Skip navigation
Jōji was designed by Tokyo-based architect and designer Shinichiro Ogata.

Japanese omakase restaurant Joji in New York expands with takeout venue

Joji Box offers the same quality ingredients for people on the go

The trio of chefs behind Jōji, a one-Michelin star omakase restaurant at Grand Central Terminal in New York City,  have launched a sushi counter called Jōji Box. It’s designed for grab-and-go meals, but follows the same ethos around quality ingredients as its fine-dining sister, just in an accessible and affordable take-out package. Delivery is available too.

Chefs George Ruan, Xiao Ling and Wayne S. Cheng have worked together to make both Jōji and Jōji Box an expression of all three of their personalities and backgrounds. The three met while working at Masa, also in New York City, under chef Masa Takamaya, and have taken their decades of experience there to create their own spin on the omakase experience.

Jōji was designed by Tokyo-based architect and designer Shinichiro Ogata. Guests approach the restaurant through an underground roji, a traditional garden that in Japan is a pathway to a tea ceremony. It serves as a transition from the hustle and bustle of Grand Central into the restaurant space, but that is where the traditional is turned a bit on its head. On the Omakase side, with ’90s hip hop playing in the background, guests are delivered to a single chef who will craft their experience. Returning guests are assigned to the same chef as they were with before, so that menus can be crafted as distinct from previous experiences.

Jōji Box, the takeaway counter, has a variety of box experiences for diners to enjoy at home or at the office. The businesses of Grand Central, and the commuters who pass through, were the inspiration for the team to provide a unique takeaway option as an alternative to the usual fast-casual concepts that are a part of the terminal’s dining scene, as well as a more affordable way to introduce diners to their style of food, and to serve nearby residents with boxes delivered to their door.

George Ruan, executive chef of both concepts, recently discussed the new project.

What was the thinking behind pairing an affordable takeaway sushi concept with a high-end omakase experience?
We saw a white space in the market for premium sushi takeout. Our goal is to make the quality ingredients offered in our omakase restaurant available to a wider audience and make this elite experience more accessible to our community. 

Are there any signature dishes you feel fully represent the vibe?
Made fresh from the same kitchen as Jōji, boxes include omakase, chirashi, combination and flights (organized by fish), as well as à la carte options. One of the signature offerings at Jōji Box is the Omakase Box which highlights fish flown in from Japan and changes daily. 

What drew you to this unusual location?
We really love the idea of being inside Grand Central, which reminds us of a lot of sushi restaurants in Japan. 

What are some of the key features of the design of the space, and how do they impact guest experience?
The shelves are carefully curated and organized to make the guest experience seamless from start to finish. We make sure to display our product to make it aesthetically pleasing and sleek. Guests are able to order and take away beautiful Jōji boxes in a matter of minutes and can continue onto their next adventure in the city. 

What is the expected average price point for diners?
For Jōji, the lunch menu is $295 per person and the dinner menu is $410 per person, exclusive of beverages. Custom wine and sake pairings are available. The expected average price for Jōji Box can range from $25 to $60, depending on your mood.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.