8 months ago
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I've been a fan of Sushi of Gari for a while, Seki is a protege of Gari-san, hence the style is very similar. I haven't been to Sushi Seki until a few weeks ago (apologies in advance if the descriptions aren't clear, I had a difficult time understand the server).
I went with three other friends and we did the chef's tasting menu (omakase). We started a trio of tuna, fluke & salmon. All three were very simply-prepared, I was a bit disappointed because I was expecting a very avant-garde sushi experience since I am familiar with Sushi of Gari's menu, and I thought what we got was rather "safe".
Things took a turn for the better with the salmon with avocado & seaweed. The crispy seaweed on top gave it a great contrast to the texture.
The next piece of sushi made me want to scream in ecstacy. It was sauteed buttered whitefish. Holy sushi-o-la, the fish had a really fragrant smokey taste to it, and it disintegrated in my mouth. It was buttery, warm, soft and definitely not something I've had in Gari.
The next piece was also excellent, it was tuna with sauteed onions. The onions really gave it a kick to the flavor, great combination.
Then came the oysters handroll, the oyster tempura was excellent.
Feeling like we still had space in the stomach, we asked for more pieces. They gave us uni, torched toro & seared eel with avocado. Again, loved the oysters the most, the creamy sauce was a big plus.
Lastly, they gave us the yummy sauteed whitefish again, toro & mackarel. I am not a big fan of mackerel because it's quite fishy, and they said the toro was hagashi toro and was rather rare.
We ended with three desserts, I especially loved the mochi. The ice cream tempura I thought was quite subpar because the crispy skin wasn't that crispy.
So Gari vs. Seki? What's the verdict? I still prefer Sushi of Gari. I think the sushi I had in Gari were slightly more creative, most pieces I had in Gari had sharper contrasts in terms of taste & texture. I think Sushi Seki is equally good in terms of food quality but might have err on the safe side in terms of creativity. I am sure I have some friends who would disagree, I think the vote is rather split down the middle. Well, when in doubt, try both! :D
Address: Sushi of Seki, 1143 1st Ave (between 62nd St & 63rd St), New York, NY 10021