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Oct 27, 2007 07:48 AM

Sachiko's On Clinton

My girlfriend and I made plans to eat sushi last night. Normally this would mean Ushi Wakamaru, but ... So we considered trying 15 East, but just weren't in the mood to drop that kind of dough. Instead we decided to try our luck at Sachiko's which I thought held reasonable hope along with a palatable price tag. I got the impression from the restaurant's website that this is a serious sushi bar /Japaneses restaurant -- that is absolutely not the case.

When we arrived the place was nearly empty, one large party of Japanese diners and one a couple at another table. We were the only ones sitting at the bar. We each asked for omakase. This was not a true omakase, but an option on the menu priced at $45. A few minutes later we were served all of our sushi at once; twelve pieces of nigiri and one maki roll. The fish was somewhere between totally un-compelling and plain unappealing. The rice was clumpy and heavy. In general, our request for omakase yielded not any fish of a special quality, just an extra large serving of the regular stuff.

Perhaps my expectations for Sachiko's were unjustified, maybe I should have anticipated that they are serving the same dreg as every other neighborhood sushi joint. But I do believe the website promises something on a higher level. Certainly the fish in the photos on the website does not resemble the fish I saw last night. In any event, if you're looking for a truly contemplative sushi experience, this is hardly the place.

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  1. Sachiko has past its prime time. I believe they changed chef a few years back, so that might explain why there was such a large discrepancy on what you saw and what you got.

    4 Replies
    1. re: kobetobiko

      Probably right-I used to go when it first opened a couple of years ago and the young sushi chef was fantastic. I talked to him about all of the other sushi chefs in town. Ushiwakamaru was his favorite. Sad to hear the place has gone downhill.

      1. re: guttergourmet

        Based on my experience, it's very difficult to imagine there ever was a prime for Sachiko's; that they ever served serious sushi. But, I guess it's a little easier to believe knowing the former chef was fond of Ushi.

        1. re: zEli173

          Sachiko was great when it opened. There was an extensive list of specials, seasonal dishes, interesting fish, etc. I think the restaurant never got enough traffic to for its somewhat risky menu, and after about a year and a half things changed. A "saketini" menu appeared, most of the special dishes vanished, and I stopped going. It's sad, because it was a really nice experience for a while.

          1. re: small h

   was great when it opened. though, apparently they were more famous for their cooked japanese food.

            ive probably been there about 5 times since they opened...the most recent time probably last year and it wasnt bad but i did expense it.

            never...never was it crowded...i think it has its days numbered unfortunately.

    2. Sachiko can be hit or miss on both food and service. That being said, some of their non-sushi dishes are very good. The Botan Ebi Carpaccio is out of this world (sweet shrimp with uni and basil) and alone justifies a visit - i can't stop thinking about it. The black cod and ankimo was very nice, also. Sushi can be hit or miss, however. Check their website b/c they usually run different specials which are actually pretty good bang for buck.

      1 Reply
      1. re: marksmithurbana

        I ate at Sachiko's on Clinton last night and had a terrific meal! I don't go to Japanese restaurants all that often as I eat authentic Japanese cooking at home, everyday, pretty much. I will say that if you're looking for a straight up sushiya, Sachiko's isn't it. On the other hand, if you are looking for outstanding, authentic Japanese dishes, you'll be very happy, and pleasantly surprised with the fare at Sachiko's. Sachiko-san's Shiokara is the best I've eaten here in the U.S. The ala carte items on the menu are simply fantastic and one should really not miss out on them. The sushi was quite good as well and incorporates creative sauces that blend very nicely with each particular piece of fish. Sachiko's on Clinton is a really good Japanese restaurant and reasonably priced! Don't miss this one!

        Sachiko's on Clinton
        25 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

      2. It is with a heavy heart that I report that Sachiko's has not returned to its former glory. My dinner there tonight was by no means a disaster, just disappointing due to the unrealistic expections I had because of a couple of recent positive reviews.

        I started with the botan ebi carpaccio, which is topped with one small piece of uni. The uni was nice enough, but the shrimp was a little tough and stringy. The plating and saucing were also pretty sloppy. And it was $16, which wouldn't bother me except that had I ordered the components separately, I would've paid $5 for the botan ebi and $7 for the uni. So I ponied up $4 for a squirt of soy sauce and a couple of blobs of shiso, or maybe basil - I really don't know what the hell that green mush was.

        I usually don't order rolls, especially busy rolls, but none of the sashimi specials appealed, so I chose the Sachiko's roll off the daily menu. It had lobster, oyster, lettuce and flying fish roe. And it was just ok: the lobster was too chewy, and the oyster was fried to a fare-thee-well. And there was waaaay too much mayonnaise strewn about the plate.

        My companion had the kushiage appetizer, which was fine, and the grilled yellowtail collar, which was a bargain at $12 for a very generous portion. I usually love grilled yellowtail collar, and I would've loved this one had it not been so oily.

        On the upside, there is a happy hour until 7:30, which might be a reason to stop in. Beer is $3-4, mixed drinks are $6-7, and lowest-common-denominator sushi rolls (yellowtail jalapeno, tuna avocado, etc.) are two for $10. I had a shochu mojito, which was garnished with umeboshi and shiso, and thus kind of interesting. I also very much enjoyed the an mitsu dessert, an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink affair with vanilla ice cream, chocolate mochi ice cream, gelatin cubes, sweet red beans and fruit.

        Note that the website menu has not been updated to reflect the current offerings, or their prices. I so want this place to be awesome, like it used to be. The staff is so friendly (if not exactly attentive), and the space so comfortable. I guess I'll wait a few months and give it another shot.

        2 Replies
        1. re: small h

          I'm so sorry to hear that you were disappointed, since I enjoyed my two visits there so much. I don't know what it once was, but I would put it up there with some of the freshest affordable sushi in the city. I ordered pretty differently but really enjoyed the jewel box.

          1. re: foodie4life

            I had the jewel box on my first visit there, which was over three years ago, I think. I thought it was great then, but I looked at the fish selection last night and went another way. Because the fish selection was blah. Anyway, I'm glad you had good experiences there, and one day I hope to have another one myself!

        2. I was recently at 15 East and chef Masa told us that his former sushi chef (the white guy!) is now the sushi chef at Sachiko.

          10 Replies
            1. re: guttergourmet

              a few notes:

              i thought the white guy from sushi uo was originally working at morimoto.
              i also heard he left sushi uo just recently.

              1. re: sam1

                yes-the new white guy is the one from 15 East

                    1. re: guttergourmet

                      I thought I read the "white sushi chef" had left Sushi Uo -- I might be wrong though.

                      LOL @ foodismylife! Classic.

                      1. re: uwsister

                        OK- let's get this straight- there was a white sushi chef at Uo who trained under Morimoto who got the buzz going. Then he left (allegedly to go to Japan). Then ANOTHER white sushi chef who trained under Chef Masato Shimizu (formerly of Jewel Bako and not related to Shimizu restaurant) at 15 East took over at Sushi Uo. Sachiko's on Clinton ain't got nuthin' to do with it. Anything else- I dunno-third base.

                        15 East
                        15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                        Sachiko's on Clinton
                        25 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

                        88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                        1. re: guttergourmet

                          Gotcha. Thanks for clearing up -- all these roundeye chefs doing their sushi thing! JK, of course.

                1. re: Ricky

                  but is who still on first and what on second
                  with apologies to abbott and costello i just couldnt resist