If you’ve ever been mesmerized watching Bob Ross paint little trees, or you find something admirable about a perfectly folded fitted sheet, you’ll appreciate the omakase at Omakase Yume in the West Loop. Because there’s nothing here to distract you from watching the chef methodically prepare piece after piece of simple but delicious sushi.
This place is small - there are only eight seats, with two seatings a night. It has a quiet, almost solemn atmosphere, and a meal here is expensive (around 16 courses for $130, with the option to add a la carte pieces after that). You’ll want to exercise your a la carte options for two reasons - one, you probably won’t be stuffed by the end of the omakase, and two, after what you’ve just eaten, you’ll want to try some more.
At the risk of sounding like Bob Vila, it’s the overall quality and craftsmanship of the sushi that makes Yume special. The omakase consists primarily of nigiri, and everything is precisely cut, with thoughtful knife work - for example, the squid is sliced to curl up and create a flower-like effect when torched. While you probably won’t eat anything too unusual as part of the omakase, if there is a favorite type of nigiri you missed, there’s a good chance it’s on the a la carte menu. And finally, unlike some dessert courses that come off like omakase also-rans, the green tea panna cotta here is actually one of our favorite things.
Making something difficult seem effortless is impressive. Because when we’re confronted with that fitted sheet, we tend to say f*ck it and shove it in the back of our closet where it belongs. So when we have an opportunity watch a talented sushi chef like the one at Omakase Yume (and eat his handiwork), we’re appreciative. And also hungry for more.
Offerings may vary based on availability, but this is a good idea of what you can expect.
The omakase starts with a small, firm disk of monkfish liver topped with ponzu sauce. It’s funky, but the sweetness of the ponzu balances it out.
This is pretty simple - a piece of grilled miso black cod on a bed of rice. It’s a nice break from the nigiri.
The miso soup here is everything you want it to be. Salty and hot, and a great lead-in to the sweet dishes.
This dessert is one of our favorite courses. The panna cotta is smooth and creamy, with just the right amount of matcha flavor. The tasty little crunchies on top are a bonus.