We've been long time lovers of the Upper East Side's Sushi Seki, and now there's a Chelsea location for whenever we feel the need to empty out our bank account south of 34th Street. The downtown Seki outpost is bigger and badder than the original, mostly in that they have a significant bar situation, a few more seats in the dining room, and brand new fish sculpture behind the counter that looks like a set piece from a The Life Aquatic. Otherwise, everything appears to be exactly the same, including the menu: awesome and expensive.
Being that this Sushi Seki is on 23rd Street, as opposed to the priciest zip code in the country, it seemed a good opportunity to point out that there is actually a (relatively) economical way to experience all that this place has to offer - the Special Platter for Two. For $80, you get 20 pieces of sushi and two rolls, and nearly all of Seki's greatest hits will be represented. That's a pretty solid deal for you and a friend, and it will even leave some room in your budget for a bottle of sake. You could certainly do worse for yourself before or after a visit to Madison Square Garden.
A good way to sample Seki's greatest hits. It's 20 pieces plus two rolls, all for $80. A perfect amount of food for two normal people, or one really ballsy person. Yes, that's a dare.
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.
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.
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's tastes fresh and tangy and just the right amount of spicy.
This sh*t is so addictive you'd think it was sprinkled with angel dust, but it's really just some sea salt. I suppose that's what happens when the snapper is of such high quality. I also just assumed that angel dust was addictive for the purposes of this paragraph. My apologies to any junkie who would like to argue otherwise.
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.
You probably don't need me to tell you that a piece of seared fatty tuna tastes good. This one tastes really, really good.
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.