Sushi Seki has three New York locations: Upper East Side, Chelsea, and Hell’s Kitchen on Restaurant Row. We had the opportunity to visit the Hell’s Kitchen location on a recent weeknight at the invitation of the restaurant and were very impressed by its Kappo menu, a tasting at the counter facing an open kitchen.
In contrast to the hectic atmosphere of Times Square, the restaurant was calm and tranquil, with a bar up front, gray wood floors, plenty of bamboo, and a subdued back room. Our seat at the Kappo counter allowed us to watch the kitchen crew at work, and the progression of six courses was stellar from start to finish.
The meal began with a simple trio of tamago (egg) sushi with eel, miso broccoli, and chicken roulade with burdock root. Up next was a platter of five individual seafood dishes, including salmon tataki with roe, tuna with shiso and seaweed, and two preparations of oysters. Next came chawanmushi (steamed egg custard) with chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, and gingko nuts hiding inside. After that was a beautifully cooked piece of mackerel in a pool of ponzu topped with microgreens. Then came a platter of four different types of impeccable sushi, and finally matcha panna cotta and homemade ice cream for dessert. Each course was perfectly paired with wine or sake.
If most six-course meals leave you feeling full to the gills, this one left us satisfied and energized. Each bite was thoughtfully planned and executed with precision, and the meal flowed seamlessly from one dish to the next. And because many courses comprised several individual dishes, there was a total of 16 different foods to discover, a grand tour of Japanese cooking. It’s wasn’t cheap at $75 (with beverage pairings at $48 or $57), but if you’re looking to escape the cacophony of Times Square with the culinary equivalent of a spa treatment, Sushi Seki’s Kappo menu is one worth exploring.