Ryokou Omakase aims to take diners on a journey across Japan

New restaurant from the Omakase Table team to focus on small plates rather than nigiri

Akami (lean tuna), chutoro (medium fatty tuna), and otoro (fatty tuna) from Kyushu, Japan

Photo by Brandon Amato

Located less than a five-minute drive from Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a mixed-use development called Abrams Fixtures promises lofts, offices, and of course, restaurants. One of the first eateries to be announced is Ryokou Omakase, slated to open this summer. Ryokou means journey or trip in Japanese, and that is exactly what chef Paul Gutting wants diners to do when they visit. Currently a chef at Leonard Yu’s Omakase Table, Gutting will lead this sister spot, serving a 10-12-course tasting concentrated on Japanese small plates. (At Omakase Table, the 20 courses primarily highlight nigiri.)

“This will be a smaller, more curated menu,” Gutting says. “I’m visiting each region to find [items] that go with dishes we want to make.”

For example, Hokkaido is known for its seafood, so Ryokou may serve a lobster consommé with uni to represent the region. Gutting is considering a kaiseki course with pickled vegetables to symbolize Kyoto. Expect a multi-course traditional Wagashi dessert that uses ingredients from all over Japan—a culmination of the journey. The menu will change seasonally. The Aomori prefecture is known for its apples, which harvest in the fall, so Gutting says he may incorporate them into a dish at that time.

“Omakase means chef’s choice or recommendation. In Japan, you can get that in almost any restaurant. In America it usually means a sushi-focused, coursed menu,” Gutting explains. “There are a lot of Japanese fish people don’t know about. Places like Mujo have worked to bring a lot of the distributors [to Atlanta] so we can more easily get the ingredients we need to make really high quality omakase.”

At 11 seats, Ryokou will be smaller than Omakase Table. Diners will eat at the bar, and reservations will be required. The space will be modern with Hinoki wood and a green onyx bar top. There will be a handful of wines and select Japanese-inspired cocktails. Sake will be the center of the beverage program, with pairings available for every course.

“I hope people look forward to the journey,” Gutting says. “I want Ryokou to be its own standalone restaurant, not an extension of Omakase Table.”

Omakase Table opened on the Westside in 2022. A new location in Buckhead is in the works, designed to give each of the two chefs their own separate room and sushi counter. A third room may offer small plates. According to Gutting, the Westside location could be turned into a more accessible omakase restaurant.