Treat Yourself to Japanese Omakase at Wren
Hate Mondays? Why not start the week on a high note with an 18-course sushi dinner with wine and sake pairings in Tysons.
At Wren in Tysons, executive sous-chef Hobin Kim presents a roll of toro tartare topped with pearls of Beluga caviar to start an 18-course omakase (chef’s tasting menu) and beverage pairing. I pop it into my mouth and swoon over the combination of fatty tuna belly and the bursts of sea saltiness imparted by the roe. Crisp Hakkaisan Awa sparkling sake proves a perfect foil to this lush first course.
Executive chef Yo Matsuzaki introduced the omakase—available on Monday nights for six guests ($250 per person, plus tax and 20% gratuity)—in January, asking Kim to helm the special dinners. The two previously worked together at San Francisco’s Ozumo restaurant, where Kim honed his expertise in sushi making. Matsuzaki lured him to Wren in December 2021.
Kim ages top-quality fish sourced from around the globe to intensify its flavor. He divides his menu into snacks, nigiri, yakimono (torched nigiri) and dessert, preparing each course before his audience and serving diners personally at a cordoned-off portion of the bar, while beverage director Masha Yelnikova explains each of her clever (mostly sake) pairings.
On the occasion of our visit, the omakase features cucumber salad with snow crab; Japanese flounder with fish liver; eight nigiri (including turbot, fluke, uni and snapper); assorted yakimono (tilefish, eel, Wagyu beef); tamago (sweet Japanese omelet); and cheesecake with peach and apricot soft serve.
Yelnikova’s pairings, which range from Wakatake Demon Slayer ginjo sake to Bodegas Fillaboa Albariño Rias Baixas 2021, are thoughtful and provocative.