Restaurant Feature: Sushi of Gari
Sushi of Gari is a prominent New York-based restaurant with a mission to display the art of eating sushi by creating intentionally crafted culinary experiences. With several dining locations around the Tri-state area, Sushi of Gari is about quality over quantity, placing emphasis on ingredients and preparation.
Their dedication to innovative sushi techniques can be experienced through every delicately layered flavor that comes through in a single piece of nigiri. Each bite is masterfully infused with just the right balance of sauces. Through this careful attention to detail, Sushi of Gari shifts its guests away from the common habit of drenching each piece of sushi in soy sauce.
Their philosophy: present each piece of sushi to be perfect as is.
To get a better idea of the vision and details behind their menu, we spoke with a member of Sushi Gari.
What is the concept behind the restaurant? What makes Sushi of Gari different from every other New York sushi restaurants?
We create what you would call “sushi fusion”, or creative sushi dishes that are ready to eat as they are served. Our idea is to avoid customers adding too much soy sauce at the table.
A big part of our concept is to create dishes that make the most of the ingredients, like the freshness of the fish and the quality of the rice, while adding a twist or two to enhance the flavor of each piece. We make several different sauces to season our sushi with and provide different types of sushi to match each dish. They are mostly paired according to the qualities of the fish.
Our goal is to provide a wide variety of flavors to all our customers by applying heat to the fish. Boiling, searing, and sautéeing maximize the flavor and bring out its natural flavors.
What are the signature dishes that people keep coming back for?
I would say that Omakase Sushi is something that we are known for. It’s essentially a “chef’s choice” assortment of the fresh picks of the day. The Sea Bream Salad, Tuna Tofu Rayu, and the Flounder Truffle are also really popular.
Why did you start using rice from the Rice Factory?
Prior to using the Rice Factory’s rice, we had an annual contract, which resulted in us having a large amount of rice stored at the trading company’s warehouse. One of the downfalls of this was that we had to secure the rice for the following year at least six months in advance, which, as a restaurant, is often difficult to predict. The condition of the rice was never guaranteed either, but it was the best solution for us at the time.
Most people think that fish is the most important ingredient in sushi. However, it is actually the rice. Rice is very delicate. It is easily affected by changes in moisture content, humidity, and temperature of its environment. It’s difficult to control these conditions and prevent them from drying out in the storage area.
We had been trying to find solutions, such as using a vacuum pack to store it, but then we found that the Rice Factory was able to deliver freshly milled rice from New York. They were able to provide us with the amount of rice we needed for our restaurant’s volume without any problems. We also found that the rice was better than any other rice we tasted, which is why we felt very confident about our decision.
How are your customers responding to the rice from the Rice Factory? Have you noticed any change in feedback about the rice since switching?
Sushi rice is made stickier by adding vinegar to the rice, but it is difficult to find the sweet spot where the rice melts in the mouth and perfectly blends with the fish. Before using the Rice Factory’s rice, the sushi rice would become hard a short time after being served. At times, it even had to be replaced, and some customers didn’t eat the rice with the fish, which was an issue, because sushi should always be a combination of rice and fish.
However, thanks to the stable supply from the Rice Factory, we never have these problems anymore.
Do you have any news or upcoming events at Sushi of Gari?
We will soon be serving seasonal Japanese fish with a selection of carefully matched sakes as a part of a pairing menu.
Do you have any messages for New Yorkers or sushi lovers about Sushi of Gari?
Sushi of Gari has been in business for 25 years and is becoming a long-established creative sushi restaurant. We strive to create a restaurant that will be enjoyed by all our customers, both new ones and the ones that have supported us for years.
Our employees are constantly doing their best to ensure every customer that walks through our door has an unforgettable sushi experience.
Sushi of GARI
Sushi of Gari / Upper East Side
402 East 78th Street, New York, NY 10075
(Between 1st & York Ave.)
370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024
(Bet. 77th & 78th St.)Phone: (469) 271-7710
Sushi of Gari 46
347 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036
(Bet. 8th & 9th Ave.)
Sushi of Gari TriBeCa
130 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013
(NW Corner of Duane St.)