If you ever been to Midtown West, namely the five to seven block radius of Carnegie Hall, you’d be surrounded with the extremes of dining – either it’s incredibly delicious but it’s very expensive (maybe even Michelin starred) or unsatisfying food that is moderately priced (you can do street food cheap with the halal carts but I’m talking about sit-down type of dining).
There is a glimmer of hope with MakiMaki, owned and run by Kevin Takarda, offers reasonably priced maki sushi (rolled and cut up) or temaki (hand roll) sushi that is fresh and delicious. Takarada saw a hole in the market for quick, affordable, and high quality sushi. Sit-down sushi restaurants can be too slow and too expensive; and while Duane Reade and other bodegas stocks inexpensive and quick sushi, it’s never going to be as fresh as the stuff rolled in the moment. This restaurant isn’t really meant for dining in but you can sit on bar stools and eat at the bar by the window or across the register.
The menu offers a basic lineup of maki like spicy tuna, California and avocado; salmon avocado, yellowtail scallion, and spicy crab; and shrimp tempura, eel avocado, and negi toro (8-piece maki rolls range from $6.50 to $12 and temaki hand rolls range from $4 to $10). Fancier sushi eaters can opt for their seasonal winter temaki of Maine uni (sea urchin) for $18.
The temakis and makis offered here were fresh and delicious considering its price point. The rice was perfect where it’s not too wet or mushy and not too dry either that it falls apart when its bitten or picked up with chopsticks. The uni temaki was a special treat. Creamy, sweet and the fresh note of shiso leaf when bitten made it great.
The brilliant thing about their temaki is the packaging. It is packed like onigiri, those ubiquitous rice ball snacks, if you ever traveled to Japan. The sheet of seaweed (nori) is wrapped in the plastic packaging and separated by the rice and filling. When you want to eat your temaki, you unwrap the top half of the cone and pull down vertically to have the two main components come together. If you ever experienced any maki roll or temaki that’s been sitting with the rice and nori together for over an hour, the texture is terrible that everything is mushy to the bite rather than the gentle crispness of seaweed meets soft, warm rice and filling.
Overall, this restaurant is a fantastic option given the location and price point. I’d totally go back there when I’m watching a performance at Carnegie or picking up a quick sushi meal when I’m in the neighborhood.
To view more photos of this visit, please view the gallery below or CLICK HERE for the photo set:[alpine-phototile-for-flickr src=”set” uid=”26389565@N00″ sid=”72157694278370065″ imgl=”flickr” shuffle=”1″ style=”gallery” row=”4″ grwidth=”1200″ grheight=”800″ size=”640″ num=”30″ shadow=”1″ border=”1″ align=”center” max=”100″]
1369 6th Avenue
(between W 55th & W 56th Street)
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 245-4550