When Alex asked me where I wanted to eat for my birthday this past weekend, the answer was easy: Yamato for omakase. Owner and Chef Noboru created the most outstanding sushi experience I have ever had in my life, and I never thought I would find such fresh-tasting and deliciously-crafted sushi right here in Tucson. I came across this gem thanks to the recommendation of my foodie friend, Kei.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, omakase is a wonderful and engaging experience where the chef prepares a custom selection of sushi. It’s a sign that you trust the chef and his artful tastes. While creating the courses, he builds each one to enhance the upcoming flavor. Since the experience is based off of how you respond to certain fish and ingredients, it is important to sit in front of the chef at the sushi bar. Please note this adventure is not recommended for picky eaters and California roll lovers.
One of the fun parts is talking with the chef and getting to know each other. We shared laughs and lovely conversations with Chef Noboru as he set down each course before us with a provided description. He puts much thought into each dish and only wants you to use soy sauce if he thinks it’s needed, otherwise it could ruin the taste of the sushi he’s achieved. While I’ve never been much into soy sauce, Alex always uses it with a bit of wasabi. For the first dish, Alex reached for the bottle and Chef Noboru quickly said, “No soy sauce. Some may use soy sauce but this one does not need it.”
Each dish was amazing, featuring anything from uni (sea urchin–one of my favorite sushi items to eat) to shiitake mushrooms to hamachi (yellowtail). Chef Noboru even made a fresh fruit platter for my birthday! View our 12 courses below:
It also must be noted, this won’t be your regular sushi bill. I knew this in advance but others may not be aware. For your insight, our 12 course omakase was about the same price as a nice steak dinner. It’s 100% worth the price in my honest opinion. The chef uses the highest-quality ingredients and carefully creates each course for you, how special is that??
The other reason why the experience was memorable is because Alex and I were able to try each course together and talk about the flavors and textures together. We equally loved this experience as much as our six-course dinner for New Year’s Eve in Paris. If you’re up for mystery and trying new dishes, then give omakase a shot. Either way, definitely come in to Yamato for their regular rolls and sushi– you won’t be disappointed!