On Montauk Highway, just outside of town, Zok•kon in East Hampton is serving up fresh sushi creations to its customers who previously had to make the long trek from East Hampton and Montauk to its sister restaurant, Suki Zuki, in Water Mill. The result: a sushi-lover’s paradise.
Most Popular: Tuna Sandwich; $13
Signature: Tuna Tartare; $13
Chef’s Favorite: Green Dragon Roll; $15
Feng Yunsheng is a partner at Zok•kon, and also at the sister restaurant, Suki Zuki, where he built a local favorite that has been open for 13 years. After much prodding from loyal customers traveling to Suki Zuki from further east, Mr. Yunsheng finally took the plunge and opened the East Hampton location, which is now in its first season.
Mr. Yunsheng moved to the Hamptons from China in 1997, and met his partner, Toyo, who taught him how to make sushi.
“It’s not that easy. First you have to learn how to cook sushi rice, then you have to learn how to clean fish, then you have to learn how to use a knife and cut the fish,” Mr. Yunsheng explained. “People think it’s easy, they don’t know.”
Mr. Yunsheng is always smiling, and is genuinely proud of the intricate and fresh creations he puts out. Zok•kon in Japanese can translate to mean “we do the best we can because we love it here,” according to Mr. Yunsheng, and that is the philosophy he brings to his new venture.
The Tuna Sandwich is the most popular dish. It is minced bluefin tuna, mixed with spicy mayonnaise, tobiko and tempura crunchies. The ingredients are layered inside sushi rice and cut into triangular sandwich pieces. The sandwich has heat, a crispy texture from the crunchies and finishes with a pop of fish eggs.
The Tuna Tartare is signature to Zok•kon, and it’s easy to see why when it’s plated. Bluefin tuna is diced and tossed in olive oil, scallions and sea salt. It is molded into a cylinder with avocado in the middle, plated over “magic” glowing ice and topped with orange tobiko.
Mr. Yunsheng’s favorite dish is the Green Dragon Roll. It is a sushi roll with roasted eel and cucumber inside and finely sliced avocado layered over the top and drizzled with sweet soy glaze.
In all three dishes Mr. Yunsheng’s expert ability with a knife was apparent; Mr. Toyo did a good job teaching him.
For the future, the two sushi entrepreneurs will continue to solidify their reputation, already strong in Water Mill, with East Hamptoners.
“We took over after last summer and made it through the winter. Once people know our relationship with Suki Zuki I think we’ll be good,” Mr. Yunsheng said.
Zok•kon is located at 47 Montauk Highway in East Hampton. It is open Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. For more information, call 604-5585.