NAMO BRINGS THE CHEF OF AN NYC MICHELIN-STARRED OMAKASE TO TOWN FOR A COLLAB

In 2023, Namo brought Kazu Suzuki from the Michelin-starred icca in New York City to Dallas. It was only one night, and a scant 32 seats were available for two seatings. It was a memorable meal that I was fortunate to get a seat at, along with some sushi fanatics — one gentleman had traveled from NYC just for this event. Suzuki and Namo executive chef and partner Kazuhito “Kaz” Mabuchi worked the counters, changing places halfway through the night so guests on each side of the restaurant interacted with and ate the food by both men.

The duo is teaming up again, this time for four seatings (at 5:30 and 8 p.m.) across two evenings on Sunday, June 23 and Monday, June 24. Each seating will hold 16 and serve 20+ courses.

“Both chef Kazu and I enjoy combining the new ideas and a newer style using the edomae technique,” Mabuchi tells Eater Dallas. “Planning a menu with two different chefs, there’s almost a chemical reaction to it.”

Mabuchi has already been pulling ingredients his side of the menu. He will include Japanese black abalone (which he notes is becoming more difficult to get), Japanese king salmon, and kao fish, which he plans to serve grilled and in a scaled version with hot oil poured over it that will be finished in the oven.

Mabuchi also says that he and Suzuki share a view about the future of omakase that focuses on using farm-raised fish, which has influenced their selection in their restaurants and at this event. “Nowadays, 100 percent wild-caught fish is getting hard to catch, hard to get outide of Japan, and also expensive,” he says. “If that were all we used, we’d be charging $700, $800, $900 per person, which is crazy.” He notes that some people don’t like farm-raised fish because they know about the unclean environments where fish are overfed, but that the chefs have been working to find farms that meet their standards and shop farm-raised fish from markets that know how to handle the product. And Mabuchi suspects most people won’t know the difference by the taste.

As for Suzuki, he had a great time with the crowds last year and is ready to collaborate again, bringing a taste of what he does to Texas. “I’m so excited to be back in Dallas for another collaboration at Namo with chef Kaz,” Suzuki says. “Our event last year was an incredible experience, thanks to the warm and welcoming spirit of the city and unique atmosphere at Namo.”

The collaboration has Mabuchi looking towards taking things to the next level here. “I personally want to bring Michelin to Texas, and I want to get a star as well,” Mabuchi says. “To get the star, you need grit and discipline, not just one-time great service or food ...That’s why my guests who come to these two days, and including my staff, so they can experience what omakase Michelin-star service is like.”

The service costs $350 per person, not including tax, gratuity and extras. Sake and wine pairings will be available. Reservations are available online.

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