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Jun 6, 2012 08:45 AM

Hatsuhana 17 East 48th

Hatsuhana on the 48th Street location at 17 East 48th btw Madison and 5th, is certainly a great preference for eaters of raw fish.

The advantages here are the offerings of large cuts of octopus, raw shrimp as well as the freshness and professional friendly work that goes into creating the experience for the guest. This preparation with the shrimp includes deepfried head of shrimp, for those seasoned eaters of Japanese food, I am certain you know of this.

On visit not too long ago I was very pleased, and natto with raw quail egg was able to be ordered and eaten between the raw fish. I had ordered this some weeks ago at another restaurant, and was told that they could not use raw egg, because sickness may result. This fear is culturally based, in my opinion.

I recommend going early, for the dining guests become greater in number later, and you might have to wait.

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    1. Hatsuhana for probably 20 years was the #1 Japanese restaurant in Zagat. They had branches in Tokyo, Paris, Chicago and New York. They always had great quality fish. The clientele was always mostly Japanese ( except for Al Roker the weather guy). The head chef at Nobu , Sheen-san ,worked at Hatsuhana for years, The chef from Bouley upstairs Mikami-san, was Hatsuhan's executive chef, the new sushi chef at Brushstroke, Ichimura-san worked at Hatsuhana, and many more. Hatsuhana is an icon in NYC sushi places. The service and the uniqueness of dishes depends on what chef serves you , and the communication between you and the chef. I have had some amazing sushi meals there, and friends went the next day , and had the same chef and got just average meal. As far as raw eggs go, salmonella is always a possibility. Same as raw chicken. In Japan raw chicken is a popular, and delicious dish ( toriwasa) , hard to get that here in NYC.

      6 Replies
      1. re: foodwhisperer

        I remember around thirty years ago they had a great review in the NY Times. Mimi Sheraton gave them four stars and it was "the" place in NYC for sushi for years.

        1. re: foodwhisperer

          Hatsuhana was the first was the very first Sushi restaurant I ever went to... back in the late 70's. It has been the only Japanese restaurant where I was ever served Sushi or Sashimi on fresh (Banana?) leaves. I can still recall vividly the Sushi Chef peeling out a Daikon radish thinner than any Mandoline slicer for the Sashimi garnish. Absolutely amazing knife skills.

          1. re: foodwhisperer

            Hatsuhana has been opened since the late 1970s if I am correct.

            It is good to put up a reminder as to excellent sushi, for in the 1990s I detested the advent of these lesser quality sushi places owned by copy cats acting on the new popularity of sushi and raw fish, but by mid 2000 I had lost my orthodox demeanor and was led astraw.

            The chef that provided for me had an acute keenness to please my palate.

            A pretty good 居酒屋 (jujiuwu) that serves raw liver of bovine is Izakaya Ariyoshi at 53rd btw 2nd and 3rd. It is across from Tomi Jazz, and a great alternative to the over priced Tori Shin, serving yakitori (肉菜和魚串). The raw liver of bovine is served cold, and is accompanied by a smallish dish of dipping oil that is salted and peppered.

            1. re: jonkyo

              Jonkyo, I still enjoy Hatsuhana, and am glad you mentioned it here. It deserves recognition as it was a star way back when, and still maintains excellent sushi. Thanks for the recommendation on Izakaya Ariyoshi, the raw liver sounds quite interesting. Raw chicken is one of my favorite Japanese dishes. Raw liver works for me. I eat a lot of cooked pork liver,as I eat Filipino food often.

              1. re: jonkyo

                Any reason you wrote pinyin for a Japanese word?

            2. Hatsuhana was the only four star Japanese restaurant in NYC for a long time. Back in the 70s there were only a handful to begin with.

              I started eating there in 1977. The original head chef has Hiro. He left and Shin became the head chef. Then Shin left to open Nobu and Seki became and still is head chef.

              Ichimura worked there for a short time recently after his own restuarant on 2nd Ave, closed after he lost his lease.

              Oishi is back there now after Sushi Rose closed.

              The most notable chef that was trained at Hatsuhana from the beginning of his career is Yasuda. All of the rest were trained in Japan.

              2 Replies
              1. re: sushiman

                Sushiman, I ate there since 1977 also. Shin worked at Park Ave Hatsuhana back in the day, but I still thought he was at Nobu 57. Is he not? I was at Hatsuhana not too long ago and Shin wasn't there. Back in the day, Shin used to eat at Fukuda on Grove St. You left out Mikami-san, who was the head Japanese chef at Bouley Upstairs. Mr. Mikami was the Executive Chef for all branches of Hatsuhana ( Tokyo, Paris, Chicago, NY_ for several years. He now works for Wegman's Supermarket. He helped train Yamata-san at Brushstroke.

                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  Shin was at Park Ave for a few years, it was great. He is at Nobu 57 currently.