Sei: Fish and Chips

Sei Fish and Chips

Some say there’s a sixth sense. This is debatable.  What’s not debatable is that we have a fifth taste: sweet, salty, spicy, bitter and umami. Searching for umami can sometimes feel like a quest to find big foot or the abominable snowman. However, at chef-driven Sei in Penn Quarter, you don’t need to look any further than the dish in front of you. Almost every menu item has an earthy, delicious twinge to it, which can only be described as umami. For more information on this whimsical flavor, visit the Umami Information Center (we’re serious, this exists).

Our dinner at Sei was one of those meals where we felt pulled in different directions in selecting our top dish. Raw or cooked? Land or sea? Traditional or adventurous? After much debate, we arrived at the Best Thing on the Menu: Fish and Chips – Flounder, Malt Vinegar, Potato Crisps and Wasabi Tartar. This is already a critically-acclaimed roll, and we’d like to purchase two tickets aboard the fish and chips bandwagon! The Washingtonian, for one, calls this dish by world renowned Japanese Chef Noriake a must-try and CBS included it on their list of top fish and chips in DC. The freshest rare flounder we’ve ever encountered sits atop a roll of perfectly seasoned rice, complimented by all the traditional toppings you would find at a British pub.

Other notables included the S.O.S. roll, which featured the winning combination of salmon and strawberry; the miso caramelized kabocha, which tasted like Asian-inspired Thanksgiving; and the seared fatty tuna nigiri known as toro aburi. Although we didn’t have it on this Sei adventure, we’ve tried their sashimi pizza in the past and recommend it as a fun way to get the evening started.

Land and Sea Sushi at Sei

Land and Sea Sushi

Maple Miso Kabocha at Sei

Maple Miso Kabocha

Everything was plated beautifully, making it clear that they had a true artisan in the kitchen. However, the food wasn’t the only thing  that was visually stunning. The white and gold decor felt regal, elegant and cool (and maybe even a little Miami).  We’ll be back in just a few short weeks to try their new menu, and you should too.

Fish and Chips not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.

Rice: Sautéed Chicken and Asian Pumpkin

Rice: Sautéed Chicken & Asian Pumpkin

Eating at Rice in Logan Circle is like stepping into a spa. Its minimalist, natural décor coupled with the dining experience actually causes you to leave feeling lighter than when you came in. Unlike some Thai restaurants, the cuisine at Rice comes without the grease. Enjoy a guilt-free meal, eaten at the restaurant, as take-out or as delivery. They have one of the fastest delivery times in the area.

We loved learning that Rice owner Sak Pollert created the restaurant with the inspiration of his childhood in Thailand. Sticky, fragrant jasmine rice played a leading role in all three meals of the day, hence the name of the restaurant. All entrees are served with diamond shaped mounds of rice that come in a variety of colors and flavors. You never know which one you’ll get, it’s like playing rice roulette.

The menu at Rice is divided into three sections: Rice Specialty, Authentic Thai and Healthy Green. The Best Thing on the Menu: Sautéed Chicken and Asian Pumpkin with Basil and Peppercorns is highly addictive and can be found in the “Rice Specialty” section of the menu. Its mild heat is a treat for the tongue, as is the texture and flavor of the Asian pumpkin, also known as Kabocha. Unlike other pumpkin produce products, kabocha is available year-round and tastes much like a sweet potato.

Pumpkin makes another appearance on the menu in the form of Pumpkin Empanadas. We recommend these, as well as the Crispy Brussels Sprouts Salad.

Sautéed Chicken and Asian Pumpkin not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.