So yet another new sushi restaurant opens in downtown New York City! Who knew the market for omakase was so big? It’s beginning to feel a little crowded in Soho, where there are multiple sushi restaurants near Sullivan, Thompson and Houston streets. The newest newcomer is a restaurant called Sushi Lin, which was started by two sushi chefs with the same last name, Lin, hence the name. The two Chef Lins collectively trained in restaurants like 15 East, Gaijin and Blue Ribbon. Sushi Lin uses seafood sourced directly from Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, and the omakase focuses on “freshness, flavor and texture”. Indeed, the restaurant has a distinctive style that utilizes a lot of cooked garnishes for their sushi pieces.
The space at Sushi Lin is pretty small. There are about 12 seats total in the restaurant. The two Chef Lins are very social and if you buy them a drink at the end of dinner service, they will definitely accept it! So far it seems like the restaurant attracts a fun crowd, or maybe that’s because we were part of the late night 9:00 pm seating. Almost every diner was down for some sake. This is not one of those really quiet, zen places where you eat sushi in silence. People chat, and you might even make friends with the stranger sitting next to you.
I would say there were about 3 pieces out of the 17 course omakase that were excellent. And surprisingly two of them featured king salmon with cooked items. The best piece by far is one that sounds like it would be disgusting, a king salmon with a torched, cooked tomato on top, but it was really delicious. Imagine tasting a tinge of excellent ketchup on your sushi, that is the best way I can describe it. A more subtle salmon standout was the New Zealand salmon with fried leeks. And the third was a really over the top piece that I’m seeing at more and more restaurants, a trifecta of fatty tuna, uni and caviar. What do you get when you cram the three most coveted items in an omakase into one piece? Pure pleasure. Their handrolls at the end, the chopped eel with avocado and chopped toro with pickled radish, were also excellent. Overall the omakase at Sushi Lin was even keeled, with the more plain, unadorned pieces getting lost, while a few pieces really knocked it out of the park.
120 Sullivan St. (between Spring and Prince St)
New York, NY 10012
Reservations on Resy.