Surprising unification of two trendy cuisines – Japanese and Mexican
Surprising unif...

Surprising unif...

Surprising unif...

Surprising unif...

By Aya Ota

“Takumi Taco”, a fast food eatery in New York which serves unified dishes of Japanese and Mexican, the two trendiest cuisines, has become the talk of the town. The tacos in which various Japanese ingredients are used as an accent are getting a lot of attention from New Yorkers who are flexible and tend to welcome new food cultures willingly.

Mr. Derek Kaye, the co-founder of the shop, told us how the concept of this eatery came about. “I got the idea for the menu from the dishes that used to be served for the employees of a high-end sushi restaurant.” Derek majored in Hotel Management at Cornell University. He took a strong interest in the restaurant industry, and learned about the industry through his experiences in working various jobs from dish washing to cooking in well-known restaurants, hotels, and his uncle’s eatery. He launched a food truck business called “Eddie’s Pizza Truck” in 2010, and has been passionate about the mobile food business. During that time, he met Mr. Mark Spitzer, the executive chef of 10 years at a high-end sushi restaurant called “BONDST” which is the favorite of many celebrities, decided to make him the partner, and launched the food truck “Takumi Taco”, in April of 2014.

They started out in the outdoor food market called “Smorgasburg”, and the quick success there resulted in having three street stores in Manhattan in no time. They are a tenant of Manhattan’s popular establishments, “Chelsea Market”, “Urbanspace Vanderbilt”, and “Starrett Lehigh”. The food truck at the Smorgusburg is still in operation, and their catering business is also strengthening.

The “Spicy Tuna Taco” made with sashimi quality fresh tuna reminds you of the popular tuna sushi roll. Some of the menu items such as “Japanese Curry Beef Taco”, which reminds you of Japanese curry rice, and “Chicken Teriyaki Bowl” are the nice examples of the combinations with Japanese modern tastes that have been well accepted among Americans. The “Sapporo Beer Braised Short Rib” reminds you of Japanese pork Kakuni. Other Japanese ingredients effectively used include edamame, yuzu, and miso. The taco made with “Gyoza Shell”, their original, is also very popular. Most of the menu items are created by the partner chef Marc. His 10-year experience and refined skills as the executive chef for a well-known sushi restaurant is clearly reflected in the well-balanced and unique combinations of Japanese and Mexican foods. The Japanese ingredients are used not to overpower, but to add a nice accent to each item. One of the reasons for their long-lasting popularity may be the fact that the original taste and the casualness of Mexican tacos are well preserved in their menu.

Their strategy to obtain more customers is to have their shop located in a place where people naturally gather, rather than trying to attract them to the shop. In fact, an average of 4,000 people gather at Chelsea Market every day. This market has become a famous gathering place in Brooklyn, and a second location has been added. The Smorgusburg collects as many as 10,000 people a day, and many of them stop by for the “Japanese inspired tacos” concept.

Please try the new taste created by this unique unification yourself.


ジャパニーズとメキシカン、ニューヨークで人気の二大食文化が融合したユニークなファストフード『Takumi Taco』が話題だ。さまざまな日本食材をアクセントに使ったタコスが、新しい食文化も柔軟に受け入れるニューヨーカーの注目を浴びている。


そして、2010年にフードトラック『Eddies Pizza Truck』を立ち上げ、モバイル・フード・ビジネスに情熱を注いできた。そして、ニューヨークのセレブが足繁く通う高級寿司店『Bond St』のエグゼクティブ・シェフを10年以上務める、マーク・スピッツァー氏と出会い、パートナー提携。2012年4月にフードトラック『Takumi Taco』を立ち上げた。

立ち上げ当初は、フード専門野外マーケット『Smorgasburg』への出店からスタートしたが、瞬く間に人気となり、今では路面店3店舗を構えるまでに急成長。マンハッタンの人気商業施設『Chelsea Market』『Urbanspace Vanderbilt』『Starrett Lehigh』にテナントとして入っている。『Smorgasburg』にもフードトラックを出店し続けているほか、ケータリングにも力を入れている。

刺身同様の鮮度のマグロを使ったタコス「スパイシーツナ」は、人気の巻き寿司を彷彿とさせる具材だ。日本のカレーライスをイメージしたタコス「ジャパニーズ・カレー・ビーフ」や「鳥の照り焼き丼」など、米国人好みの現代的な日本食のテイストがうまく取り入れられている。「ショートリブ、サッポロビール煮込み」は、豚の角煮を思わせる。ほかにも枝豆や柚子、味噌などを巧みに取り入れている。同店が独自開発した「Gyoza Shell」で具材を挟んだタコスも人気がある。メニュー考案・開発は主に、パートナーのマーク氏が担当。さすが有名寿司店で10年以上エグゼクティブ・シェフとして腕を奮っているだけのことはあり、それぞれ個性の強いメキシカンとジャパニーズを組み合わせ、絶妙な調和を創り出している。全体的に日本食材は主張しすぎず、あくまでもアクセントとして活用。メキシカン・タコスとしての美味しさやカジュアルさを維持しているのも、安定した人気の秘訣かもしれない。

同店の集客戦略は「自分たちが集客するのではなくて、人が集まるところに出店すること」だという。実際、チェルシーマーケットには一日平均4,000人が訪れるといい、今やブルックリン名物となり開催地も2カ所に増えた『Smorgasburg』も1日1万人以上の来場者があるという。多くの人が「Japanese Inspired Tacos」というコンセプトに足を止めるという。

Takumi Taco
75 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
Tel: 212-989-4200


Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm
Sunday 11am-8pm