New York’s new vegan sushi experience puts watermelon tuna on the menu

On April 30, a new vegan omakase experience called “Omakaseed” will debut at New York’s Plant Bar in Manhattan’s NoMad neighborhood. The experiment is a collaborative effort between vegan restaurant Plant Bar, hotel group SimpleVenue and Vegan Warrior Project, an organization that helps restaurants maximize their cooking capacity by connecting them to plant-based delivery concepts.

The experience is led by Michelin-starred chef Roberto Romero, in collaboration with Vegan Warrior Project chef Jorge Pineda (of legendary vegan restaurants Candle 79 and Candle Café), and will focus on showcasing seasonal ingredients found week after week at the peak of their flavor. . The menu will be inspired by global and Japanese cuisines and will include a variety of nigiri and dishes such as matcha potato soup, Sunomo-style pulled oyster mushroom salad and watermelon tuna with marinated kelp.

“Omakaseed was created on the foundation of innovation and draws inspiration from global flavors and fresh, plant-based ingredients to offer a unique vegan option to omakase meals,” Erika London, President of SimpleVenue, Specializes in Intake from unique concepts to underutilized spaces. — told VegNews. “By highlighting the incredible flavors the Earth has to offer us, we believe Omakaseed will truly showcase the marriage of Japanese-inspired dishes and nutritious, plant-based ingredients for an experience like no other.”

Cocktails will follow the example of cooking classes, with an emphasis on fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables incorporated into libations such as Feel the Beet, Practice What you Peach, Who’s Your Edamame, Green Goddess and Mint to Be. In full, London says Omakaseed is designed to “provide diners with a dining experience that unveils the intricacies of each dish.”


An omakase-style vegan sushi experience in NYC

Chef’s tasting menus are evolving, especially in New York City, where chef Daniel Humm transformed legendary fine-dining restaurant Eleven Madison Park into a primarily plant-based menu last year. With Omakaseed, the team wanted to create an experience that was both modern and a tribute to omakase tasting menus of the past, while celebrating the best of the plant kingdom.

“Our mission is to bring the magic of omakase-style serving to the plant-based culinary scene, delivering a personalized dining experience that takes a deeper look at the ingredients the Earth provides us with every day,” London said. “Omakaseed emphasizes conscious cooking, expanding the palettes of everyone who joins us, vegan or not.”

The intimate Omakaseed Bar experience is limited to eight seats, with seating priced at $85 per person (plus tax and tip). Reservations are available for dinner Wednesday through Saturday. Outside of the Omakaseed menu, Plant Bar, which opened in February, serves a variety of plant-based appetizers, sandwiches and salads with a pan-Asian twist.


Coast-to-coast vegan sushi and omakase

Omakaseed will join New York’s thriving vegan sushi scene, which includes Beyond Sushi, a chain that operates locations across Manhattan. On the west coast, vegan sushi is also growing in popularity, especially in California, which is home to many high-end vegan sushi restaurants such as Shizen in San Francisco, Shojin in Los Angeles and many more.

Traditional sushi restaurants are also taking note of the demand for fish-free options. In 2019, ROKU, Sushi Roku and Katana, owned by Innovative Dining Group (IDG) and considered one of the best sushi restaurants in Los Angeles, began serving a vegan omakase menu. Dishes included grilled corn on the cob, miso-glazed eggplant, and roasted cauliflower; a hearty tofu steak as an entrée served on a bed of mixed tobanyaki mushrooms; a whole grilled avocado with ponzu sauce; and a variety of nigiri and vegetable rolls topped with vegetables.

“It’s important to us to always keep our menus fresh and tasty,” IDG Hospitality partner Lee Maen told VegNews at the time. “Veganism is a lifestyle that encompasses that, and we want to provide our customers with more vegan options, so everyone can enjoy the omakase experience.

VegNews.BlueSushiSakeGrill.VeganRollBlue Sushi Sake Grill

Off the coast, vegan sushi is also booming in more inland areas thanks to Blue Sushi Sake Grill. The sushi chain operates locations in 10 states and began experimenting with expanding its vegan options in 2019 when it worked with products made by vegan seafood company Ocean Hugger Foods and Follow Your Heart to add four rolls on his menu. Now, the chain offers an extensive vegan maki menu with fishless tuna rolls, eggplant-based eel and plant-based shrimp tempura.

For more on vegan sushi, read:
Malta gets its first vegan takeaway sushi restaurant
Beyond Sushi opens a 7th vegan restaurant in New York
This new vegan sashimi looks like tuna, calamari and salmon

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