I had a front row seat at the sushi counter at Shoushin, a Japanese restaurant specializing in Omakase style meals (tasting meals) that opened in October 2015. Chef Jackie Lin leads the kitchen. A tall, modest, unassuming Chinese man who learned from a master chef at Zen Japanese Restaurant and has become a master chef in his own right. This beautiful, zen-like restaurant seats about 30 people and features a rare Japanese hinoki wood sushi bar, only one of two found in North America. The other restaurant is Masa, New York’s most expensive restaurant. It is revered for its fragrance and rarity and is used in temples or sacred buildings in Japan. It has no varnish or sealer on it. The chef actually sands it down a few times a week. It has a beautiful look and feel to it. Even the chopsticks used are of a lesser grade hinoki. You can notice the difference in the chopsticks right away. The chef not only creates artistry on the plates, he also appreciates visual artistry, and you can see it in the aesthetically designed restaurant and his beautiful Picasso porcelain plates which are on display. Actually all his porcelain dishes and saké cups are handmade.
You sit at either the sushi counter or on tatami mats. The small semi-private room in the back has regular tables.
There is no fusion food here or combo rolls, instead only the best, purest and most authentic ingredients are used here. His methods are very exacting and you can taste the difference, with wild caught fish and handmade wasabi.
There are four tasting options to choose from, an $80, $130, $160, or a $250 meal. We opted for the $160 meal. Our meal begins with two starters, some sashimi, and a wonderful soup. At the core of each meal is a series of nigiri formed piece by piece by chef Lin, who places each one as it is done, on a dish in front of the diner. You pop them in your mouth. It seemed like we had a dozen or so pieces, ending with a hand roll. The fish was impeccably fresh. Simplicity and quality are definitely a hallmark here, as well as skill and art form. Each fish is treated uniquely. He pairs the right ingredients with every fish. The chef prefers you to use your hands and not your chopsticks because this is finger food. He also does not present the sushi with any soya sauce, so you can better taste the fish. There was a great saké list to choose from or you can try saké pairings. I also enjoyed a sparking wine with peach gelée which was was so easy to drink. Even the desserts are created with typical Japanese ingredients, like a matcha pudding with bean paste. All the servers were highly trained and professional. The restaurant had a strong and steady following, but be sure to bring a full wallet, as the meal is not inexpensive. Shoushin is for discerning sushi connoisseurs.