Chef Michael Lee, who owns Sono sushi restaurant in downtown Raleigh, hopes to open M Sushi in downtown Durham on Jan. 19.
The 50-seat restaurant will be located at 311 Holland St., across from the Durham Hotel.
“Basically, it’s a dedicated seafood restaurant and not just a sushi bar,” Lee explained Tuesday.
Lee said the restaurant will have seafood delivered twice a week — Tuesdays and Fridays — from Japan, Alaska and California. The same seafood served raw at the sushi menu will also be used for the cooked seafood dishes. “We will really be able to control the quality and freshness,” said Lee, referring to how quickly the seafood will rotate out of the kitchen.
Lee said the small menu will be an exploration of three cuisines that he sees as being very similar in how they treat seafood: Japanese, Peruvian and Spanish. Instead of rice wine vinegar as the acid with raw seafood, Lee said, a diner may see citrus and chile peppers, like you would in a Peruvian ceviche. The Spanish influence will be seen with the use of housemade aioli, as a crudo would be drizzled with olive oil. “It marries very well with Japanese cuisine,” Lee explained.
The restaurant will be open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays for lunch and 5-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays -Thursdays for dinner and 5-10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturday.
The 5,000-square-foot space is larger than Lee is going to need for M Sushi. Eventually, he explained, he will add another 30 seats to M Sushi and add a second restaurant in the location.