Kaizen, the first hand roll omakase restaurant in Queens helmed by sushi chef Ben Chan, was welcomed to Flushing by local elected officials and community leaders on Aug. 26.
Chan and General Manager Louis Santini were joined by Councilwoman Sandra Ung; Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar; Peter Wong, the business development manager at Queens Chamber of Commerce; George Xu, landlord and owner of Century Development; Jimmy Hsu; Robert Dorsky; and NYPD 109th Precinct Officer Danny Wong for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Rajkumar said she was proud to cut the ribbon to one of Flushing’s hottest new establishments.
“With the unique Japanese cuisine of Temaki Omakase, Kaizen is a new dining destination in Queens with a beautifully designed space that creates a spacious, exciting ambiance. Kaizen thrives with executive chef Ben Chan, who honed his craft in a Michelin-starred restaurant, General Manager Louis Santini and everyone involved, down to the waiters and kitchen staff,” Rajkumar said.
Located at 33-70 Farrington St. adjacent to the Sheraton Hotel, Kaizen’s goal, vision and purpose is to serve the highest quality of sushi with every bite.
Kaizen, which is the Japanese philosophy of continuous movement, offers an inviting atmosphere for diners. Its centerpieces, designed by Anastasia Mirovic, include a petrified sakura tree, as well as a living sea moss wall. Other distinctive features include mid-century inspired blue velvet banquets, a black marble omakase bar, neon signage and two outside circular swings.
Chan, a former executive chef at Sushi Seki and an alumnus of O Ya and Kissaki omakase sushi bar, as well as Michelin-starred Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong, takes pride in every delicate hand roll he prepares.
Kaizen’s menu offers premium handrolls, donburi, Japanese salads and soups, like red miso clam soup, along with yuzu and mochi desserts. Signature handrolls include kinmedai (golden eye snapper) with homemade yuzu apple sauce, akami (lean tuna) with tofu chili sauce, yellowtail jalapeño with shallots and aji Japanese horse mackerel with ginger scallion.
The beverage program at Kaizen is overseen by General Manager Louis Santini. Kaizen craft cocktails include the house special Oolong Hsu, which infuses tea with winter melon blended with mezcal. Santini has created his own “ice-kase” — with a different form of sculptural molded ice accompanying each of his six specialty cocktails, built for temaki pairings. The sake list includes junmai, ginjo, daiginjo and premium reserve sake as well as wine and imported beer selections.