MF Omakase Room at MF Buckhead [Splurges]

Patrons of all sorts debate the value of a meal at MF Buckhead, Atlanta’s most shi-shi sushi spot.  Together with MF Sushi Bar and MF Omakase Room, Chris Kinjo’s restaurants are the easiest way to have sushi burn a hole in your pocket.  Though indulgent excess is on the decline, and Atlanta’s high-end dining scene is so thin that even Quinones is a once a week affair, elegant expense still has its place in our city.

For the past year and change, Kinjo has been utilizing his hidden room at the Buckhead outpost to serve some of the best sushi this city has seen in many a year.  Up a single flight of stairs, tucked away in a serenely styled room is a Japanese speakeasy that should be on everyone’s list for special occasions.  Believe you me, the MF Omakase Room is as good as it gets.

In all honesty, this post was likely to stay cobwebbed in the annals of my notebook until a single tweet revitalized it.  Knowing that y’all will soon have pictures out the wazoo, and good ones at that, over at, I thought it high time I share some thoughts.  In the meantime, if you just can’t wait for some still photography … check it

Omakase, for those of you who spend a little less time obsessing about food, is a Japanese tradition whereby the customer leaves the contents of his or her meal in the hands of the chef.  Most people associate the concept exclusively with sushi; however, the tradition extends to all areas of Japanese cuisine.  Nowadays, many traditional Japanese restaurants & sushi bars offer this option on their menu.  That is to say, customers can choose from the $50 omakase or the $75 omakase.  In that respect, let us not compare MF Omakase Room to any of the available options throughout Atlanta.  To compare a $125 offering against the backdrop of an event like this is a disservice to both meals.

Much has changed since Kessler visited and I soon indulged.  Instead of a super secret reservation list, sporadic offerings, and a price point that ranged from $200-$350 (without Mr. Hal), things have settled down a bit.  Now, spots at the eight-seat Eden are available to all on a first-come basis.  Dinner is served on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of every month and the price is fixed at $250.  In what is surely a sign that not everyone was willing to go balls to the wall, the $250 price INCLUDES the sake paring.  During our venture we killed off two bottles of sake, which put the meal into the “mortgage payment” stratosphere.  Yes … we cabed it and I’m sure you’re welcome to do the same. 😉

I was excited to go all James Bond, but Atlanta’s culture dictates a more relaxed approach to an evening at MF Omakase.  While I wouldn’t go the route of flip-flops, you probably won’t have a problem in a nice pair of jeans and a button down.  Still, don’t be afraid to strut your stuff.

Sometime between the obsessed about snap of my belt buckle and the valet greeting us, my mind drifted.  Suddenly, I found myself sitting at the bar as we waited on the rest of our single-serving friends to show up.  All the minutia of the lead gradually drifted out of my mind and the evening enveloped me like a morning fog.  As we moved up the stairs, the guests were buzzing and the staff (which included Lisa Matsuoka, the pastry chef) was as welcoming and elegant as one could expect.

For the next four-hours, we were privy to some of the most exquisite samplings of our seaside friends one might have the pleasure of encountering.  The menu was, as it always is, an organic production constructed out of specialty ingredients Kinjo acquires.  With a treasure trove of fish from the famed Tsukiji market, Kinjo entertained and educated as he plated some 24 dishes.

The food itself spoke to the flash of the man who, armed with a custom sushi blade his trademark glasses, seems to epitomize the modern Japanese movement.  With everything from iwari, wild hamachi, and cockle, our meal hit on nearly every texture and flavor profile one can dream about.  With the help of Fuyuhiko Ito, Lisa, and Kaz Ato, our inner child came out in a most adult-like way.

Each dish deserves its time in the spotlight, and though a few of them had a few hole(s) here and there, the overall execution was nothing short of outstanding.  With Kessler having provided an detailed play-by-play, I’ll forgo my usual MO and just let breath of the meal seep in.  With Jimmy sure to bang out a post in the not to distant future, I’ll simply just ride his coat tails.

By the time we walked out, we were in a daze.  The meal was nearly flawless, the eaters were universally stuffed, and my 30th birthday dinner went down as one for the ages.  At well over a $1000 price tag, one must keep these things in perspectives.  Surely many of you will scoff at the idea of anything approaching $500, and that is understandable.  However, if you are looking to expand your palate and explore an art form not often appreciated, I suggest you take the plunge.  As for me, I’ll return to my video editing in the hopes of producing something worthy of this culinary cap feather.

{photograph in this post appears courtesy of MF Buckhead}

MF Omakase Room Restaurant Address & Information

3280 Peachtree Rd Ne, Atlanta, GA 30305 // MF Omakase website // MF Omakase reservations
MF Omakase Room on Urbanspoon

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  1. Pingback: MF Buckhead, Atlanta | Spoonfed (Atlanta)

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