Yum.

 

 

Sakamai – Uni Toast from visit #1 – anchovy butter, crème fraîche, bottarga, radish, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and for this visit it was topped with sturgeon caviar for the win. Um… yum. The contrast of flavors and textures in this was amazing. Everything came together in buttery delicious way.
Sakamai – Uni Toast from visit #1 – anchovy butter, crème fraîche, bottarga, radish, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and for this visit it was topped with sturgeon caviar for the win. Um… yum. The contrast of flavors and textures in this was amazing. Everything came together in such a delicious, buttery way.

 

 

Sakamai – Uni Toast from visit # 2 – same ingredients as above, minus the sturgeon caviar on top this time. I also had better lighting this visit since we sat right by the front window of the restaurant and the sun hadn’t set yet.
Sakamai – Uni Toast from visit # 2 – same ingredients as above, minus being topped with the sturgeon caviar this time. I also had better lighting this visit since we sat right by the front window of the restaurant and the sun hadn’t set yet.

 

 

Sakamai - Fluke Ceviche – pickled celery, grapefruit, onion, tomato, jalapeño and kabosu. One way to my heart is pickled celery. By far my favorite pickled item. I used to get it with my dad downtown when I was young, and I have never been able to find it since. Sakamai really has their flavor and texture ratios down to a science. Every dish is on point.
Sakamai – Fluke Ceviche – pickled celery, grapefruit, onion, tomato, jalapeño and kabosu. One way to my heart is pickled celery; by far my favorite pickled item. I used to get it with my dad downtown when I was young, and I haven’t been able to find it since. Sakamai really has their flavor and texture ratios down to a science. Every dish is on point.

 

 

Sakamai – Grilled Little Gem Lettuce – miso buttermilk dressing, blue cheese and walnuts. This is like a sophisticated wedge salad, except actually amazing.
Sakamai – Grilled Little Gem Lettuce – miso buttermilk dressing, blue cheese and walnuts. This is like a sophisticated wedge salad, except actually amazing.

 

 

Sakamai – Grilled Octopus – gochujang pepper, watermelon radish, frisée, shio kombu, and sorrel – or baby swiss chard. This was legitimately one of the best octopus dishes I have ever had.
Sakamai – Grilled Octopus – gochujang pepper, watermelon radish, frisée, shio kombu, and sorrel – or baby swiss chard. This was legitimately one of the best octopus dishes I have ever had.

 

 

Sakamai – George pre-ordered a 28-day, dry-aged, prime certified, bone in angus beef rib eye for us all to enjoy. It was incredible. The chef served it with perfectly charred scallions, broccolini, roasted potatoes and bone marrow. Wow wow wow. Seen on the right are 3 dipping sauces – ponzu with grated daikon, sweet onion soy sauce and a pickled garlic sauce.
Sakamai – George pre-ordered a 28-day, dry-aged, prime certified, bone in angus beef rib eye for us all to enjoy. It was incredible. The chef served it with perfectly charred scallions, broccolini, roasted potatoes and bone marrow. Wow wow wow.  This photo does not give this justice. Seen on the right are 3 dipping sauces – ponzu with grated daikon, sweet onion soy sauce and a pickled garlic sauce. 

 

 

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Sakamai – Egg on egg on egg – sea urchin, aka uni, sturgeon caviar and scrambled egg – created by George himself. You have to scoop up from the bottom when you eat this so you can get a bit of each element on the spoon with each bite. It is a luxurious dish. I think I used my finger to swipe up every last drop.

 

 

Sakamai – Beef Tartare – roasted bone marrow, red miso, crispy maitake mushroom, thinly sliced wild capers and horseradish. I wish I had a better pic of this, but I was too anxious to get this in my mouth that I didn’t adjust my settings well enough. Oh well, guess I’ll have to go have it again! My only ask for this one dish is to be served with more toast points please :)
Sakamai – Beef Tartare – roasted bone marrow, red miso, crispy maitake mushroom, thinly sliced wild capers and horseradish. I wish I had a better pic of this, but I was too anxious to get this in my mouth that I didn’t adjust my settings well enough. Oh well, I’ll just have to go have it again, so that I can get a better pic of course 😉 My only ask for this one dish is for it to be served with more toast points, please 🙂

 

 

Sakamai – the dessert menu – we ordered everything on the top row :)
Sakamai – the dessert menu – we ordered everything on the top row 🙂

 

 

Sakamai – Yogurt Meringue Mousse – mixed berry sauce, kuromitsu black sugar sauce. I loved this. I have never had anything like it and I do suggest you try it.
Sakamai – Yogurt Meringue Mousse – mixed berry sauce, kuromitsu black sugar sauce. I loved this. I have never had anything like it and I do suggest you try it.

 

 

Sakamai – Black Sesame Crème Brûlée with a matcha-almond tuile. I love black sesame mocha, so I had a feeling I would love this, and I was very, very right. This dessert is ridiculously good.
Sakamai – Black Sesame Crème Brûlée with a matcha-almond tuile. I love black sesame mocha, so I had a feeling I would love this, and I was very, very right. This dessert is ridiculously good.

 

 

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Sakamai – Gelato / Sorbet Trio – we ordered the grapefruit-campari, corn, and dark chocolate. I really enjoyed all of these flavors, but I liked the grapefruit-campari especially. Next time I order this dessert my trio will be all grapefruit-campari!

 

 

Sakamai – the view from our seat as we finished Luis’s birthday dinner. Until next time, Sakamai!
Sakamai – the view from our seat as we finished Luis’s birthday dinner. Until next time, Sakamai!

 

The décor in this restaurant is quite artfully selected and is a sight to be seen. One thing I have to mention that scored many brownie points from me is that they have lotion in the bathroom in addition to the hand soap. LOVE.

 

I can’t wait to go back to Sakamai and try some more dishes. I may want to do the chefs table here someday. I think they require a minimum of 6 people for this.

 

Sakamai is located at 157 Ludlow street @ Stanton St on the Lower East Side. You can contact them for reservations from 4-10 pm, or email them at reserve@sakamai.com. For more information, visit their website at www.sakamai.com.

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