gouie new york

Japanese Small Plates and Sake Bar

Yudai and Keisuke, creative director and owner respectively of The Izakaya, and Samurice, share one philosophy behind their restaurants - to make foods they enjoyed growing up in Japan accessible to all. Their new concept gouie new york will be a sake bar and chef’s table that serves Japanese small plates with both American and European influence. gouie new york will explore many varieties of sake that customers can try on draft, accompanied by plenty of delicious plates.

Get to Know: gouie new york

Yudai Kanyama and Keisuke Kasagi

Creative Director and Owner

Along with your other ventures, how do you hope this restaurant influences the approach and understanding of Japanese cuisine in New York City and the United States more broadly?

We are hoping to introduce the culture of sharing small plates with sake, which is very common in Japan. We would like to establish a place in between a restaurant and a bar - something where people can eat after dinner, but before going home. In Japan, there are many places where you can have a couple drinks paired with small delicious dishes. Here, we do not have many places where we can do that - we have restaurants or bars with actual snacks and no serious food. That is what we want to introduce to this country. A sake bar with small but serious eats.

Conversely, how has living in NYC impacted your approach to Japanese cooking?

We are trying our best not to be Americanized or localized at all. We are trying to introduce what is true to us, and what is our best work. We believe it’s more important to place the emphasis on introducing real creations, rather than to make something that we think people here might like. I guess we are learning how to entertain customers by making them like what we make. We never compromise and make anything that is not true to our roots. We only serve what we are passionate about, which we believe is the best way to introduce new things to a different country.

When I think of the Lower East Side, I think of…

One of the few places in Manhattan with so many opportunities to introduce new and interesting things in a more relaxed manner. The Lower East Side is a place where new cultures meld with the historic, creating a unique environment.

Best thing about NYC and worst thing about NYC?

Yudai: The best thing about NYC is the ability to bring new things and introduce them to the world here. I really can’t think of anything I really dislike about NYC (yet).
Keisuke: Often overlooked is just how nice people here are to moms on the subway with their babies. Like Yudai, I don’t have much negative to say about NYC!

What is your earliest food memory?

Yudai: Eating super fresh seafood for a reasonable price. We are both from Hokkaido, the mecca of seafood.
Keisuke: Being sent to the emergency room after eating yam potato at my friend’s farewell party. In the end, it turned out to be my farewell party.

What’s the one food you can’t live without?

Yudai: rice
Keisuke: miso soup

Preferred method of transportation:

Yudai: Uber pool
Keisuke: walking

What is your most essential ingredient in the kitchen?

Dashi!

Along with your other ventures, how do you hope this restaurant influences the approach and understanding of Japanese cuisine in New York City and the United States more broadly?

We are hoping to introduce the culture of sharing small plates with sake, which is very common in Japan. We would like to establish a place in between a restaurant and a bar - something where people can eat after dinner, but before going home. In Japan, there are many places where you can have a couple drinks paired with small delicious dishes. Here, we do not have many places where we can do that - we have restaurants or bars with actual snacks and no serious food. That is what we want to introduce to this country. A sake bar with small but serious eats.

Conversely, how has living in NYC impacted your approach to Japanese cooking?

We are trying our best not to be Americanized or localized at all. We are trying to introduce what is true to us, and what is our best work. We believe it’s more important to place the emphasis on introducing real creations, rather than to make something that we think people here might like. I guess we are learning how to entertain customers by making them like what we make. We never compromise and make anything that is not true to our roots. We only serve what we are passionate about, which we believe is the best way to introduce new things to a different country.

When I think of the Lower East Side, I think of…

One of the few places in Manhattan with so many opportunities to introduce new and interesting things in a more relaxed manner. The Lower East Side is a place where new cultures meld with the historic, creating a unique environment.

Best thing about NYC and worst thing about NYC?

Yudai: The best thing about NYC is the ability to bring new things and introduce them to the world here. I really can’t think of anything I really dislike about NYC (yet).
Keisuke: Often overlooked is just how nice people here are to moms on the subway with their babies. Like Yudai, I don’t have much negative to say about NYC!

What is your earliest food memory?

Yudai: Eating super fresh seafood for a reasonable price. We are both from Hokkaido, the mecca of seafood.
Keisuke: Being sent to the emergency room after eating yam potato at my friend’s farewell party. In the end, it turned out to be my farewell party.

What’s the one food you can’t live without?

Yudai: rice
Keisuke: miso soup

Preferred method of transportation:

Yudai: Uber pool
Keisuke: walking

What is your most essential ingredient in the kitchen?

Dashi!

Along with your other ventures, how do you hope this restaurant influences the approach and understanding of Japanese cuisine in New York City and the United States more broadly?

We are hoping to introduce the culture of sharing small plates with sake, which is very common in Japan. We would like to establish a place in between a restaurant and a bar - something where people can eat after dinner, but before going home. In Japan, there are many places where you can have a couple drinks paired with small delicious dishes. Here, we do not have many places where we can do that - we have restaurants or bars with actual snacks and no serious food. That is what we want to introduce to this country. A sake bar with small but serious eats.

Conversely, how has living in NYC impacted your approach to Japanese cooking?

We are trying our best not to be Americanized or localized at all. We are trying to introduce what is true to us, and what is our best work. We believe it’s more important to place the emphasis on introducing real creations, rather than to make something that we think people here might like. I guess we are learning how to entertain customers by making them like what we make. We never compromise and make anything that is not true to our roots. We only serve what we are passionate about, which we believe is the best way to introduce new things to a different country.

When I think of the Lower East Side, I think of…

One of the few places in Manhattan with so many opportunities to introduce new and interesting things in a more relaxed manner. The Lower East Side is a place where new cultures meld with the historic, creating a unique environment.

Best thing about NYC and worst thing about NYC?

Yudai: The best thing about NYC is the ability to bring new things and introduce them to the world here. I really can’t think of anything I really dislike about NYC (yet).
Keisuke: Often overlooked is just how nice people here are to moms on the subway with their babies. Like Yudai, I don’t have much negative to say about NYC!

What is your earliest food memory?

Yudai: Eating super fresh seafood for a reasonable price. We are both from Hokkaido, the mecca of seafood.
Keisuke: Being sent to the emergency room after eating yam potato at my friend’s farewell party. In the end, it turned out to be my farewell party.

What’s the one food you can’t live without?

Yudai: rice
Keisuke: miso soup

Preferred method of transportation:

Yudai: Uber pool
Keisuke: walking

What is your most essential ingredient in the kitchen?

Dashi!