Experience Elevated Japanese Dining at Taru NY

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Housemade milk bread served with nori butter and beef tallow, cherrywood smoked octopus, and wagyu carpaccio—these are just a few appetizers you can expect to savor at Taru, New York’s new midtown Japanese fine dining experience. Designed by critically acclaimed Chef Tony Inn, Taru’s menu is a delightful display of what happens when high-quality Japanese ingredients meet Michellin-starred culinary talent. 

 Guests can spend the evening in the restaurant’s stunning 82-person dining room and order à la carte or partake in the 10-seater Kotaru, a private omakase experience with a 20-course menu curated seasonally by Chef Inn.

As Japanese culinary connoisseurs, we had to learn about this new addition to New York’s restaurant scene. We spoke with Chef Tony Inn himself to get a personal look at what's behind the scenes at Taru.

 

What is the concept behind Taru? What inspired the vision? 

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With Taru, I wanted to create a contemporary Japanese restaurant that encased a 10-seater seasonal omakase called Kotaru. The two drastically different dining styles allow us to make this modern Japanese cuisine accessible to a broader audience. At the same time, we get to showcase a very traditional form of Japanese dining. 

While the concept of “omakase” originated in the 1990s, inspired largely by the proliferation of sushi restaurants in North America, our 20-course menu is inspired by kaiseki-style dining. This allows chefs to provide a customized menu to showcase what was on hand at the time, which would reflect what was in season. The beauty of omakase is that it builds a relationship between the diners and the chef.

 

What are some of the signature items on your menu? 

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Some items that have quickly taken off are our crab chawanmushi, also known as a steamed egg custard served with mushroom and burdock, as well as our duck confit gyoza. Other popular items include our chicken karaage, seasoned with curry, seaweed, and lime, and our famous wagyu tataki. Finally, there is our mushroom kama-meshi, a vegan dish cooked in an iron pot, prepared with the rice factory’s rice, and served with a side of pickled vegetables. 

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What inspired you to start using rice from the rice factory NEW  YORK? 

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I have always found that freshly milled rice has a better chew and texture, resulting in fewer broken rice kernels and better overall consistency. Ever since I heard about the Rice Factory, I had to try it myself. So far, it is the freshest Japanese rice I have tried in New York, and it perfectly complements all our rice dishes.

 

How are customers responding to rice from the rice factory? 

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Our omakase guests are very dedicated to quality and genuinely enjoy the different forms that our ingredients take, including our rice dishes that use the rice factory’s rice.

 

Does Taru have any new or upcoming events to announce? 

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We are constantly changing the menu according to what is in season at the time. Guests can expect to be surprised with new dishes and flavors whenever they dine with us. At Taru, we are never stationary. Like nature, we are constantly evolving. 

 

Is there a message that you would like to share with our readers? 

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Our food and beverages are really geared towards the connoisseur niche. We have a selective sake program, along with a deep respect for the fundamentals of Japanese cuisine. Our motto: Less is more. We allow our high-quality ingredients to speak for themselves, constantly striving for omotenashi. In Japanese, omotenashi is a Japanese philosophy centering around hospitality as care for people; it is thoughtfully curated in every detail of the Taru experience, from the second you walk into the door to the second you leave.

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