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Masa Takayama Heads up a Modern Japanese Robatayaki in Tribeca

By Kendyl Kearly

Photo courtesy of Masa

02.06.18

Chef Masa Takayama creates casual Japanese spot Tetsu.

Tribeca’s new Tetsu isn’t exactly what the culinary cognoscenti would anticipate from the Masa sushi master honored with three Michelin stars. Rather than the clinically stark decor favored by many Japanese eateries in the city, chef Masa Takayama warms the three-level soaring space with flashes of iron (Tetsu means “iron” in Japanese) and a 36-foot African bubinga-wood bar. The concept is centered on the robata grill and offers a menu divided by preparation style—raw, grilled, fried or sizzling. Think tuna guacamole butsu, fried calamari cocktail, watercress wasabi slaw and—brace yourself—Takayama’s first-ever burger. Yet this burger, lamb or beef grilled using a cast iron device designed by Masa himself, is a rare treat indeed: It is available only for a mere hour each evening (from 5 to 6pm). Soon, Takayama will debut Basement on the building’s lowest level, which will offer a rotating omakase menu. Here, the innovative chef will experiment with dishes like whole squab and wagyu beef. We expect the new underground operation to win widespread acclaim soon. 78 Leonard St.