Sushi by M is a fantastic omakase spot in New York City. If you haven’t tried omakase yet – you’ll definitely want to give it a go! Omakase is a type of meal where sushi chefs select the courses for you based on what’s seasonally available. Omakase essentially means, “I’ll leave it up to you,” and unlike the omakase at Kissaki, where the menu is based on their talented sushi chef’s whims, Sushi by M has set menus at the start of the day. They also offer upgrades for an upcharge, like upgrading the hand roll finish of the meal to the toro scallion hand roll like I did. Everything here was phenomenal and so, so fresh. I can’t wait to go back someday soon!
Sushi by M
Location: New York City, New York
Address: 300 East 5th Street
New York, NM’s0003
Food Type: Omakase Sushi
Dining Experience: Indoor, Sushi Counter
Price: $100+ per Person
Dress Code: Smart Casual +
Special Diets: Pescatarian, Gluten-Free (not GF dedicated)
The restaurant was a bit small, but that only made it feel more intimate. We planned our visit just as they opened so it wouldn’t be too busy, but shortly after I took my photos of the restaurant, it filled up. Every seat at the counter and all of the booths were filled within half an hour of the restaurant opening, which shows how great this spot is. The decor was very modern Japanese, with elements of wood, green houseplants, and metallic art, making it all feel very elemental.
Despite being street-level, the restaurant was very peaceful, and we couldn’t hear any road noise from outside, which was surprising. The staff was friendly and kind, and our food was made fresh for us and brought out in trios. The waiter explained the story of our food, describing how the meal moved us from various bodies of water and assuring us that the fish was freshly caught the same day and flown in. Despite being full of other diners, the restaurant remained relatively quiet and allowed us to enjoy our meal peacefully. Everyone else seemed interested in a serene dining experience, which we greatly appreciated.
Sushi by M’s Menu & Our Meals
We opted for the 12-piece lunch omakase, which began with hamachi (yellowtail), kanpachi (amberjack), and akamizuke (bluefin tuna). This was all so delicious and flavorful, and we started by eating the lightest fish to the darker fish on each trio or quad of sushi, a trend we followed throughout the meal. Everything was fantastic! While sushi is generally the rolls we think of when we think of sushi, these bites are technically nigiri, fish on rice and are typically eaten with the fingers, fish side down against the tongue for maximum enjoyment.
Next, we enjoyed a quad of Botan Ebi, a much more luxurious, sweeter, and tender shrimp than standard shrimp. This was the best shrimp I’ve ever had. in my life, and if I could have had nothing but this and the hotate (scallop) for the rest of my life, I’d be so content, haha. The hotate melted like cool, savory butter on the tongue and was so delicious. I’d never had anything like it, which was my favorite piece of the entire meal. Madai (red seabream) was also a part of this trio, and it was so savory and delightful that I couldn’t believe it. This nigiri was truly fantastic in every way!
This course also included sake salmon, which was out of this world, and California uni (sea urchin) rolled in seaweed, which was the best uni I’ve ever had, which is saying a lot because I love uni and eat it as often as I can.
I’m serious; this course was worth the $100 on its own. Everything was phenomenal, rich, and tremendously flavorful!
The final course was toro caviar (fatty tuna), albacore tuna, and seared tuna. It was as mouthwatering as the photos look! Each bite was like its own little delectable universe, and we were just cosmic explorers sailing through a succulent solar system. Every bite was better than the last, and it was all we could do not to race through the progression of incredible flavors and textures too quickly. Instead, we savored and took our time, discussing our favorites as we moved along.
To finish our meal off, we had upgraded hand rolls. I ordered the incredible toro scallion handroll, and Robin tried the barbeque eel handroll. While in Japan, he fell in love with unagi (eel) bento, sushi, nigiri, and unagidon (eel over rice), so he was thrilled to see this on the menu. I’m not a huge fan of eel, but he insisted I try some too, and it was unbelievably tasty. Everything about this restaurant was stellar.
I thoroughly enjoyed our meal here. This was some of the freshest fish and the freshest nigiri I’ve ever had. This is worth a trip to New York City by itself, and if you’re looking for a great place to grab lunch or enjoy a fun dinner, Sushi by M is the best place you can go. The upgrades are absolutely, unequivocally worth it, so don’t be afraid to upgrade, upgrade, upgrade during your visit! It’s worth every penny. My only regret about this meal was that I had no room to eat more, haha. Check out more of my travels in NYC and other great places to eat in my Fine Dining archives.