Hidden Gem: Saks Fifth Avenue’s Secret Sushi Haven in NYC’s Basement


Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City has unveiled a stylish fusion of sushi and shopping, and it’s creating quite a buzz. As of June 22, patrons of the iconic Manhattan flagship store can now enjoy a unique dining experience within its hallowed halls—if they can find it, that is. Nestled discreetly beneath street level on the upscale fine jewelry floor, charmingly dubbed “The Vault,” lies Hoseki, an exclusive six-seat sushi counter. Amidst the dazzling displays of jewelry, patrons can seek out Hoseki, the Japanese word for “jewel,” concealed behind an unassuming velvet curtain in the subterranean depths. Those who uncover this hidden culinary gem among the literal gems will be in for a delightful surprise.

Conceived by restaurateur Maxwell Weiss and his business partner, chef Daniel Kim, Hoseki represents a luxurious and intimate addition to the department store dining scene. Weiss and Kim initially gained recognition with their successful in-home omakase service, Ten Homakase, during the pandemic. Chef Kim also boasts experience from prestigious sushi establishments like Sushi Zo and Sushi by Bou. The sushi counter exclusively caters to lunchtime diners, offering one-hour omakase experiences featuring a tantalizing 12-course culinary journey.

“Sushi is the perfect shopping lunch,” remarks Weiss. “Whether you’re indulging in retail therapy or navigating the hustle of Midtown, we provide a respite that won’t monopolize your day.”

The omakase at Hoseki is a spectacle of oceanic jewels, meticulously presented on understated ceramic plates that allow the seafood to shine. Guests can observe Kim’s precise yet swift sushi craftsmanship, featuring delectable selections such as Hokkaido uni, ocean trout, scallop, and even a seared Japanese Wagyu beef torching finale. The meal concludes with a handroll, potentially toro with taku and chives, ocean trout with truffle, or amberjack with shishito peppers. Diners can elevate their handrolls with a “Caspian Twist,” featuring caviar toppings, or the “Chefs Twist,” Chef Daniel’s personal enhancement. Although most of the fish is sourced from Japan, Weiss mentions their global sourcing, including trout from New Zealand, fluke from Montauk, and bluefin tuna from Spain.

“My personal favorites from the omakase are our seared and marinated albacore tuna, the toro hand roll with sauteed shishito peppers, and our ikura,” shares Weiss.

While Hoseki is currently awaiting a liquor license, its current beverage menu is both diverse and intriguing. A strong tea program offers various hot and iced teas sourced from Japan, thoughtfully paired with sushi. For the summer months, there’s the refreshing Black Tea Spritz, featuring black tea, yuzu juice, and soda. Japanese juices, sodas, and kombucha also grace the beverage menu.

As guests savor their sushi creations, they can’t help but admire the restaurant’s petite yet opulent design, a perfect complement to The Vault’s ambiance. Six plush velvet counter seats in a rich jewel-toned green harmonize with a green tiled backsplash behind the elegant white marble counter. The addition of small gallery walls on either end adds thoughtful variety.

“When conceptualizing the design, I aimed for a quintessentially ‘New York’ restaurant,” explains Weiss. “We’re serving modern omakase in a historic New York department store, so I wanted a minimalist design that would emphasize elements of Japan, fish, fashion, and New York. Our gallery wall accomplishes that goal.”

Currently, Hoseki operates only from Wednesday to Saturday, between 12 noon and 4 pm, offering a 12-course omakase priced at $95. Given the limited availability of just four 60-minute seatings per day, securing one of those coveted six seats might prove as challenging as deciding which exquisite piece of jewelry to indulge in before your meal.