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The food preparation at Masa might seem simple, but the complex flavors and exotic ingredients will blow you away. The Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant in New York’s Time Warner Center offers a 26-course dinner menu that includes five appetizers, 15 to 20 types of sushi made with exotic fish, tea and dessert. Part of the fun comes from never knowing what your 26 pre-set courses will contain. Chef Masa Takayama will take you on a tour of seafood art that incorporates high-end ingredients such as caviar, toro and truffles. At $450 to $600 a head, dining at Masa isn’t an everyday experience, but that’s kind of the point: You’ll be treated to excellent service and a one-on-one relationship with the sushi chef.
At times, the sushi chef will actually pass you courses across the counter — and sometimes you’ll literally eat out of his hand. Watch as the chefs work their magic behind the sushi bar and ask questions during the process. We found the hot pot to be especially interesting; a traditional Asian dish with meat or vegetables cooked in a rich, flavorful broth, the hot pot also lets you get hands-on by sopping up the broth with bread. We savored every last morsel of our pike eel hot pot. The sushi courses keep your attention on the New York restaurant's creamy rice, and of course, the exotic and delicious fish flown in daily — including squid, eel, tuna, octopus, needlefish, sea urchin and sea bream.