Sushein's sushi will slip right through your fingers if you're not fast enough. A rotating conveyer belt, like an airport carousel full of tiny, brightly colored edible luggage, carries the super-fresh morsels past diners, who can pluck up the rolls of their choice as they approach. Wildly popular in Japan, this processes, known as Kaiten-style sushi, allows diners to sample many different kinds of rolls in a lively and whimsical environment. White blown-glass chandeliers illuminate the bite-laden conveyer belt as diners watch from their perches in stylish white booths and white tables. Flat-screens broadcast anything from the game to late-night shows on Saturday, when Sushein’s sushi scoots by diners until 1 a.m.
Chinese-American owner Yeh Ching brings the flavors she picked up while living in Malaysia to Canteen 82, teaming with her Hong Kong–born partner, Alan Lee, to further diversify the restaurant’s eclectic menu of Asian fusion fare. Dim sum influences abound, with house-made Shanghai soup dumplings served by the dozen, but small plates aren’t everything at Canteen 82, where robust entrees include a traditional Malaysian slow-cooked beef dish touted in a 2010 review by the New York Times. An espresso machine conjures velvety lattes to chase Malaysian-style curry puffs or dishes from a vegetarian menu to sate herbivorous patrons and their pet brontosauruses.
Ido Sushi owner and chef Tora Yi marries edible and aural art by pairing inventive sushi and sashimi dishes alongside live piano and opera performances, building an atmosphere that the New York Times described as “Cheers – dunked in the melting pot.” Like Genghis Khan’s personal Mongolian barbecue, the dining area is ornamented with wall-mounted swords that gleam under soft lighting. Sushi chefs carve fresh salmon, tuna, and vegetables before rolling them on planks behind an open-air bar. Between bites and sing-along sessions, bartenders sling sake, draft beers, and mixed drinks.
Under the glow of blue and purple neon lights, Crudo's Caribbean-Italian fusion fare makes its way to diners from the hands of chef Rene Hernandez, settling down alongside cocktails, beer, and wine from the sleek marble bar. Piled-high plates rest calmly atop the white tablecloths that cloak the dining area's wooden tables, and high ceilings provide plenty of head room for building tall towers of salmon piccata, penne alla vodka, grilled skirt steak, and Cuban-style shredded beef. During warmer months, diners nosh beneath hanging lanterns and bright red canopies in an open-air outdoor seating area. The island cuisine also fuels trips to nearby hotspots that include Macy's on 34th Street, Manhattan Center, and Madison Square Garden.
Chefs air all of their culinary secrets at Fujiyama Steak House of Japan, where they expertly slice filet mignon, flip pieces of shrimp into the air, and grill mounds of rice at hibachi tables as diners watch. Guests can also marvel as sushi masters stuff the freshest fried shrimp, avocado, cucumber, and crab inside the dynamite roll before deep-frying the entire cylinder to a crispy golden brown. They create this same crunch in other maki specialties by incorporating tempura-battered shrimp and chicken.
Natural light floods Ko Sushi’s dining room through the restaurant’s windowed façade, glimmering across the blond woodwork, lantern-like pendant lamps, and clusters of thin tree trunks that help to "[one-up] the usual sushi-bar look," according to Time Out New York. Within this casual-and-inviting setting, the chefs put diners at ease by re-creating a handful of Japan's iconic dishes. In addition to forging more than 20 sushi rolls—filled with everything from spicy tuna to sweet potato—the chefs grill chicken yakitori, glaze lobster with teriyaki sauce, and tempura fry batches of shrimp and vegetables. To accompany these meals, the Zagat-rated eatery also features a selection of three sakes that are imported from Japan via carrier pigeon.