Posted: 10/23/2010Provided by Citysearch -
After recently spending time in Shinjuku, Harajuku, and Shinagawa wards in Tokyo, I can honestly say that Seki on Delmar is the most authentic Japanese restaurant in Saint Louis. This is in no deference to any of the other Japanese styled restaurants in the area, nor against any of the other Japanese owned restaurants in Saint Louis, but for as often as I've visited Seki San's shop, I've grown to appreciate his commitment to creating a truly Japanese experience.
Understanding this, do not expect to walk into this restaurant and hope for a few hundred different maki rolls. Do not be surprised that Seki does not serve infused sake. Do not be disappointed that you can't find non-japanese items like Spring Rolls or Fried Rice on his meu.
What you can be happy to find is that Seki works very hard at preseting the most authentic Japanese dishes possible. Whether you're just sitting at the sushi bar wanting a few bites of very high quality Nigiri sushi, or if you're looking for something off of his grill like Hamachi Kama, and especially if you're hungry for a really decent bowl of Shoyu Ramen, you'll be happy to know that Seki will be more than happy to make these dishes for you...
...but here's the real treat about this place: if you REALLY want to see how this Seki's stands out, you gotta ask for things that are somewhat ""off menu"", meaning, they're not immediately offered unless you're in the know...
This place is the closest you'll find to a proper Izakaya in Saint Louis, so ask for his sake menu to get one of the best samplings of sake and soju in the area. Likewise, right next to his sushi bar is a full yaki grill, so ask for a yaki menu (and be sure to order the Beef Tongue since it's so freaking yummy). Finally, be sure to sit at the sushi bar as Seki San often enjoys entertaining his guests with conversation and (time permitting) an amuse bouche to pass the time til your order arrives.
The staff is no nonsense at first glance, but they warmly remember their regulars and treat them like family, especially if you show your appreciation for the work they put into making Seki's the most authentic Japanese restaurant in Saint Louis.