Shoji at 69 Leonard - Tribeca


Dinner at Shoji @ 69. Chef Derek Wilcox previously trained at Kikunoi for 7 years and 3 years at Sushi Aoki in Ginza. He returned stateside a year ago. I had my reservations prior to dining here, glad to report he has legit skills and does an excellent job sourcing ingredients from the local NY area and Japan.

Few thoughts… I think the concept might be better served skewing more towards kaiseki/Kikunoi style than going head-on with the new sushi heavy hitters. Don’t get me wrong, his sushi is very good aside from a few very very minor technical issues (i.e untoasted nori). IMO the city could do with a few more kaiseki restaurants at Okuda’s level. I would love to see Shoji evolve in this direction, especially one incorporating NY/Northeast seasonal ingredients executed by a chef of his caliber.

Hokkaido uni with eggplant “noodles”

Boston Chu-toro served with sauce made of egg yolk, tosa soy sauce

Grilled Long Island striped bass with local tomatoes dressed with pressed sesame oil, excellent.

Shioko (juvenile Kanpachi) served with yuzu white soy sauce

Poached octopus from Sajima with cucumber blossom, eggplant, pepper, new potato, myoga

Soy milk cream, egg white and CA botan ebi broth (no solids) custard - Amazing texture and flavor. Very smooth, soft and integrated flavors. Best dish of the night…

Summer corn soup

Shin Ika (Baby cuttlefish). This was the body of an entire cuttlefish. Soft and supple texture.

Aji, very good.

Boston bluefin akami

Long island fluke cured in kombu


Scallop (forgot the specific source off the NE coast)


CA Uni

Sujiko ikura

Negi toro

Kama toro

Sake lees granita - excellent rich flavor! @beefnoguy & @thecookie would love this

Monaka (wafer) filled with soy cream, blueberries hyssop

Tasting the Seasons of Japan - The Exquisite, Austere, Pure Kaiseki Cuisine of Hayato [Thoughts + Pics]

Nice pics! This place has been slowly evolving since it opened. I really enjoy the mix of kaiseki-style dishes and nigiri sushi here. The sushi rice is always on-point.


Thanks, I do hope he will expand the repertoire of kaiseki/kappo style dishes.


When you booked, were they offering multiple menu options? They introduced a short, medium and long format menu earlier in the summer, but it looks like they now have only 1 option. I’m sure that if you contacted them in advance, they’d accommodate a request for a more embellished menu. The add-ons there have always been a treat: aka uni from Amakasu, konowata and konoko. They pretty much always have ika gesso; an underated classic in my opinion.


They only had 1 menu option during the night I was there.


Glowing NYT review