Review: Sushi Omakase at Sushi Hikari (홍대 스시히카리)

Here in Seoul, sushi is not hard to find in everywhere from sushi-by-the-plate restaurants to sushi trays to-go found in department stores. The problem with sushi I've found in Seoul is not that it's difficult to find either cheap sushi or really good, albeit pricey sushi but that decent sushi places in the middle ground that balances fresh and good taste with good prices is far less common.

Hearing good things about the sushi omakase at Sushi Hikari in Hongdae, reservations were made (a must), for a lunch on a weekend.

The small, unassuming restaurant could easily be passed by if one doesn't know. But inside this tiny restaurant is sushi magic waiting to happen.

Only admittance by advanced reservation is allowed and the popular omakase lunch set naturally is quite a draw being only 25K for otoshi, sushi course, a meal (noodles), and dessert. Dinner prices are also extremely reasonable at 40K, or, you can opt for sashimi omakase for 50K. Dinner courses includes the same as the lunch menu but with a roasted dish and a braised dish.

And everything- rice to seafood- are locally-based and seafood bought fresh on a daily basis by the young owner.

Seating is bar only and how you can easily watch the chef owner work his magic.

Otoshi for our visit was a delicately braised eggplant. Delicately cooked to preserve the eggplant's texture while it had soaked up the sauce to be flavorful. Little toasted tiny shrimp added a nice contrasting element in flavor and texture. 

Fresh wasabi and gari. Oh, how I love both.

How beautiful is that stone serving dish?

Nice matcha. No barley mixed in here as is so common in Korea.

Cloudy miso.

Sea bream, squid, salmon, mackerel... the sushi selections were fantastic both in freshness and flavor. Each course is carefully made by chef who you can tell makes each piece with considerable thought. He's not just going through the motions and trying to just dish it out as quickly as he can. 

And can you tell by the gleam of each piece how fresh the seafood was?

Ohhh tuna. I'm salivating just looking at you again.

Ohhh tuna belly... get in my belly.

Fattier fish like mackerel can go wrong at just a small misstep but no worries here.

Marinated uni rice.

Grilled eel. So tender.

Maki roll. Brimming with ingredients and another fun mixture of taste and texture. I would easily just order an entire roll for myself if I could.

And the end pieces are always the best.

Soft, home-baked castella for a break.

Marinated cherry tomato. Carefully peeled and just a touch of sweet tartness.

The meal course was a simple noodle dish with stock but man was this good. The noodles are cooked just before serving and that rich umami of the broth just clings to the noodles and to your taste buds.

Marinated shiitake mushrooms for a nice little touch.

Wobbly, wobbly homemade pudding. Not too decadent but rich enough and ending the meal on a nice little sweet note.

Thoughts: Highly Recommend
Solid, fresh sushi omakase prepared with attention. And at only 25K for a lunch set, this is a deal. A big deal.

서울특별시 마포구 홍익로2길 31
31, Hongik-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

From exit 9 of Hongdae Station, immediately turn left and walk straight about 50 meters until you get to the big Eoulmadang-ro street and turn left. Walk about 25 meters and turn right on Wausan-ro 27-gil, walking about 25 meters again until Hongeuiro 2-gil and turn right. Walk down about 25 meters again and you'll see Sushi Hikari on your right.




Beer available

Lunch times can be reserved for 12, 1, and 2 PM while dinner times can be reserved between 6 and 9PM.

Sushi Hikari is closed on Sundays.