M by Tasuku Murakami space
Photo courtesy of M by Tasuku Murakami

The One Who Keeps the BookAtlanta

How To Get Into M by Tasuku Murakami, Atlanta’s Most Exclusive Omakase Experience


Moments from the St. Regis Atlanta, the swanky restaurant Umi is as well known for its see-and-be-seen vibe as it is for its modern Japanese cuisine — and that’s just how Buckhead likes it.

Softly lit with globe chandeliers overhead that stylishly accent a dark-walled dining room, the literal brightest spot in this sleek restaurant was the sushi bar. There, a battalion of expert chefs sliced, diced, topped, and served immaculate bites of the fish displayed in a countertop glass case, protection against the Pavlovian urges of sushi-lovers who recognize quality as soon as they see it.

However, if you read the above closely, we did say was. But now, that accolade is passed to another extraordinary, special section of Umi: M by Tasuku Murakami.

If you’re up on buzzy food news in Atlanta, you’ll know M by Tasuku Murakami as the viral omakase sensation whose reservation requests shot up to the thousands within days of the concept’s announcement email in September 2023. Farshid Arshid, Umi’s managing partner, told Resy that 2,500 of the roughly 4,000 emails that blew up their inbox manifested in actual reservations for the $295 per person (plus a 25% hospitality charge that includes gratuity) experience.

Four thousand inquiries. Let that sink in for a minute, then digest that there are only 16 seats available three nights a week, and you have one of the most exclusive dining experiences in all of Atlanta.

You can only imagine how devastating it was, then, when this storied chef – whose experience includes The Lobster Club in Manhattan, Umi Atlanta, and Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, and Turin, Italy – was unexpectedly taken out of commission for two entire months due to an unfortunate electric scooter injury.

Finally, chef Tasuku is back, whole, healed, and with an endless supply of heartfelt smiles lighting up his soft doe eyes as he gets back to what he does best: surprising and delighting in this not-so-secret room hosting one of the city’s most exclusive experiences. And Atlantans couldn’t be more thrilled.

“We sent a text April 29 for the reservations we opened up May 1 … and sold out fully, all 192 seats,” Arshid confided via DM. “I am beyond grateful for how reactive our audience is.”

For those that manage to secure a spot, the quietest kind of luxury awaits on the other side – a bare bones space, even, like a fancy loft space or high-end industrial lab, where the chef experiments daily and holds ingredients sacred, allowing each perfect bite of a typically 18-course omakase dinner to take the entire spotlight. Discreet flexes punctuate the theater of an evening here, like a display of three fat wasabi roots on the counter, an ingredient that can cost as much as $150 a pound, to the chef’s immaculate knife skills, to the presentation of the bamboo box of premium cuts of fish and seafood to be served that evening.

The overwhelming demand for perhaps the most rarefied omakase in town is what brings us to this edition of The One Who Keeps the Book, where we’re spilling the deets on what to expect and, most importantly, how to get a seat at one of the most difficult-to-reserve, unforgettable omakase experiences in Atlanta.

Resy: What was the inspiration behind M by Tasuku Murakami?

Farshid Arshid: The inspiration struck us in early 2019 when we resolved to introduce a private dining experience at Umi. Renowned interior architect Tom Dixon proposed an intriguing addition: a traditional Seiza-style dining room, complete with tatami flooring. Initially daunted by the complexity of service, we opted instead for another Japanese tradition – a cozy omakase room for eight guests. This is now a unique luxury experience that we offer to our clients.

Why only eight?

Based on the footprint of the room and what we had to work with.

What are the days and hours of service at M?

We offer two seatings a night, one at 6 p.m. and another at 8:30 p.m., three nights a week. The reason for this schedule is that our fish arrives from Japan on Tuesday and chef needs about a day for fabrication. So we figured Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday would be perfect for our serious diners and corporate expense accounts who want to really impress their clients.

The Atlanta market is oversaturated with a number of pedigree-less omakase experiences, so we would rather do less but right.

When do you drop dates for reservations? Or is it a rolling model?

For our comeback, we released the first half of June as well as our May dates due to overwhelming request. But typically, we release seatings three weeks ahead of the following month and for that month only, on Resy.

Dinner here can be a life-changing experience. — Farshid Arshid, Managing Partner, Umi

Are there type of reservations that have better odds for booking?

Whether it’s a couple or a group, that’s all relatively similar. But single seats are harder to come by. And Friday is the most in demand. Wednesdays reservations are a bit easier to secure.

How much time should one “reserve” for the experience? Are there any differences between the two slots, other than time?

It takes about five to ten minutes before the arrival of the first course, depending on how quickly the guests get settled. But typically, the 6 p.m. seating takes two hours. It’s more serious and quiet. The second is longer as guests tend to drink more during that one! It’s definitely more lively and interactive (Pro tip: Choose this one for a more outgoing crowd!)

Is there a “best seat” one should hope for?

There’s no bad seat in this room! It’s very small and intimate, and every seat offers a front-row view to chef’s cutting board.

Chef Tasuku Murakami
Photo courtesy of M by Tasuku Murakami
Uni at M by Tasuku Murakami
Photo courtesy of M by Tasuku Murakami

Umi is very upscale, so one would assume M is even more so. How should diners dress for the occasion?

Casual chic is what I recommend. No ball caps, athletic wear, or sports jerseys for all. No shorts, flip-flops, or tank tops for men, please.

What’s the parking situation?

There’s valet ($2, validated) and self-park in the garage. (Pro tip: Go ahead and valet. It actually costs less than self-parking if you stay a while. The later reservation may require you to retrieve your car yourself at the end of the night as valet hours may end, but if you call the number on the sign, security will arrive to deliver your keys promptly and lift the exit gate for you.)

Any other tips on how best to enjoy this spot?

Come hungry and ready to be blown away! Chef’s special sake selection is a must and it pairs great with the food. His food is truly exceptional. Chef Todd in the kitchen and Mura-san are truly special guys in our world, and dinner here can be a life-changing experience.


M by Tasuku Murakami offers two seatings at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., Wednesday through Friday.

Su-Jit Lin is a rehabilitated New Yorker, former New Orleanian, and current Atlantan, in addition to being a travel, food, and lifestyle writer. She has contributed to EatingWell, HuffPost, Epicurious, The Takeout, Eater, The Kitchn, VinePair, Thrillist, Food & Wine, Serious Eats, Southern Living, and more. Follow her on Instagram. Follow Resy, too.