Omakase: the Japanese term that translates directly to English as, “I’ll leave it you”. It is the term used at sushi restaurants in the english-speaking world to refer to a dining experience where the chef extemporaneously serves a series of plates to a guest, rather than the guest ordering à la carte. So, when my friend, Travis, offered to take me out for one of most favourite things to do — omakase — at Atlanta’s most talked-about sushi outpost, there was no way I was leaving anything to chance: I had to be prepared; I had to wear something roomy enough to contain my greed. My closet came through by way of a pair of sharp but slouchy trousers from Reiss that are bounty from one of my many forays into the land of eBay. Top it off with an easy men’s denim shirt from the always-reliable bastion of preppy-chic, J Crew, and I was as good there. To add a little bit of cheek to the chic, I let unbutton the shirt deeply.
All fashion photography by Allie Hine
Perched on our seats at the sushi bar, Travis and I melted under the heat of our anticipation of the meal. Umi’s Chef Fuyuhiko engaged us in friendly repartee to cool us off; the orchestra was warming up. And from there it all began: a symphonic meal in many movements. Indeed, chef Ito was akin to a kapellmeister conducting his marine orchestra. The maestro delivered on all of his accolades in what turned out to be a extensive meal (for which I was well prepared ;)), and a delicious one to boot. His overture was a tangy yellow-fin with jalapeno, light and piquante. His first movement of sashimi featured a hearty grouper that set the tone of excellence for the evening. After a cornucopia of offerings, some more memorable than others, came the velvety black cod of which we had heard so much. It melted in the mouth like an adagio. Not to be outdone, Chef Ito’s wife, Lisa Ito, the restaurant’s pastry chef, showed her prowess by way of dessert. The matcha soufflé that was sweet without being cloying, and pillowy but still full of substance (and even a little bit of crunch) was the perfect note on which to round off the evening’s performance.