Restaurateurs Seigo Nishimura and his wife, Casey Cooper-Fenske, have a proven track record. When the duo opened Satori ramen bar at the historic Northern Market in January 2019, their opening day was marred by a transformer failure, leaving all vendors without power for several hours. Satori lost hours of preparation.
Satori’s eventual success made the opening of a second business, Kintsugi Sushi Bar, possibly. Only this time, it wasn’t the power cut, but a global pandemic, which threatened Kintsugi even before it opened. Luckily for us, Kintsugi debuted at North Market Bridge Park in January 2021, and the owners’ battle scars make their sushi bar’s name all the more fitting. Kintsugi refers to the Japanese art tradition of repairing broken ceramics with gold. In other words, don’t try to hide your flaws, they are part of you. Nishimura, who trained at Tokyo Sushi Academy, says they decided on the name even before COVID. “It makes more sense than ever,” he says.
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There are few faults with Kintsugi, which offers some of the best and most health-conscious foods on the market. The sushi bar, which offers standard sushi rolls as well as rarer sushi varieties, specializes in hand rolls that come in two different shapes, conical or cylindrical, with a soy sauce jelly that makes them easy to eat on the go. Fresh maki rolls and nigiri sushi are also available, along with yakitori and sides such as miso soup, edamame and seaweed salad. Be sure to check out Kintsugi’s ever-changing promotions board.
On a skewer: One thing that sets Kintsugi apart from other sushi restaurants in town is its delicious selection of yakitori, including teriyaki chicken, teriyaki beef tenderloin, black cod, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, and bacon-wrapped asparagus. . Other varieties of yakitori appear from time to time depending on the season. Nishimura recommends the eggplant, which gets a gentle miso glaze treatment that “a lot of people are obsessed with,” he says.
Free form: Both Satori and Kintsugi deliberately wanted to make their menus inclusive of gluten-free and vegan dinners. (Cooper-Fenske is vegetarian and adheres to a gluten-free diet.) Several of Kintsugi’s sushi rolls and skewers are vegan/gluten-free, and Kintsugi’s miso soup uses vegetable broth instead of the more traditional fish broth.
Special evening with appointment: If Kintsugi ever promotes a special one-night “omakase” menu on their social media accounts, don’t hesitate, jump on it. For Valentine’s Day last year, Nishimura created a stunning take-out sushi box that showcased true, delicate artistry and featured fresh seafood from Tokyo’s Toyosu Market. Fingers crossed that this special “chef’s choice” menu will make a comeback someday.
6750 Longshore St. (inside North Market Bridge Park), Dublin
This story is from the February 2022 issue of Monthly Columbus.