If you’re looking for a memorable sushi omakase experience, a visit to Otoko is a must!
We first dined at Otoko a few years ago, so I was excited to return to experience it again. This post will tell you more about my experience and share what to expect when you visit.
Otoko in Austin
Located at the South Congress Hotel, Otoko is a 12-seat sushi-focused restaurant. Otoko is led by Chef Yoshi Okai, who had long delighted Austin diners before Otoko opened in 2016. Unlike Uchi or Uchiko, Otoko is an intimate and extravagant experience. The restaurant’s bright atmosphere illuminates the experience, so you don’t miss a thing.
Sitting right in front of the action allows diners to be a part of the process and find a deeper appreciation of each dish. You have the attention of the chefs to watch them assembling a dish, searing the fish, and answering any questions you have.
One thing that sets Otoko apart from other restaurants in Austin is the precise service. You’re greeted at the door and watched to take care of every need. With the intimate setting, attentive service is a necessity and you’ll see it in action.
Otoko is extravagant in the dishes and price yet the experience is straightforward and effortless. It’s a flawless event that sets a high standard for a sushi omakase experience. If Austin had Michelin stars, Otoko would surely be awarded.
Watertrade Bar at Otoko
Connected to Otoko, you’ll first enter Watertrade when you arrive. The bar is open to the public and your Otoko reservation includes a 30-minute Watertrade reservation prior to your dinner. The bar was previously only open to Otoko guests, and I recommend making a visit part of your Otoko experience.
The Japanese-style cocktail bar is a dark, moody, and intimate space that feels like a speakeasy. If you’re looking for Japanese whiskey, this is the place to enjoy it. You’ll also find a fun and creative cocktail menu. My cocktail included Pop Rocks!
If you’re solely wanting to visit Watertrade or if you need an appetizer, they have a bar bites menu, which includes snacks like caviar.
20-Course Sushi Omakase Experience
Get ready for two hours of a tasty show!
The majority of the dishes are nigiri bites and the selection depends on seasonality and availability. Our dinner included kanpachi (amberjack), oyster, uni, madai (sea bream), hotate (scallop), maguro (tuna), and wagyu. The fish melts in your mouth and each piece is delightful. It’s hard to pick a favorite bite!
The second half of the dinner features composed dishes such as elevated sashimi, tempura, and grilled selections. This is where the creativity comes out and you’ll taste varying flavors and a mix of textures.
Here’s our full menu:
How Much Does Otoko’s Omakase Cost?
You must pay for the full meal at the time of booking. A 20% service charge is added to the cost.
As of October 2021, the cost is $195 per person, about $253 with the service charge. You can also add a drink pairing: $50 for a tea pairing, $90 for a sake pairing, or $115 for a wine pairing.
Is Otoko Worth the Price?
If you’re a longtime reader of this blog, you’ll know my answer to this! Every person has their own standards and expectations, so only you can decide if it’s worth it.
It’s a pricier dining option, the most expensive omakase in Austin. If you like sushi and are a foodie, Otoko is an Austin bucket list experience. The atmosphere is unique to Austin, and of course, the quality is top-notch. It’s a multi-course experience, so you likely won’t leave hungry. Dining here isn’t something I can do frequently but for a special experience every few years, I think it’s worth it.
How to Make a Reservation at Otoko
Reservations for Otoko open on a rolling three-month schedule and you’ll pay for your dinner at the time of booking. You’ll need to check on the first of the month to try to get a reservation. (I made my reservation on August 1st for October.) Seatings are Wednesday through Saturday at 5:30, 6, 6:30, 8:30, and 9 p.m.
Details for Your Visit
Ready to dine at Otoko? Here’s a quick list of what you need to know.
- Cuisine: Sushi, Japanese
- Ambiance: Laid-back, intimate
- Attire: Business casual (Austin fancy, just for fun)
- Noise Level: Quiet
- Reservation: Yes, necessary
- Groups: Book groups of 2-4 online, call for bigger groups
- Parking: Validated self-parking in the South Congress Hotel garage; free street parking on surrounding streets
1603 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78704