Sunday, July 28, 2013

A sushi-bar feast at Bel Posto in Hackensack

The Stuffed Squid appetizer, above, from Chef Yoshiharu Suzuki, the sushi master at Bel Posto in Hackensack, below.

Suzuki's credentials include service at three Japanese restaurants in North Jersey: Bushido in Cliffside Park, Wild Ginger/Wild Nigiri in Englewood and Inaho in Ridgewood. All are now closed.

By Victor E. Sasson

With the installation of a sushi bar at Bel Posto, a fine-dining restaurant in Hackensack, a feast of high-quality raw fish is really close to home.

On Saturday night, I drove less than a mile for a  bountiful dinner prepared by Yoshiharu Suzuki, a Japanese chef I first met at Wild Ginger/Wild Nigiri in Englewood more more than 15 years ago.

I was a big fan of Suzuki's artful mix of cooked and raw seafood dishes, including his sumptuous inside-out lobster roll.

At Bel Posto, I started my dinner with a refreshing Seaweed Salad ($6), followed by a whole, tender Stuffed Squid with brown rice ($8).

The mollusk -- moistened with a dark squid sauce -- was wonderful, even though it was prepared in a microwave.

Seaweed Salad.

For my entree, I chose the Sashimi Assortment ($28), a long, rectangular plate filled with raw seafood, rolls and the chef's own sauce and dressing.

The platter was a delight to behold: 

Suzuki fashioned thin slices of white snapper into a flower and watered the petals with a Japanese vinaigrette and olive oil. 

And he shaped and marked the wasabi (horseradish) to resemble a leaf.

Three large, raw scallops -- from Japan -- literally melted in my mouth.

A small bottle of Japanese beer was $6.

The centerpiece of my Sashimi Assortment was a flower of thin-sliced white snapper swimming in a Japanese vinaigrette and olive oil, and white-snapper rolls, above.

Mackerel rolls, left, sliced yellowtail and salmon; and wasabi marked to resembles a leaf.

Melt-in-the-mouth raw scallops from Japan, foreground; a raw shrimp and creamy raw-eel and avocado rolls, center rear.

I drank a small bottle of Japanese beer, and Suzuki treated me to small cup of sake and another of plum wine to end the meal.

I ordered too much food, but finished everything.

It probably wasn't the best night to have dinner at Bel Posto, where the first-floor dining room had been reserved for a wedding reception, complete with defeaning music.

I sat at the sushi bar, and behind me, a D.J. set up, tested his equipment, played loud music and wolfed down a platter of food before the party started.

Sushi World at Bel Posto, 160 Prospect Ave., Hackensack; 201-880-8750.

Japanese Chef Yoshiharu Suzuki serves lunch Tuesdays through Fridays (noon-3 p.m.), Sunday brunch (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays (4 p.m. to 10 p.m.).  



  1. Stopped by Bel Posto this evening, and they said Suzuki-san left 4 months ago. No solid leads on what he's doing now. Had a rather inferior sushi platter tonight, with a nice artichoke starter and delicious apple galette for dessert. Dining room very empty - not a good sign on a Saturday night!

    1. Has it been four months? He was really unhappy last time I was there and desperately looking for something else.

      The Italian restaurant is expensive, and I ate there once with my wife only because I had a discount voucher.

      Try Hiura on Main Street in Fort Lee, where I loved the bento box lunches with cooked and raw fish for about $16.

  2. Anyone find our where chef Yoshiharu Suzuki may be working? His sauces and sushi are second to none...been trying to track him down so I can enjoy good sushi again. Anyone know?

    1. I may have his phone number. I'll look and let you know.


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