Review – Minamoto Seattle, WA

Introduction

I had never heard of this place until Chef Nakazawa told us that he was visiting his friend who works at Minamoto in Seattle.  When we got back, ironic enough, a friend from NY was visiting, so we decided to take them to Minamoto.  First off, Minamoto is in Bellevue and not Seattle.  It’s across from the Bravern shopping center on NE 8th street.  We had made reservations about a week ahead at the chef’s counter and had no problem securing an rsvp at 7:30PM.  We were the only ones dining at the chef’s table that night.

 

Experience

We sat in front of the chef, and he was telling us that he had worked at Masa back when the omakase was only $450.  He had met Nakazawa at another place and not at Masa.  Anyway, he has been out here for about 8 months and the restaurant has been open for 4 months.

When we were seated, we were given a drink menu and no dining menu.  We chose a carafe of sake and then started out on our omakase.  The first handful of courses were beautiful Instagram-worthy kaiseki dishes!  After that, we got served about 10 pieces of nigiri and ended up with a dessert course which was a truffle ice cream.  At the end, the head waiter asked us for feedback.  We told him everything was great and there really weren’t any major complaints.  That was before we got the bill.  If I had known it was a $150 pre-tax per person omakase, I would have told him that matched NY omakase prices and maybe they need to dial it down a bit.  I don’t have a problem with paying NY prices in Seattle, but I was expecting around $100 pp.  I think they should have had a $100-$120 base omakase and then let the diner choose to upgrade to the A5 course.  I mean, the A5 is good, but I don’t enjoy it enough for $20 a slice at restaurants.

 

Conclusion

While the food was good, I’m not sure if it matched the price we paid.  Seattle just isn’t a high-end dining market, so they will need to dial it down a bit in the future.

 

  • Mark Silver

    And what gets my frustration level high is to see the suggested tip part at that end, which they calculated based on the post-tax amount. Tipping has always been based on the pre-tax part, because you are supposed to tip based on the service level relative to the price of the meal, not on what the government collects.

    • Miles per Day

      That’s never really occurred to me except on one occasion, where i had to pre-pay for the dinner and I noticed the mandatory tip was on the post-tax amount. I emailed them to cut that shit out. But you’re right, I’ll need to be more vigilant about that going forward.

  • J. Greisman

    So Vinh…you ordered without knowing the price first? I could never do that.

    • Miles per Day

      That’s usually how it is at some omakase places. Since the fish changes every day, the price will fluctuate a bit.