Updated: Feb 7
For my last birthday, I was lucky enough to have a special dining experience at Sushi Hayakawa. It is an intimate and traditional Japanese sushiya gem nestled in bustling Buford Highway - an area known for its vast international cuisine dining options. Chef Atsushi Hayakawa is the founder and head sushi chef of the restaurant. He conducts the omakase experience as much as an entertainer as he is a chef. For the duration of the HONKAKU OMAKASE ~ 本格的な寿司, which spanned over approximately two hours, Hayakawa was constantly engaging with diners, asking questions or offering life anecdotes. Hayakawa was personable, open, and overall offered a refreshing perspective to my previous omakase experiences. Hayakawa even took a photo with everyone after dinner and connected with us on social media making it even more memorable.
Hayakawa sources from Tokyo's Toyosu market and globally. The quality of the ingredients is undoubtedly superb and there is no question of this from the first bite. If you are on the fence trying to justify the $185-$205 meal per person take the steep price to import the fish into consideration. Reservations for the following week open up every Sunday but sell out very quickly due to high demand. If you do decide to bite the bullet, there are a few things to heed before attending. Sushi Hayakawa asks that guests do not wear perfume or cologne to the dinner. Our sense of smell plays a large part in what we taste and any overpowering scent can lessen the experience for yourself or others. Even something as little as a scented body wash I do not recommend using, lest you may be turned away. The attire is semi-casual so the restaurant asks that men wear shirts that cover their shoulders.
The regular meal which we attended on August 31, 2021, consisted of 13 courses. Each dish was presented as beautifully as a gift. Keep scrolling to see the menu and each one. My personal favorites were the UNI, tuna, and scallop, although every dish was exceptional.
Course #1 - Conch clear soup
Course #2 - Honmaguro Blue Fin Tuna
Course #3 - Hamachi Yellowtail / Pepper Soy Sauce
Course #4 - Hokkaido Sea Scallop / Yuzu Miao
Course #5 - Octopus and White Cockle clam / Miso sauce
Course #6 - Seared Marinated Salmon
Course #7 - Nigiri Sushi - Toro / ShimaAji Striped jack / Aodai Blue Fusilier
Course #8 - Hokkaido Ezo Bahun UNI sea urchin
Course #9 - Simmered yellowtail with sansho pepper
Course #10 - Sushi Ikura (Salmon Caviar)
Course #11 - Tamago (egg)
Course #12 - Anago (Sea-eel)
Course #13 - Dessert - Green tea ice cream / Yuzu Kanten (Yuzu - agar)
Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend Sushi Hayakawa to a friend, colleague, or really anyone willing to listen because it was such a thoughtful and wonderfully curated experience.