109 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10003
Refer also to our Senya May 2017 Posting
In my last Senya post, I described in detail the meal options, and comparisons to other sushi-yas offering similar omakase “platter” options. Today, let’s explore the overall experience, and specifically, the sushi-omakase platter option. Remember, Senya does not offer a true omakase, where you sit at the counter, and are served piece by piece.
I’m about to say some not so terrific things right now, but please remember, we do ENJOY Senya.
Senya is honestly a sad, sad venue. The exterior is an unimpressive, narrow blip that hardly resembles a sushi-ya. You enter through a set of heavy curtains, into a dark and dreary space, with almost no décor. Now this is coming from a girl that LOVES hole-in-the wall spots, truly bought into their charm. Senya to me, needs a complete revamp. Highlight the fish, highlight the chef, allow for counter seating, and Japanese it up a bit. Act the part. Last thought on venue, clean your washrooms!
Service also needs to be tweaked. During both our visits, we sat a table for four, and was WELL warned, that they will need the extra seats back when it gets busy. Of course, we responded politely, but give me a break! We’ve walked by a million times, Senya is not ever packed. We drink a lot, and eat slow. Our 6:30-7PM seating can easily last till 9, past 9. Over the course of our meal, there may be 3-5 other patrons, no more. So puh-lease, let’s not make a big stink about seating us, where we prefer to be sitting.
Experience aside, when it comes to meal alone (variety, quality of fish, and preparation), and bang for buck, Senya definitely makes the mark!
- Sea gelee $18 – Snow crab, Yasai Dashi gelee, topped with oba, uni & sturgeon caviar – The crab didn’t scream freshness, but acceptable. The dashi was bland, but combined with a more than decent Uni and caviar, this was a solid combo.
Our Sushi Omakase:
- HIRAME (Fluke) – Marinated in KOMBU (a sea kelp), and topped with dried KOMBU, this was good!
- SHIMA AJI (Striped Jack) – Looks the part, but the taste held very little semblance of a SHIMA AJI. If the quality isn’t there, you shouldn’t bother serving it. This serving also highlighted the horrendously bad sushi rice. I reminded us of our infamous Bond St meal…
- AKAMUTSU (Rosy sea perch) – I really thought this was a NODOGURO, but the server said AKAMUTSU, ok… I’ll go with it. Served with smoked salt which was just a distraction from the fish. Fish itself was good though.
- KINMEDAI (Golden eye snapper) – Another really decent piece, coming up just a tiny bit short. A good KINMEDAI is nicely marbled, melt in your mouth sweetness. This one, though a solid serving, didn’t melt, and wasn’t as sweet.
- KAMASU (Barracuda) – Quality of the fish itself, is again decent, but preparation wise, over-torched.
- SANMA (Pacific saury) – Another piece that was clearly an IWASHI (Japanese Sardine), but the server presented as a SANMA. This was a very yummy IWASHI.
- BOTAN EBI with Maine UNI and Hackleback Caviar – Best serving of the night! Very fresh Botan EBI, really nice texture & crunch, and topped with very decent Maine UNI, WHA??? “Very decent Maine UNI”? That exists? Very, very happy.
- California UNI – Then we had the California UNI, and are reminded that nothing compares. Very good quality UNI. Delicious!
- OTORO (Super fatty tuna) with fried scallions – Melt in your mouth OTORO, with no funk, no veins. Incredibly happy!
- A5 Wagyu served with Foie Gras – I expected the wagyu to melt like butter, but it didn’t. None the less, this was a super tender cut, not at all chewy, AND topped with a nice little slice of foie gras. I am a happy girl…
- AKAMI (Lean blue fin tuna) $7 – I LOVE AKAMIs. This cut, while very good, was not the “kick-you-in-the-ass-memorable” kind of cut. Still very happy though.
- CHUTORO (Medium fatty tuna) $10 – Served with California UNI and Hackelback caviar. Individually, each fish was great. And together, while the value was awesome, it’s a bit of an overkill in flavors.
- King salmon $12 – Boyfriend said this was good, but not worth it for $12!
- BOTAN EBI with Maine UNI and Hackleback Caviar $12 – Repeated the BEST piece of the night
- Foie gras $7 – I had TWO of these. So fatty, so bad for you, but so so so good for my taste buds. Party in my mouth! If you love foie gras – you need to try this!
Not much change from our June visit. Senya still needs some tweaking, but in terms of value for the dollar, it ranks up there! For a neighborhood sushiya, very decent variety, quality/freshness. We will be back!