In March of 2020, while the restaurant industry dealt with the consequences of a global pandemic, Teddy Khafif and co-owner Meyer Safdieh decided to bring the restaurant to the customer. AKIMORI Hospitality Group was born, a company that provides intimate Omakase experiences both at home and in their restaurant locations. For the “In Home” Omakase experience, AKIMORI brings their chef’s, staff, equipment, cutlery, glassware, etc. and transform your dining room into an omakase experience.
In November 2021, after restaurants began opening up, the owners opened a brick-and-mortar Omakase restaurant right in the heart of Brooklyn. Much like they brought the restaurant experience to you, their goal at the Brooklyn location is to bring traditional Edomae style Omakase to the kosher community. The Japanese term omakase translates to "I trust you, chef." There is no menu in a traditional omakase restaurant; the chef decides what to serve you and prepares it right in front of you as you sit at the counter. This doesn't mean you have no say. When you sit down, the chef will speak with you about what you like and don't like to get a feeling for your tastes. He will then decide what to serve you, and you get to watch him make it. You can, of course, make specific requests, and he will do his best to honor them. It's a very intimate experience, and that is precisely what you'll get at AKIMORI.
The restaurant is small, with only fourteen chairs at the counter. You should feel like it's just you and the chef going on this journey together. You'll sit at a counter made entirely of maple wood, a tribute to the hinoki wood used at omakase restaurants in Japan. The décor consists of modern wood and furniture with gray and white fabric. Teddy and Meyer took inspiration from One Hotel and traditional omakase joints in Japan.
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Because there is no set menu at omakase, it's hard to say what they'll be serving from one day to the next. It partially depends on the availability and what's in season. However, Teddy and Meyer have made the extra effort to bring in all kinds of fresh fish from suppliers based out of Japan. Aside from their Edomae-style omakase, which is how sushi is prepared in Japan, their Negi Toro is incredibly popular. Negi Tori is the fattier part of the bluefin tuna; It is considered the wagyu beef of fish. AKIMORI chefs prepare Negi Toro with Japanese scallions. The way it melts in your mouth has made it a fan favorite across the board.
AKIMORI has a few chefs, but the main chef is Chef Peter, who Teddy met working under renowned chef Masayoshi Takayama. When Teddy teamed up with Meyer to open AKIMORI, he knew he had to bring Peter with him. Teddy met many interesting people while training under Japanese chefs, including one kind man who taught him everything about Japanese cuisine. This man was the only English-speaking person on staff, and his help was essential on Teddy's journey. Teddy always told him that when he opened his own place, he would name it in honor of this man, and he kept his promise when he and Meyer dubbed their business AKIMORI.
AKIMORI Hospitality Group is still operational. Whether you want omakase prepared for you in your own home or a chef to tailor authentic Edomae sushi to your tastes, if you go with AKIMORI, you're in for a truly unique Omakase experience.