First Look at Sushi-teria: Good Food, or Just a Gimmick?
We recently received a tip from Lunch’er “Victor” alerting us to a new sushi place that popped up in the atrium of the Citi Building on 53rd and Lex. But this isn’t just any old neighborhood sushi joint. Here, all orders are placed on iPads! I know what you’re thinking. “Sure, that’s pretty cool, but is the food any good?” Let’s take a look:
The menus on the iPads are easily navigable and it’s pretty simple to place your order and pay without ever actually having to interact with a human (although there was someone walking around helping if you are unfamiliar with using an iPad).
Most of their sushi is offered in “maki bite” form, which is fancy lingo for a single piece of a sushi roll. These cost $1 to $1.20 depending on the variety, and you can mix and match so you don’t have to get a whole roll of a single kind. So, that comes out to $6 for a standard six-piece tuna roll, which is quite a bit more than the usual $4 to $5 I’m used to spending. I realized quickly that I wasn’t going to get out of here for under $10 with a satisfying lunch. I ended up choosing six Maki Bites and an order of gyoza, for a grand total of $12.63 including tax.
It was a paltry amount of food for the money, but I just couldn’t bring myself to spend any more on my meal. I had an order of 5 pork gyoza ($5), 4 salmon-avocado maki bites ($1.15 apiece), and 2 yellowtail maki bites ($1 each). I didn’t mean to get so many salmon-avocado ones, but I took too long playing with the iPad and perusing the menu and forgot I had already ordered it. Whoops.
The pork gyoza were pan-fried, with a crispy bottom, delicate skins, and very flavorful pork filling. They came with a slightly spicy soy dipping sauce that had a strong lime flavor, unexpected but enjoyable. The maki bites were actually very good. I was glad to see there was plenty of fish inside, more than your usual “lunch special” sushi roll. The avocado was ripe, the rolls were well-constructed, and the fish all tasted very fresh.
Sushi-teria is definitely in splurge territory as it is all but impossible to get out of there for under $10. The food is good and the people are very nice, but $1 or more for a single bite of sushi is just painful to pay. It’s unfortunate, but I won’t be replacing my regular go-to sushi lunch special with this place anytime soon.
The + (What someone who likes this place would say)
- iPads! Cool!
- There is lots of fish in the rolls, I’m tired of getting a bunch of rice with a teeny piece of fish in the middle.
- I work in the Citi Building and this place is super convenient.
The – (What someone who doesn’t like this place would say)
- I don’t care how much fish there is in there, these Maki Bites are just way too expensive.
- Why do I need to mess with this iPad, can’t I just tell someone my order?
- Did I mention it’s expensive?
Sushi-teria, Citigroup Building Atrium, 601 Lexington Ave (btw. 52 + 53rd), (212) 355-2229