A 15-Course, $100 Omakase spot opens in Williamsburg

There’s an omakase restaurant called Yoshino that opened in 2021 in Noho that’s supposed to be extraordinary. Dinner consists of 20 courses and costs $648, tax and tip included. It’s extremely unlikely you or I will ever be able to eat there.

Last winter in Williamsburg, though, I ate at a place called Shota on South 3rd Street in Williamsburg, and it was one of the best meals I had all year. Just hit after hit through 19 courses. It cost $195, but as a kind of holiday-season splurge, it felt totally worth it. I highly recommend this spot.

For various reasons, mostly involving money, I hadn’t done an omakase since that night at Shota, until last weekend. Taking advantage of the city’s general emptiness, I dined almost solo at the newish Mido Omakase on South 1st near Roebling, which these days feels like the “old” part of Williamsburg. Nostalgia for the early-aughts is thick east of Bedford!

Anyway, Mido opened in March and, compared to other tasting-menu restaurants around town, it features a bargain-sounding $100 omakase consisting of 15 courses. Most of these are one-bite nigiri, but there are a couple of small composed dishes in the mix as well.

Mido is from owner Ben Leung and chef Sato, both of whom grew up in Hong Kong, both of whom have worked in hospitality for more than two decades and, though they also have a Mido restaurant on the Upper West Side, both of whom are really excited to be in Brooklyn.

“We love Williamsburg,” Leung tells Brooklyn Magazine. “We hang out here, and eat here a lot. I think it’s a great neighborhood. Both Williamsburg and Greenpoint. They’re my favorite food neighborhoods in New York, and I live in Flushing.”

O-toro (Photo by Scott Lynch)

Given that there were only two other diners in the place when we started, the 15-course meal only took about an hour, which was fine by me. There are few eating experiences more tedious than a tasting menu meal filled with long, food-free stretches between courses. It’s all pretty bang-bang at Mido. One flourish that I did enjoy was when the server held up an iPad with a photo of the fish we were about to eat.

Meet your meal (Photo by Scott Lynch)

Among the highlights of the meal was the arctic char followed by the Japanese skipjack, which made for a pleasantly potent one-two punch as dinner was winding down. The fatty o-toro, lightly charred and coming in at course number 13, also really shined. And the raw shrimp sporting a caviar bump was fun too.

Botan ebi with a caviar bump (Photo by Scott Lynch)

There’s no dipping sauce, soy or otherwise, and wasabi is kept at a minimum, so a lot is riding on the freshness of the fish. When something is dry, or bland, you will notice.

Bluefin tuna on toast with black truffle (Photo by Scott Lynch)

Leung says Mido follows Edomae, or traditional, sushi traditions, but chef Sato does throw a couple of contemporary curveballs at you, like the finely chopped bluefin tuna piled atop a piece of blowtorched bread, and the bonito served with chunks of vinegar jello.

Bonito with vinegar jello (Photo by Scott Lynch)

Your final course is a slab of eggy tamago, which at some Japanese establishments can be almost sugary sweet but here at Mido it’s filled with more fish.

The main room is taken up mostly with the sushi bar; a secondary area up a couple of steps houses tables for à la carte dining. Cans of Echigo beer cost $10, and cold sake can be had for around $28 per 12-ounce carafe.

Arctic char and Japanese skipjack (Photo by Scott Lynch)

The basic question here however is this: Does Mido’s $100 (plus tax and tip) omakase, while cheap relative to other such experiences around town, feel like a bargain? There are obviously a ton of places in this part of North Brooklyn where a hundred bucks will get you a large, excellent meal, plus some booze. But if you’re pining for an omakase there are some good bites to be had at Mido. If forced to choose though, I might save up a little longer and go to Shota.

Mido Omakase Room is located at 221 South First Street, just west of Roebling Street, and is currently open on Monday through Friday from 5 to 10 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday for a $68 omakase brunch from noon to 3, then dinner from 5 to 10.  

The post A 15-Course, $100 Omakase spot opens in Williamsburg appeared first on Brooklyn Magazine.

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