Last week, East Enders placed countless delivery and pickup orders for Omakase Boxes from Water Mill’s newest Japanese restaurant, Kissaki, but little did they know their sushi rolls were prepared with the help of a state-of-the-art Maki Maker robot. As the team prepares to welcome guests for outdoor dining on Tuesday, June 30, the droid will be increasingly useful as it continues to speed up takeout orders.
With two New York City locations performing incredibly well in COVID-19’s takeout boom, Kissaki’s Hamptons debut—located at 670 Montauk Highway, formerly occupied by Mirko’s—resulted from owner and serial entrepreneur Garry Kanfer’s desire to provide sushi lovers with room to spread out and dine outside. “A lot of the guests who usually come to us are out in the Hamptons as well, so we thought that it would be a good fit,” he says.
The Maki Maker robot “employed” at the Water Mill eatery was brought into one of the NYC locations at the suggestion of Executive chef and partner Mark Garcia when some of Kissaki’s staff didn’t feel comfortable returning to work in April. At the time, the team was delivering about 150 meals to frontline healthcare workers every day, so they needed something to help speed up production in light of the reduced staff. “We would not have been able to do it without the Maki robot. Maki was 50% of the box for the hospital,” Kanfer explains. “That’s why we got it, and we knew that we would use it for takeout in the future.” While it was originally introduced out of necessity, the droid certainly adds to the authenticity and charm of this modern Japanese restaurant.
The Maki Maker has one simple purpose—to spread Kissaki’s signature rice evenly on sheets of nori—but when producing a high volume of maki for takeout, this small task saves the chefs a considerable amount of time and allows them to begin rolling the sushi much quicker. The takeout and outdoor dining menu includes Kissaki’s premium Omakase Boxes packed with nigiri, futomaki rolls, miso soup, edamame; as well as a à la carte sushi, rice bowls, caviar, desserts, liquor and more. Pickup and delivery are currently offered daily from 3–9 p.m., and business hours will be extended to noon–10 p.m. once outdoor dining is introduced on June 30.
The 14-seat sushi bar, planned to open the first week of July, will offer the full Omakase experience, which includes three kaiseki dishes, 12 pieces of sushi nigiri and matcha for dessert, all made at the bar. As with takeout and outdoor dining, all New York State recommended safety guidelines will be followed, so indoor diners can focus on savoring the Hamptons’ freshest Japanese cuisine.
To learn more about Kissaki or to place a takeout order, visit explorekissaki.com.