BY GABE HERMAN | The Japanese restaurant MakiMaki serves only sushi rolls, which are made to order at a counter and have affordable prices. It just opened a second Midtown location in June at 360 Lexington Ave., between E. 40th and 41st Sts.
The new spot is a small space with several tables along the wall, and a counter area where two chefs work quickly to make sushi rolls as they’re ordered.
The menu offers two types of sushi rolls. There is the eight-piece “cutup,” or maki, and there are large cone-shaped hand rolls, or temaki.
The hand roll option is a little cheaper than the cutup. The California roll is $4 for a hand roll and $6.50 for an eight-piece cutup; spicy salmon is $5 for a hand roll and $7.50 for a cutup; and salmon avocado is $6 for a hand roll and $8.50 for a cutup.
Other sushi options include shrimp tempura, eel avocado, yellowtail scallion, and blue crab. There are also custom-order options with additional ingredients, including jalapeno, shiso leaf, tempura flakes, and sweet Japanese squash, among others. Extra sauce options include spicy mayo and truffled eel.
There are also tea, matcha and espresso drinks in the $3 to $5 range.
MakiMaki calls itself a “premium fast-casual sushi bar,” and the sushi does taste fresh and like it’s from a quality restaurant, but with much better prices.
The company was founded by Kevin Takarada, whose family has run Toni’s Sushi Bar in South Beach, Miami, since its 1987 founding. Takarada was actually a mechanical engineer, then a financial risk manager working in Midtown, according to the restaurant.
He was dissatisfied with the lunch options in the area, including a lack of sushi that was both high-quality and affordable. So he founded MakiMaki and decided to focus focus solely on sushi rolls.
The shop’s specialization pays off with its tasty rolls, and is worth a visit for those working in the area or willing to fight through Midtown crowds for quality sushi.
The new shop is open only on weekdays, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The original location is at 1369 Sixth Ave., between W. 55th and 56th Sts. More information can be found at makimaki.nyc.