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Takesushi in Sunnyside--a fortunate addition to the neighborhood

We've been twice now, the second time was an improvement, this is solidly the best sushi in Sunnyside. By no means a destination but: solidly the best in the area, IMO. I'm posting here about it because I think it might be easy to miss that it exists, and it's absolutely worth it if you're local, staying in the neighborhood, and craving raw fish.

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  1. It looks like this is the same Takesushi that was located in Manhattan (with a branch on Long Island). Glad to see they were able to reopen after they were abruptly shut down due to a dispute with the landlord at their Manhattan location. If the same itamae from the Manhattan branch are here, they all worked with Ichimura, so they all have some good experience and pedigree.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/617502

    1. How would you say it compares to Linn in Astoria?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Pookipichu

        I prefer Linn, though Linn can get pricey quickly. Linn is arguably more inventive but Takesushi had some unusual stuff on their menu as well.

      2. Went twice in the last few days for the udon, and I love the place. So happy to have solid udon in the neighborhood.
        The first time I went, my friend got a sashimi to go for her husband and he claims that it wasn't impressive. Although I trust his taste, I won't judge until I tried the fish myself.

        The udon is excellent but the service is a bit... scattered. The first time we went we waited about 10 minutes for the menus, last night about the same for spoons after the soup was brought to the table. I think they don't work sections of the dining area as two of the girls came over to take the order and each time the owner brought the soup at the table. Nothing major with the service, they're polite and they're trying but somehow there's a bit of lack of flow, if you know what I mean. It doesn't bother me much, just thought others might care.

        There's so much on the menu that I want to try, can't wait to go back.

        3 Replies
        1. re: RedVelvet

          Agree on the service, but I think most service in the neighborhood isn't that good.

          1. re: RedVelvet

            What kind of udon? Their online menu is hard to navigate and I could really go for some good udon.

            1. re: graymath

              Nabeyaki udon. I liked that they bring the tempura shrimp (excellent, btw) on the side, as to not get soggy from the soup.

          2. Yeah I have to agree that this is really solid food, sushi & cooked items both. I took some Japanese friends there last week they were very happy with the food & variety on the menu & enjoyed it. They are from Manhattan & were visibly surprised at how cheap the final bill was for the quality/quantity of what we had, we sampled a variety from the menu.(Omakase is $45/$55. It's still BYOB.)We talked for a while with the owner, nice guy.

            Interesting factoid: according to him his original Takesushi on the UES was the first sushi restaurant in NYC at the birth of the US awareness of sushi/sashimi. That's over 40 years of doing this.

            I don't know much about Japanese food so can't comment on nuances, etc., but I have enjoyed it each time. The eggplant in, I think, a miso sauce was wonderful. It's very reasonably priced & it's now a weekly dinner stop for me. I too am concerned about the location since it isn't on Queens Blvd but around a corner on a residential street, easy to miss & I want this place to stay around.

            As said not a destination, but worth seeking out if you are in one of the neighboring hoods.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Huck

              Oh jeez, I forgot to add that they have fugu, something that I thought I would have to travel to Japan & tell everyone later an embellished tale of drama & anxiety about my Bourdain-like lifestyle.... Nope, there it is just around the corner from me in Queens.

              (And my math was wrong in the above post: I should have said ".. almost 40 years")

              1. re: Huck

                Are you sure it was real Japanese Fugu? These days Japanese restaurants including Neta, are calling Atlantic Blowfish, Fugu. Although it might be in the same family ,it is nothing close to real Fugu. In Japan you need a special license to serve it. It can be deadly if you eat too much of the liver especially.

                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  I believe it. He does stuff like this.

            2. Any comparisons with TJ Asian Bristro, 10 blocks up, which is also in the immediate neighborhood and IMO the best sushi around here?

              3 Replies
              1. re: rhydewithdis

                Takesushi is not a fancy roll Japanese restaurant - it's simple, good, authentic (whatever that means) Japanese food.

                I have been looking for MY sushi restaurant ever since I moved to Queens. Looking for a place where the owner cared about quality of cooking and was present to serve you. Also a place where you can have some dialogue with the owner, like a bar. This is it.

                The menu always has surprises. They even started making heroes as a competition to Subway -- not sure if it lasted, but I did have one at my table and we were the envy of the 15 foot radius of our plate - it was pretty good!

                Why did Robin, the owner, open up here in Sunnyside? He lives down the block.

                Takesushi deserves to be packed. Please show them your patronage and make sure he sticks around.

                1. re: Jeffsayyes

                  I tried Takesushi the other day with a friend, found it to be less than solid. Perhaps if I lived in the neighborhood I'd eat there occasionally, but otherwise, I'd recommend traveling for something better.

                  We started with gyoza, homemade, and actually pretty good, and tasteless chicken wings. The sushi platter for two had fishy tasting pieces and some of the fish was mealy. We didn't even finish it, and it wasn't because we were full.

                2. re: rhydewithdis

                  I agree that Asian Bistro is great, and the lunch specials are insanely cheap and plentiful. Haven't been to the new place.

                3. We went again last night, party of four. As I stated before, udon is the main reason we go there for. Last night we also got some appetizers: uni with grated yam, a Michelle roll, gyoza and grilled spanish mackerel.

                  Here's my opinion on them:
                  The mackerel was dry. Slight miso flavor but not enough to make it enjoyable. C
                  The uni was decent but not the best (or close) that I've ever had. The grated yam, flavorless and mucilaginous (texture off-putting for some) was good with the addition of wasabi and soy sauce. B
                  Michelle roll - an A. Yellowtail I think, with a crunchy topping and salmon roe over, a bit spicy... Very good. I'm sorry I didn't take a picture of it, it looked good, too.
                  The gyoza was ok, let's say a B. Maybe B+

                  The star remains the Nabeyaki Udon. The noodles are perfectly chewy, the broth has a very enticing aroma, the tempura shrimp on the side always good.

                  I'm still happy they're in the neighborhood :)

                   
                   
                  1 Reply
                  1. re: RedVelvet

                    I'm trying the Udon next time, thanks.

                    Went last night and the place was empty. Gotta say I felt annoyed that my neighbors have supported far inferior Japanese restaurants in close proximity for years, but at least last night this place looked to be struggling. If you're local in Sunnyside this is absolutely a place to seek out.

                  2. I went this weekend and thought it was great. Not a fancy place but the quality of the food was fantastic. They have a uni toro donburi special now through the end of February, which is what I had. The uni and toro were both very fresh.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Tabetaina

                      I have made two trips to this place and both times the food was very good, surprisingly good for the price and the location. The head chef noticed my reaction of surprise and acknowledged that this place is an anomaly in Queens.

                      As mentioned above...they are running a few different bluefin tuna specials right now. One of them is 1 piece of lean tuna, one medium fatty and one very fatty for $9. Yup, all 3 pieces were $9. I was absolutely shocked at the quality of the otoro too. I wish that I took pictures...

                      There were also some things that I was surprised and happy to see...things like Sayori, Sanma, baby conch.

                      I am thrilled to have this place in the neighborhood. It is far better than any other place i have encountered in Queens.

                      I am not a fan of Linn. He lets the fish sit out in the open and is very sloppy cutting the fish too. The rice there is subpar as well IMO. Takesushi is on another level and it is actually cheaper too.

                      I hope that this place sticks around. Both chefs seemed very capable and both of them were engaging too.

                      1. re: Yaxpac

                        Funny, I feel the same way about Linn and agree that Takesushi is at another level. I also like that the owner at Takesushi seems very interested in providing value to his customers. He explained his philosophy around lunch and why he made it partially self-service. He wanted to offer quality food that is unusual in Queens and keep it affordable so that people might experiment with food they never tried before. They'll also sell you fish to take home and cook too.

                        1. re: Tabetaina

                          they will sell you fish to take home? wow, this is great to know. Thanks for sharing.

                          1. re: Yaxpac

                            Thanks again for the heads up about selling fish to take home.

                            Last week I purchased a tray of uni and a strip of chu-toro...for a total of $20. Couldn't believe it. The uni was from Maine and very good...not excellent but better than I anticipated.

                            1. re: Yaxpac

                              I'm glad you tried it and got a good deal!

                              Funny, I think $20 must be his standard price for a tray...I've bought different things and somehow, it is always $20. BTW, if you ask for something and he tells you that he's not sure if he has enough for service, ask him to recommend what he thinks is good to take home. I've gotten nice stuff from him that way.

                    2. Made my way to Takesushi. Far better than their Great Neck outpost and probably the best sushi in Queens. The service was very slow and scattered but friendly.

                      Thanks for the recommendation.

                      1. About a month or so ago, I had one of my random sushi cravings and searched the boards. Ever since I read this review, I've been back to this place no fewer than four times. I'm addicted to their lunchtime sushi special. Has not failed to be fresh each time. An economical deal in New York. One day, I "wandered off" and tried their wonderful chashu ramen at dinner time. I think one of the many things I like about this place is the ever-polite and friendly service. I don't mind the "scattered"ness of it. Thanks for the find and the recommendation. I do make it a destination. I no longer have to travel to Sharaku in the Village.