Norikase: A Modern Japanese Speakeasy

Isn’t it amazing how your taste in things change with age? I remember a time when you could not convince me to touch sushi and now it’s becoming one of my favorite foods to indulge in! So it’s no surprise that I was super excited when Norikase invited me to come check out their new menu and restaurant expansion.

Norikase Cocktail

Norikase is a modern Japanese cocktail bar and restaurant and now with the Omakase bar hidden around back, it serves as a speakeasy as well. I’ve been to Norikase a few times before since they opened in 2021 and at the time is was only the small Omakase area and an outdoor patio area. They’ve now expanded into a full restaurant and bar and the improvements are exquisite. When I first walked in and sat down, I felt like I was in a completely new city. The fact that their decor is in my favorite color scheme was an added bonus! Additionally, the open dining space with views of the kitchen and sushi station is always a plus!

Norikase restaurant

The vibes were immaculate and based off my memory of what I’ve enjoyed there in the past, I knew my dinner would be an absolute treat. The staff at Norikase was gracious to start us off with a complimentary glass of champagne.

champagne toast

For starters, we asked our server for recommendations and he told us about the Brown Butter Shima Aji. Honestly, he had me at “Brown Butter” but this dish was incredible! It’s made with Japanese striped jack, green tea ponzu, Maitake mushrooms, and a brown butter emulsion.

Shima Aji

The flavors worked beautifully together! I really enjoyed the brown butter and how it complimented the flavors of the entire dish! I would definitely order this again the next time I visit.

Shima Aji

I love shishito peppers so it was a no-brainer to order the charred shishito peppers as a starter as well. Some of the peppers were hot and some were more on the sweeter side so it was fun not knowing which one you were going to bite into. I was also a little mesmerized with the Katsoubushi throughout the dish. Katsoubushi is thinly sliced, smoked and fermented skipjack tuna and when on a hot dish, the way it moves makes it appear as if it’s still living. You’ll have to head over to my IG reel here to see what I mean. Nonetheless, it was a delicious starter.

Shishito peppers

So, 9 times out of 10 if oysters are on the menu, I’m going to want to give them a try! We ordered the seasonal oysters that came 4 different ways; with a cucumber mignonette, ponzo, lemongrass coconut foam, and ikura. All of them were super fresh with a subtle flavor from the ocean. My favorite was the Ikura. I loved the saltiness from the salmon caviar.

seasonal oysters

For our main entrees, we immediately went with the Surf and Turf Roll! Another no brainer! Just check out what was in it: Japanese a5 Wagyu, shrimp tempura, white truffle aioli, grilled asparagus, crispy shallots, and house made eel sauce. How could anyone pass this up!?! I know I’ll be ordering this every time I dine in Norikase from now on!

Norikase surf and turf

Our server also recommended the Great White Roll which was really good. It was made with Hokkaido scallop, hamachi, yuzu marmalade, avocado, honey wasabi aioli, and bubu arare which added nice crunch. Another amazing flavor combination!

Norikase sushi

We tried several different cocktails that were delicious and refreshing! They included “Spritz Up Your Life” made with Aperol, elderflower, lemon and bubbles. The drink pictured here is “Don’t Break My Heart” made with Nikka Japanese vodka, yuzu, lychee, strawberry, raspberry, and cranberry. It was my favorite! We also indulged in a sake flight and dinner shot with our server and chatted for another hour or so! The mood was so chill we didn’t want to leave!

Norikase cocktail
Norikase: 9734 Deer Lake Ct. #13 Jacksonville, FL 32246

Norikase has always been a vibe and with the new expansion, I can see it being a heavily sought out restaurant to dine in. From the ambiance to the service, to the food and beverages, my overall experience was top tier. If you’re ever in the mood for quality sushi, a quality happy hour, or an exquisite Omakase experience, Norikase will be my recommendation!

(To watch Instagram Reel of my Norikase experience click here.)

As always, thanks for stopping by!


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