An Intimate Night at Omakase Room by Shin

Ceiligh McLaughlin

A hidden jewel on Midtown’s 6 ½ Avenue, Omakase Room by Shin brings fine dining to a higher level.  Located just across the alley from the esteemed La Grande Bouchérie, this restaurant offers an intimate dining experience in the traditional Japanese style of omakase dining. The word, “omakase,” meaning “I leave it up to you,” inspires this chef-selected menu, creating a new experience for each location. With several locations throughout the country, including the west village and midtown in New York City, Washington D.C., Miami, and Chicago, Omakase Room is a must-visit for any culinary aficionado. The midtown location, featuring Chef Shin Yamaoka’s expertise, was generous enough to treat my best friend and me to exceptional service and a mouthwatering 14 course meal. 

From the moment we walked in, the restaurant’s peaceful atmosphere provided an immediate respite from the noisy city outside. The light wood furnishings and flowing architecture created a bright and airy space despite its small size. Crafted by contemporary French designer, Pierre Renart, the restaurant was created to reflect a cocoon to further emphasize its separation from the outside world. This “cocoon” sets the ambience, allowing patrons to exist in the moment and encourages a true appreciation of the food. Each course was prefaced by a description of the starring flavors, including base notes and garnishes. Throughout the meal, we were given ample time to allow the flavors to sink in. The food was accompanied by a piece of fresh ginger between courses, and premium sake. The sharpness of the ginger cleansed the palate, starting each course with a fresh perspective.

The nature of the omakase dinner allowed us to converse with Chef Shin, who dazzled with his meticulous preparation and vivacious personality. Chef Shin’s impressive career has led him from Gifu, Japan to New York City, sharing his love for Japanese cuisine all the way. Focusing on the omakase style of dining, Shin’s passion for curating an extraordinary menu shines through in his delectable cuisine. Inspired by the exciting city around him, Chef Shin’s work sets him apart. Through his dedication to bringing the traditional style of omakase dining to the New York scene in new and exciting ways, he stuns in his preparation, presentation, and personal connection. Adding his own flair to the culinary arts, Chef Shin’s charming approach will hypnotize any guest who walks through the door.

At Omakase Room by Shin, you are provided with the highest quality experience with only the freshest of fish and pure Palestinian olive oil. The menu captivated us with delightfully savory salmon sushi and equally delicious toro and uni hand rolls. Finishing the night with fluffy tamago, Chef Shin ensured a night of decadent dining and enlightening conversation. This distinctive restaurant curated an environment in which each guest enters a world, isolated from the stress of everyday lives, and leaves starstruck and craving the next.