SakaMai
SakaMai

SakaMai

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.sakamai.com/
  • Phone: 6465900684
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 6:00pm - 12:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Gastro Pub, Japanese, Asian
  • Executive Chef: Takanori Akiyama
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room
  • Catering: Please contact us for catering. Please visit sakamai.com/catering
    or email: jess@sakamai.com
  • Private Party Facilities: Mezzanine Capacity (private): 10 seated
    Salon Capacity (semi-private): 8 seated
    Main Bar Capacity: ~60 standing and sitting
    Dining Capacity: 24 seated
    Pour Bar Capacity: 30 standing and sitting
    Buyout Capacity: 120-150 standing and sitting
    Contact: jess@sakamai.com
  • Private Party Contact: Jess G 6465900684
  • Special Events: Please contact us for special events. Please visit sakamai.com/events or email: jess@sakamai.com

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Stanton
  • Public Transit: F/M/J/Z trains at the Delancey St / Essex St Station. M9, M14A, M15, M15 SBS
  • Parking: No
A word from SakaMai
SakaMai is New York City's first dedicated saké lounge, celebrating traditional Japanese beverages in the modern Lower East Side.

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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAsian
  • Diners' Choice WinnerLate Night Find
SakaMai reviews from OpenTable diners
27 reviews since May 4, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (21)romantic (13)late-night find (13)neighborhood gem (13)special occasion (8)notable wine list (6)vibrant bar scene (5)hot spot (4)good for groups (3)kid-friendly (2)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • Perfect night out!
    AnaNYCVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Welcoming staff who patiently answers any questions you may have about the ingredients. Elegant decor. One of the best desserts ever: the Yogurt mousse with red berries and brown sugar sauce was sublime! Will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • For Sake lovers and beginners
    Bklynpops
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    If you're not sure if you love or even care about sake - this is the place to go. Great advice for the perfect paring of wonderful innovative food to sake will most likely make you a sake lover by the time you leave.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Suck on my .... egg on egg on egg
    Eazimatt
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    The food is just great. The ramen were toothsome, the egg on egg on egg was fought over, the wagyu rolls were stolen (by me). This is what New York is all about. Inventive cuisine that is delicious and not outrageously priced. The massive bonus came with sake pairings provided by the wait staff who were very knowledgeable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice wait staff
    nekogamiVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Really creative food. More than that, really nice guys.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Creative
    MMMari
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Saw it on open table, decided to try. 3 of us, 6:45pm Sat nite, not super busy, nice decor and bar. Creative items, tried a handful of small plates and rice hot pot (with fish). All good, from plating to taste. Good spot if you are in the mood for fusion flare and not traditional japanese cuisine. Server very good, very helpful with menu and suggestions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice
    Nice
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Great service, nice subdued ambience, great Saké selection, knowledgeable staff. Some of the menu items could have been better. Fois gras dish was good, pork belly was delicious but a bit dry. Had the best Sake I have ever had. It was a nama Sake. Great complexity and flavor. I found prices very reasonable for the Sake and the plates I ordered.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect!!!
    Jonny2steps
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    I booked on open table and made a note that I was proposing to my girlfriend earlier in the day. The proposal plan did not work out so I had to do it at dinner. The staff noticed my girlfriend was not wearing a ring, so when she left the table for a moment they asked me how things went. I told them my new plan, and without me knowing, they were watching and brought sparkling sake over t the perfect time! Needless to say everything went perfect. Great food, got lucky with a private area in the lower back and amazing service. I'm from LA and wish SakaMai would open a location here!
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food
    MushroomVIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Egg on egg on egg ftw. Had a number of dishes and super innovative! Home made tofu felt clean and silky, great accompaniments. Kanpachi was fresh and good. Foie gras chawanmushi really tasted like foie gras - I was initially very skeptical. Pork on barley/farro was an explosion of taste in my mouth. Scallops on risotto - scallops were very fresh, the use of black rice was different and very wholesome tasting, if you are into that. Only thing I did not like was sea bream which was kind of tough. The rice ball that it was on top of was kind of whatever. Black sesame creme brûlée was special and the custard was thick and black sesame-like. If you like black sesame, do yourself a favour and get it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Moose212
    Moose212
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    My first experience drinking saki I do love wine and saki not a favorite. The portions were very small. Had to order many and an entree. Do not think I will return
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • amazing food
    ModernJapansesefood
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    The food was really nice. Modern Japanese food very well done
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, romantic, late-night find, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome!
    pecochan
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    I'm absolutely one of the big fans of SakaMai! If you love sake, shochu, Japanese beer, and serious cocktails, SakaMai would be your place. Also, their food is amazing! Try their special ribeye steak and black truffle rice pot! Oh, and don't miss egg on egg on egg! Heaven!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 16 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 4, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service4.1
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 76 reviews are from the SakaMai reviews archive.
  • Refreshing take on Japanese
    BonnyVIP
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    Sakamai is lively, has a great atmosphere but yet is not too loud. Its a great place to hang with friends and every dish has interesting new tastes. Very creative and excellent food. A great new find!!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    Did not like the food at all. Seafood had a fishy smell which means it wasn't cooked properly or it wasn't fresh. Will not be returning here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, bumpy service
    WLNY7VIP
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    I have always loved the food and the personable staff here. Last weekend I came with a friend and found out they have new staff and the service was notably down-graded. When ordering we had asked them to pace our courses but all our dishes came together - aside from overcrowding we had to rush through all the hot dishes before they got cold. After ALL the courses arrived, our server then asked if we'd like them to slow down the pace - which felt like a joke. They also thought we ordered two other dishes which we never even considered having. On top of that, they were out of many items but the server never told us when he gave us the menu. The food was great - just wish we could have enjoyed it. We opted to go elsewhere for dessert.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Reinventing Japanese Cosine
    TribecaFoodieVIP
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    This new take on Japanese cosine takes the best of contemporary American and French cosines to reinvent traditional Japanese dishes. The food is incredible and unique - nowhere in Manhattan will you find any dishes similar to what Sakamai has offer. The ambience is great and the service is also good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The foods were great, and
    NewYorker
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    The foods were great, and the sake list was a decent list. But the overall the price was high.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This place is a find...
    FrenchFoodieVIP
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    Outstanding sake list. Fabulous and unusual cooking. Attentive and knowledgeable service. We sat in the back room beside the fireplace on a cold, dreary night and feasted on many small plates including the Egg on Egg on Egg, which could easily be served in a Michelin three star restaurant. Also highly recommended is the homemade tofu (we loved it so much we ordered two) and all the sashimi dishes. We preferred ordering small plates to ordering the prix fixe meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Poor food. Expensive.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    The food was mediocre at best. Way over priced. So disappointed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • EricW
    Dined on 3/10/2014
    Very nice place. Attracted by its signature dish - egg on egg on egg. My girlfriend ordered the signature dish, but not that impressed to me. But the organic chicken dish I would highly recommend people to try.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best Service I've had in the city
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 3/4/2014
    Our waiter was outstanding, polite and really friendly. He took the time to give us a really personalized review when we asked him questions. We also got to do happy hour on Tuesday night, and Stephen Lyman introduced us to our first drink of Shōchū (an expert on the topic actually!). The food was also great- we did the tasting menu. Totally worth the money.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious Exotic Food
    WestVillageNewbieVIP
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    No food here was ordinary... In a good way. I'm a picky eater, was a little nervous to try some of the food, but so happy I did. Everything was delicious, most notably the chicken. The rice pots were the icing on the cake and the desserts were fantastic. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Sake list, and food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    Great Sake list, and food is surprisingly good! Everything we had was very tasty; uni crostini, renkon chips, pork bun, and oyster rice (which takes 50 mins to prepare). The customer segment seems to be relatively young, such as college students, but the ambiance was not uncomfortable even for us. When the shochu that my husband ordered was gone, they made recommendation for substitute, and it was good. They seemed to be knowledgeable enough about sake and shochu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Place!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/26/2014
    My group of friends went for Japanese restaurant week however they did not offer any restaurant week specialties. We were quite disappointed as we were here for the specialties for Japan restaurant week and they only offered the their 'specialty' on their regular menu; Overall it's a great experience but I don't suggest going with a group of people as it is pricey.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Inventive menu
    AnniKAVIP
    Dined on 2/16/2014
    Get the Egg on Egg on Egg! Uni, roe & eggs -- served in a sea urchin shell. Luscious and delicious! The food was definitely the star of the experience. We went in a group of 4 and decided to order various snacks, small plates and one main dish to share. Throughout dinner, we seemed to have 3 different servers & they weren't necessarily communicating, so we waited half an hour for beers and the timing of dishes being brought out for our group. The snacks and small plates were almost all very special - even the fried lotus chips had an interesting dusting of laver powder. Don't miss out on the Egg on Egg on Egg. I'd also recommend getting the homemade tofu, the menma (vegetables) , and even the kale salad was delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food and ambiance
    FoodieCouple
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Was there for Valentines day and had their prefix menu. Everything was perfectly prepared and was out of this world. This place is definitely a gem and would probably end up paying double as much in a more pretentious setting. Would definitely frequent more often.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not Impressed
    Pinky
    Dined on 2/6/2014
    There service was awful - had to wait 35 mins to get our drinks (no joke, I timed it) and the food took forever too! will not be recommending this place to anyone
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great small private space
    mrmagoo
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    Great small private space for a special occasion of 8-12 people. staff very accommodating and helpful
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food - Crazy Slow Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    WE were pleasantly surprised by most of the dishes. However, when you factor in service it took away from the entire dining experience. The servers were slow, inattentive and unenthusiastic about making recommendations and aiding in our desire to consume beverages quickly and with our food..
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious!
    2goodVIP
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    The good was fantastic at Sakamai! I especially enjoyed the hot pot dishes! They so have a great sake, beer and Japanese whisky list. Perfect for a date. Fun for a group.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Some great small plates but
    teetee
    Dined on 1/17/2014
    Some great small plates but did not like the more expensive rice pot (large plate) we got- the trout and mushroom rice pot which was raved about on Yelp wasn't really great at all, and worst of all, the trout tasted so dry and flavorless! Would go once just for the fun ambience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious food, great ambiance
    Dinerama23
    Dined on 1/11/2014
    Had a wonderful dinner here with my dad, though I think we over indulged! The drinks are great- unique and not light on the booze and masterfully shaken. The service is not only professional, but beautifully classy- my dad's drinks were poured from a gin glass with a giant ice cube in it through a cocktail strainer, The food, while a little rushed after repeated asking for it to slow down is nothing short of creative, inventive and delicious. The chawanmushi and egg on egg were at risk of being repetitive but were different and we loved everything we ate except the yuba dumplings- give it a pass, tastes like every other Chinese dumpling you'll ever eat. So good job guys! My dad was also pleased that the GM recognized him. We'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful!!!!!
    snowtday
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    Everything was just delicious.This chef can really cook.Service was great and attended to all our needs without being overbearing.Cannot wait to go back!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great food and ambience
    Yvonne
    Dined on 12/21/2013
    it was our first time dining at SakaMai and certainly not the last time. Food and service were outstanding!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, relaxed environment
    opentablebritVIP
    Dined on 12/6/2013
    If you like trying different things come here- interesting food and drinks menu! Good service, intimate yet relaxed setting, great value!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Chefs up to somethig...
    FatRafaVIP
    Dined on 11/30/2013
    At first impression, this place is unpresuming, looks like coolish sushi hangout for 20 somethings.... . But our first impression was wrong. There were some dishes that were not only very creative, but achieved flavour, texture and overall balance in a way very few dishes of the top sushi places in New York city are able to produce for 3 times the price. The egg on egg on egg was playful; the raw pieces of fish felt hours from the ocean and were garnished in such a delicately complimentary way to the flavor of the fish.... The octopus was a treat to go back for.....And the main dishes we had were also excellent. There were a few " misses", like the dumpling meat balls...which although not bad at all, seemed way bellow the rest of the meal.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • jen8ch
    Dined on 11/21/2013
    I thought this was an amazing find. The sake was delicious and the bartender and waitress were both very knowledgeable and friendly. The food is delicious. I made another reservation to come here again within the same week. I love the sea urchin dish. The happy hour specials are very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Waste of time and money
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/6/2013
    I had dinner at Sakamai with a friend of mine. I am a chef and she is a pastry chef. The servers were aloof. We had to flag them down for everything. The appetizers were just OK and too small for the price. The only thing that was great was the egg on egg on egg. It's scrambled egg with sea urchin and caviar(hard to go wrong there). The main course was a rice bowl with wild mushrooms, which was one of the worst entrees I have ever had. It was basically just a bowl of dry rice with a few mushrooms in it, and it cost us $30. We didn't bother with dessert. Overall it was way too expensive for what it was and the service was very poor.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • For Goodness Sake
    BakaGaijin
    Dined on 11/4/2013
    Great sake list and knowledgeable staff. Not a lot of traditional Japanese food on the menu, mostly improvisations on traditional pieces but everything I had tasted good. The uni egg and caviar dish was very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Highly recommended
    sherm13
    Dined on 11/2/2013
    Food and service were amazing. Will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • sit in the back room by the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/2/2013
    sit in the back room by the fireplace if possible. sachi was an excellent server and recommended 2 great sakes to go with our meal. really great experience overall.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.