The Mashup NY site carries a story on a new pop-up pick-up food locker concept being trialled in New York, featuring a seafood bento paired with sake.

The service, organised by the Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center (JFOODO) will be available from 8-13 December at the Hudson Yards residential/commercial complex.

It uses a block of food lockers called Restaurant Unlocked To Go, and features a seafood bento with six dishes created by New York-based chef Johan Svensson and designed to showcase the umami uplift when combining sake with seafood. The bento and sake set costs USD 20.

Pick-up meals to eat at home have exploded in popularity due to the pandemic. The system operates through a dedicated site where consumers order in advance, then go to the food lockers in the Hudson Yards shopping centre to pick up.

The bento includes:

  • Smoked poached oysters drizzled with mild BBQ sauce on a bed of fennel slaw
  • Shrimp cocktail with cocktail sauce and lemon
  • Crab roll infused with mayo, lemon and old bay, wrapped in green apple shavings
  • Terrine of mussels, scallops, tomato and carrots, wrapped in bacon and served with seared clams
  • Konbu cured whitefish topped with caviar, surrounded by thinly sliced radish and fennel pollen
  • Tuna pastrami with a side of German potato salad and pickles

A 300 ml bottle of one of the following five sake is part of the deal:

  • Nanbu Bijin tokubetsu junmai
  • Akashitai junmai daiginjō genshu
  • Tatenokawa junmai daiginjō PHOENIX
  • Gekkeikan Hourin junmai daiginjō

Each sake has a QR code that allows the consumer to go on a virtual tour of the brewery.

JFOODO’s research shows that pairing seafood with sake maximises the umami in both, and this project aimed to show New Yorkers a different way to enjoy sake, and to cater to people avoiding eating out during the pandemic.


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