Three forthcoming Japanese restaurants will specialize in omakase — the intricate Japanese tasting menus for which patrons put themselves in the hands of their chef. You can experience omakase now at such destinations as Royal Izakaya, Double Knot (and DK Sushi, its sibling on the Penn campus), Zama, and Morimoto.
Put down your chopsticks for Ikki, which my source says is at least a year away. It will be a two-level Japanese bar-restaurant at 310 Market St. in Old City, now a nail salon that is very much in operation and will be for the foreseeable future, as design work has not even begun. It's between High Street on Market and Three 12 Sports Bar.
Then there's Hiroki, coming to the rear of Wm. Mulherin's Sons in Fishtown on the corner of Lee and Master Streets, in November. Backed by Mulherin's owner Method Co., the omakase specialist will be operated by Hiroki Fujiyama, a former chef de cuisine at Morimoto in Philadelphia. Method's rep tells me that the menu will feature two fixed-price options — one with 17 courses and one with 21. An extensive sake menu will be joined by Japanese whisky and gin.
More immediately on the slate is Sakana Omakase Sushi, a 12-seater targeting an Oct. 1 opening at 616 S. Second St. in Queen Village.
It's the Philadelphia premiere of chef Sam Lin, who told me that his 10-year career includes Manhattan's Masa and 15 East. He will offer three omakase experiences: a $58, 12-course tasting with premium fish and beef that can be accomplished in 30 minutes, a $88, 18-course omakase that will take about an hour, and a $138, 27-course omakase that will take about 90 minutes. The two more elaborate omakases will include kitchen items.