What’s a temakeria?
It’s a fast-casual style eatery featuring temaki, the made-to-order, cone-shaped “hand roll” sushi. Rice, raw fish and vegetables are wrapped in a sheet of nori, seaweed that pressed into thin sheets.
In the case of Uma Temakeria, newly opened in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan (64 Seventh Avenue at 14th Street), the soy sauce and wasabi traditionally served at sushi bars is replaced with a choice of the chef’s special sauces.
Beer, wine and saké, plus tea and soft drinks, are served.
Uma implies “delicious” in Japanese, and this idea is totally uma—a healthful, lower calorie alternative to fast food. We love it, and hope there’s an Uma Temakeria in our neighborhood soon!
Uma Temakeria (pronounced OOH-mah teh-ma-ka-REE-ah) is the first “fast-fine” sushi eatery to open in the U.S., inspired by the temakeria trend in Brazil, which began in the early 2000s in beachfront neighborhoods such as Leblon and Ipanema.
Bringing the concept to the U.S. is Cynthia Kueppers, who left Wall Street to create her vision. All ingredients, including the seafood, are responsibly-sourced, fusing a trend that is growing among American consumers.
You enter the bright space, roomy by Manhattan standards, and go to the counter, where the temaki of your choice are quickly made to order. You can take a seat to dine, or take your temaki to go.
Tofu temaki, one of the vegetarian choices. Just roll and eat! Photo courtesy Uma Temakeria | NYC.
What’s on the menu? First, there are Chef’s Temaki from Michelin-starred Executive Chef Chris Jaeckle (formerly of Ai Fiori, Morimoto and other great eateries such as Eleven Madison Park, Tabla and An American Place), with your choice of white or brown rice:
Tsumi Tuna Temaki: tuna and green apple in wasabi ginger sauce
Isara Salmon Temaki: salmon and seaweed salad with creamy miso sauce
Citera Tofu Temaki: red pepper and seasonal pickle in zesty citrus sauce
Terramaki: seaweed salad, daikon, carrot, avocado and sesame seeds with spicy mayonnaise
Fish ‘N Chips: the seasonal special, currently fried fluke, celery and potato chip crunch with tartar sauce