Omakase coupled with an intimate dining experience and VIP treatment seems to be trending in NYC. Noda brings the "best ofs" together to create an ultimate experience. Though the atmosphere seemed very high end, Chef Shigeyuki Tsunoda was super down to earth and friendly. After being trained by Tokyo’s Saito team and serving Michelin-starred food in Japan, Chef Tsunoda and his family were moved to NYC to create this namesake restaurant by owners Justin Hauser and David Hess. In Tsunoda’s Omakase, you can expect Uni from Hokkaido, monkfish liver, sea perch, toros, and more in this edomae-style tasting menu that typically includes a range of cooked and raw dishes, tomago, and an ice cream dessert.
The fish was incredibly fresh, the rice was a delicious vehicle and the dessert left you with a sweet but light finish.
The only thing that kept Noda from having a perfect Soulmates Score was the fact that we were still hungry and left wanting more. We will definitely be back and would highly recommend.
Chef Tsunoda sets himself apart with his signature treatment of Koshihikari rice, which is unbleached and treated with sake lees, a byproduct of the sake-making process left behind after the liquid is expressed from the fermented rice. The chef told us this was similar to red wine vinegar, and it really did elevate each bite of nigiri.
The texture of the rice was perfectly fluffy and the red vinegar gave it a subtle tang while still letting the fish shine.
Chef Tsunoda opens his omakase with an out of this world Chawanmushi. Not too warm, not too cool, the savory chawanmushi was paired expertly with sweet uni from Hokkaido and salty Osetra caviar. So from the first bite delicately scooped with the beautiful pearl caviar spoon, you know you’re in for a delicious night. Other pre-sushi stand outs included Ankimo (monk fish liver), black throat sea perch in a warm broth, and a fat grilled sea scallop from Iwate wrapped in a toasted seaweed blanket. Sushi standouts included a maki roll made with a single, long strip of silvery mackerel, baby Ebi from Toyama, and pieces of chu-toro and o-toro that melted in your mouth. We love a good handroll, and Chef Tsnudoa’s tuna scallion combination was a great transition into the final sweeter courses. Of course everything was fresh, but what made Chef Tsunoda’s fish stand out was his blend of traditional preparation and signature treatment.
The service at Noda brings a new standard to the word impeccable. From the very first moment, you are treated as a VIP patron (which, at $285 a person, is warranted and appreciated). The ratio of people dining (8) to people serving (5 or 6) was practically 1:1 and before you could even notice that you had dripped a drop of sake or soy sauce, it was already being wiped. Natalie dropped a napkin and a new one was presented before it even hit the ground. The sake sommelier was incredibly professional and well versed and helped us choose the perfect sake bottles to go with our courses. Chef Tsunoda was friendly, informative, and did a good job of facilitating conversation around the bar. The couple sitting next to us even came from Canada just to see him and have his sushi. Overall, everyone servicing the 8 lucky people around the beautifully appointed sushi bar was at the top of their game.
This will almost always be a category where we will have differing opinions. Josh was definitely still hungry after the omakase and he had even been given an extra piece after Chef Tsunoda saw how much he enjoyed the bite. Natalie was full, but would have definitely made room for a few more delicious bites.
Usually before dessert, we will be asked if we are still hungry and would like to order any additional pieces but this didn’t happen at Noda. Every bite was so amazing I’m sure we would have paid for more, but at $285 a person perhaps we shouldn’t have been left wanting.
The bottom line here is that we both left joking about ordering pizza when we got home!
From the moment you enter the gorgeous lounge before the curtains to the sushi bar are drawn, you already know you are in for an incredible experience. After having one of the expertly crafted signature cocktails, you are brought into the room where the magic happens and are seated at the curved sushi bar where you are offered a tray of beautifully ornate sake glasses to choose from. We love when you get to personalize your experience this way so this was a definitely plus.
The curved nature of the sushi bar lends itself to a shared experience with the rest of the small party of diners and at our seating, all members warmed up quickly to conversing and laughing with each other. The open kitchen behind the bar was pristine and went along with the rest of the restaurant’s aesthetic nicely.