Nami Nori New York, USA
(Image credit: Press)

For better or worse, Japanese restaurants are a dime a dozen in Manhattan, their ubiquity particularly evident in the West Village. For chefs who’ve decided to hang up their own shingles, how to stand apart from the pack (especially in this neighbourhood) becomes something of an existential question. The newly minted Nami Nori, though, steals a march on the others in that its three partners have all had operations and back-of-house experience with the veteran Masa Takayama.

Aiding the cause is local studio MN Design Professional Corporation who have drawn light streaming in through the high windows deep into the narrow 40-seat space of white-washed bricks by installing blonde timber furniture and terrazzo, and diffusing light from below the L-shaped bar counter, whilst rattan stools and slatted screens add to the impression of physical levity and an appropriately Japanese serenity.

The menu, headlined by head chef Taka Sakaeda, is anchored by open temaki filled with an imaginative mise-en-place ranging from X.O. scallops and onion cream to crispy shallots and tobiko. Vegetarians, so often ignored in restaurants of this genre, are tempted by creative versions such as eggplant with red miso, and spicy tofu with chilli and bean paste. 

L-shaped bar counter

(Image credit: Press)

L-shaped bar counter Restaurant

(Image credit: Press)

Nami Nori, New York, USA

(Image credit: Press)




33 Carmine Street
Between Bleecker and Bedford


Daven Wu is the Singapore Editor at Wallpaper*. A former corporate lawyer, he has been covering Singapore and the neighbouring South-East Asian region since 1999, writing extensively about architecture, design, and travel for both the magazine and website. He is also the City Editor for the Phaidon Wallpaper* City Guide to Singapore.