Edomae-Style Sushi Restaurant, Shota Omakase, Opens In Williamsburg

Food & Drink

Williamsburg has a stylish new omakase spot, where hip hop plays across a white oak omakase bar, and a renowned sushi chef realizes his childhood dream.

Shota Omakase, a 16-seat Edomae-style omakase restaurant, opened at 50 South 3rd Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in September. Created and fully owned by chef Cheng Lin, formerly seen behind the sushi counters of Manhattan’s Sushi Seki, Blue Ribbon and ITO Tribeca, Shota Omakase is a project decades in the making.

“I have been working in sushi restaurants for over 20 years,” says Lin. “The thing that most inspired me was the [Japanese] book Shota No Sushi. After I read that book, opening my own omakase restaurant was always on my mind. It’s been a long time coming and it’s my dream come true.”

Chef Lin’s menu is an 18-course experience that changes daily, honoring the traditions of Edomae , which places an emphasis on marinating, curing, and aging, seen in dishes like smoked soy marinated King salmon with kombu salt and fresh wasabi and overnight dashi soy marinated fresh salmon roe. Ingredients including seaweed and seafood are sourced from Toyosu Market in Japan, with a priority on fish caught using traditional Ike-jime and Shinkei-jime techniques.

While fish is often the highlight for many sushi diners, rice and vinegar take top priority on Shota’s menu. Chef Lin sources Inochi No Ichi sushi rice from a small farmer in Gero City, Gifu Japan and akazu, a red sushi vinegar aged for three-five years to bring a taste of umami to the sushi rice. The rice is then prepared in two different wys to highlight the fish served throughout the nigiri portion of the menu.

“When I was working to open Shota, I learned the importance of every ingredient in sushi… the rice, the type of fish, vinegar and soy sauce,” says Lin. “Every single component is vital to the perfect bite. When it comes to my ingredients, I am incredibly selective in the ordering process. Our guests will understand the difference when they taste it.”

Though the menu changes with seasonality, highlights include creative riffs on familiar pieces of suhi like Botan Ebi, spot prawn from Vancouver with SanbaiZu jelly and golden osetra caviar; and Sawara, seared Spanish mackerel from Fukuoka Japan with homemade citrus miso and pickled cucumber. Nigiri include Chūtoro, blue fin fatty tuna from Ehime Japan; Shima Aji, striped jack mackerel; Kuruma Ebi, fresh tiger prawns; uni and much more. Chef Lin designed the space himself, prioritizing an inviting atmosphere with clean design for diner to focus on the dining experience with minimal distractions.

“For me and my team, this is about so much more than just sushi. I hope that when our guests leave, they will feel the same way. I want them to experience the care and love that goes into what we do here,” says Lin. “I wouldn’t work so hard if I just wanted it to be another dining experience. I hope that guests can taste the difference in every ingredient and every bite. We want them to leave learning something new and feeling connected to the experience.”

To drink, Shota offers an a la carte menu of sakes, wines and beers including Noguchi Naokiko Natsu No Namazake, Ishikawa; Asahi Shuzo Junmai Daiginjo, Yamagata; Thomas Labille ‘Paradis’ Chablis 2022; and Pol Roger Brut Champagne 2015, among more.

For Lin, this Shota may be the pinnacle of his career to date, but he’s continuing to expand his repertoire as diners watch him precisely cut through immaculately prepared slabs of fatty tuna. “I’m excited for people to experience Shota and showcase the skills that I have honed throughout the years, continuing to grow and perfect my technique,” he says.

The tasting experience starts at $175 per person, a price Lin says he can maintain due to doing so much himself. There are two seatings Tuesday through Friday at 6pm and 8:30pm, and three seatings on Saturday and Sunday at 5pm, 7pm and 9pm. Reservations are bookable via Resy.

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