The Atlantic Grill’s Mike Lim on His Favorite NYC Malaysian, the Best Piece of Sushi He’s Eaten, and Odd Customer Requests


The Atlantic Grill (49 West 64th Street, 212-787-4663) opened exactly a week ago, with chef Chris Lim heading the kitchen and chef Mike Lim (no relation) in charge at the sushi bar.

Malaysia-born Mike Lim has more than 20 years of sushi experience under his belt, including a long stint at Sushi of Gari. His sushi style is contemporary — similar to that of his mentor, Gari’s chef Sugio — and includes maki rolls like one combining lobster, tempura banana, and shrimp, and one with kanpachi and kimchi.

Earlier in the day, we brought you the first half of this interview, in which Lim revealed his pick for most underrated sushi fish, his last meal, and the hardest sushi technique to master.

Here, in the second half, Lim talks about his favorite Malaysian restaurant in New York, odd customer requests, and the best piece of sushi he’s ever eaten.

What kind of tuna will you be serving at Atlantic Grill, and, on a related note, how do you chose which fish to feature? Are there certain species you won’t serve because of overfishing issues?

We use farm-raised big-eye tuna, but occasionally we will be getting kindai, which is farm-raised from Japan.

Why did you make the decision to leave the Gari restaurants and go to Atlantic Grill, and what are you most excited about for the new restaurant?

I left Gari to help open up a different restaurant that did not work out. Then I heard of Atlantic Grill Lincoln Center and jumped at the opportunity. I am excited to make my own style sushi in this great neighborhood.

What’s the oddest request you’ve ever gotten from a sushi-bar customer?

They ask me to make sushi from other restaurants they have eaten at.

What restaurants do you frequent after hours or on your day off?

Malaysian restaurants in Queens — my favorite is Taste Good.

What would you like to see more of in New York restaurants?

In my opinion, NY restaurants have the best of everything. Every different kind of style and cuisine, you can find it all in NY.

Describe the best piece of sushi you’ve ever had — where and when did you have it?

Toro, fatty tuna. I had it first in Malaysia.