Chef Harrison Kim, whose resume includes Morimoto, Nobu in San Diego, Garces Catering, and most recently Yanako in Manayunk, has come back to his hometown to open the slick Sushi Hatsu, a BYOB, in a part of the old Ambler Cabaret at 51 E. Butler Ave. in Ambler.
The “sushi” in the name belies the true depths of the menu, which in addition to an assortment of handrolls, dumplings, and skewers is studded with modest-priced kitchen dishes such as duck confit shumai, Patagonian toothfish (e.g. Chilean sea bass), Snake River kobe beef tataki with foie gras and black truffle, PEI miso mussels, and a short-rib empanada.
“Hatsu” means “new beginning,” which this restaurant is for Kim, 43, who grew up in Fort Washington and went to Upper Dublin High with fellow Ambler restaurateur Chad Rosenthal of The Lucky Well.
Kim and his wife lived frugally during his two-year search for investors, even driving for Uber. Then he met Frank Lott, whose construction company builds restaurants, including the Harvest Seasonal Grills, Yiro Yiro, Naf Naf Grill, and Snap Kitchen. Lott signed on to help fund the $600,000 project and build the restaurant.
Designer Jimi Nolan started with a Gotham gray tone and added various wood finishes and subway tiles.
Kim calls the look “modern farmhouse meets industrial chic.”
In a fun touch, Kim, 43, lists the names of his staff on his printed menu, including Lott and other partners Stacey Atkinson, Jisoo Kim, and Victor Young, general manager Andy Thorne, and his kitchen crew, Mitsutaka Harada, Zack Wannawong, Danny Dong, Andrew Butterworth, Thai Lam, and David Segundo Matias.
Hours: 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4-9 p.m. Sunday. Takeout will begin shortly.