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Conveniently located in IFC above the Airport Express, Sushi Sei is a popular restaurant for tired shoppers, movie goers, and those coming from or going to the airport. A simple layout and minimalistic décor suggests a place that isn’t going to deviate too much from what you know. A large sushi counter is on one side of the room and there are spacious booths for small groups.
The menu is rather extensive given the size of the restaurant, though most diners will opt for the sushi and sashimi and a selection of izakaya-style dishes in between. We started with a small dish of shark gristle paired with a tiny dab of sharp umeboshi sauce which packs a punch—it’s the kind of savoury, umami-heavy snack that is designed to go with beer or sake. A seaweed salad sounds promising but underdelivers with its lack of presentation and forgettable dressing. We’re recommended the Kyoto tofu, which is flown in from Japan daily. It has a slightly rustic texture and is served simply with wasabi and sea salt, which showcases the flavour of the tofu without smothering its delicacy. The front page of the menu often lists seasonal specialties, and on our visit we enjoyed grilled ayu, the small river fish that was served correctly with the vibrant green tadezu vinegar. The sushi is agreeable, with tender rice grains with a slightly redder tint from the type of vinegar used. Some fusion-type dishes sounded attractive on paper but could have been executed with some more flair, such as somen with sea urchin sauce—the noodles were toothsome and the sea urchin plentiful, but the sauce could have been a little looser and silkier as it became heavy after a few mouthfuls.
There are plenty of sakes on the menu in both full and half bottle options, and useful details such as the place of origin, and the sweetness and dryness levels are clearly labelled. Suntory Premium Malt is available on draft and fans of shochu can also opt from a number of reasonably priced glasses.
The pacing of our courses was handled quite well, and our sake cups were kept filled throughout. Hot mugs of green tea were proffered at the end of our meal. We do wish however that the kitchen would wait until guests have left to start the disinfecting process of the sushi bar, as the unpleasant smell of cleaning liquid wafted over to our table while we were still dining.
We ordered quite conservatively, and our meal for two with sake and service amounted to around HK$1,300. Premium ingredients such as Hida beef and Hokkaido sea urchin will add quite a bit onto the final bill.