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Sushi Seki Upper East Side

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We first discovered Sushi Seki in 2010 and reviewed it after several visits, most of which happened after midnight on random weekdays. We’ve always loved this spot for its late night hours, but the sushi is pretty damn spectacular no matter when you eat it.

Today we bring you an updated review of Seki, not because the restaurant has changed since our initial assessment, but because we’ve really got this place dialed in now. In our early days of eating here, we would sit down and wander through some very good but fairly standard sushi orders, and then cap the meal off with one of their legendary spicy scallop hand rolls. That’s certainly not a bad way to operate, but it’s not the best way to operate. We’ve had countless meals at Seki since then and have wised up significantly to the game. So here we are to pass that wisdom on to you.

A meal at Sushi Seki is all about knowing two things: the few special pieces to order, and where to knock off an armored truck before dinner. If you do it up right, your meal will set you back $100 per person. It will also be one of the most satisfying sushi experiences ever. Especially if you can experience it on someone else’s dime.

Assuming you’ve got the money to spend (regardless of where it came from), follow this updated Food Rundown and reap the benefits of our tireless and insanely pricey research. You basically want to eat this place like Noah’s Ark, ordering each amazing sushi specimen two by two until your stomach and your bank account can take no more. Then close it out with a hand roll and a Sapporo, and ponder the fact that we could have probably gone to grad school instead of eating here so frequently. I like to think that we just got a different kind of education… one that comes with a touch of mercury poisoning.

Food Rundown

Salmon With Sautéed Tomato

For you Sushi of Gari fans, this should look familiar. As a matter of fact, much of this rundown will sound familiar, as Seki was founded by a former Gari chef. Anyway, this is my favorite thing at Sushi Seki, and it’s always the first thing I order. Sit down at the sushi bar and start your night off with two pieces of beautiful salmon topped with a warm, perfectly seasoned sautéed tomato. Incredible.

Tuna With Tofu Sauce

Another facsimile of a Sushi of Gari creation. It’s a bright red piece of tuna topped with a tofu cream sauce, and it’s f*cking delicious. Do it up times two.

Baby Yellowtail With Jalapeño Sauce

Yellowtail and jalapeño are familiar friends on sushi menus around the world, and this order is a perfect example of that. The fish is topped with a bright green jalapeño sauce that tastes fresh and tangy and just the right amount of spicy.

Red Snapper With Sea Salt

This sh*t is so mind-blowing you’d think it was sprinkled with actual magic, but it’s really just some sea salt. I suppose that’s what happens when the snapper is of such high quality.

Chopped Unagi With Avocado

We love eel and avocado pretty much anywhere, but we especially like it when the eel has been chopped like this to improve the texture a bit.

Seared O-toro

You probably don’t need me to tell you that a piece of seared fatty tuna tastes good. This one tastes really, really good.

Spicy Scallop Hand Roll

Arguably what Sushi Seki is best known for. The spicy scallop hand roll here is a thing of legend, thanks to what we like to refer to as “crunchy things” that you’ll find in the mix with the scallop and the spicy sauce. And yes, that’s a culinary term. Also, make sure you eat this thing right when the sushi chef hands it to you, while the wrapper is still crisp. Anything otherwise and you’ll be exposed as an amateur.

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