53…NYC Restaurant Review


My new favorite number.

This food is on fire!

I cannot believe how delicious the cuisine is at 53, a relatively new restaurant from Ahmass Fakahany’s Altamarea Group.

Designed by ICRAVE and installed in the new Jean Nouvel-designed apartment tower just west of the Museum of Modern Art, 53 is stunning and looks like an extension of its next door neighbor.

Akmal Anuar, who is from Singapore and runs restaurants in Asia and the Middle East, is the chef and a partner. At his side is Mark Yu, the executive chef, whose experience is rooted in New York at Pastis and Catch.

I initially hesitated because it is pricey and assumed that portions were small and perhaps all show.

I succumbed after attending theatre on 53rd street. The restaurant is only two blocks across town so I thought I would have a drink and sample.

The food is absolutely fabulous as well as creative.

The staff is welcoming.

We were offered either dining upstairs or down. The upstairs is striking. The back lighting emphasizes the unique shape of the room.

The staff recommended experiencing the full effect downstairs so we went down. They even have an elevator which in my restricted state made the decision easy.

Downstairs, there’s a larger dining room which features sweeping curved, rainbow-colored blades across the ceiling.

The room is dramatic and I liked looking up to see people walking by similar to the view at Marea another of the group’s fabulous dining establishments.

The adult beverage offerings are endless. I ordered a lovely orange wine from Chile ($20).

We started with the most fabulous fresh, sweet Oysters. Santa Barbara Uni adorned the pearly oysters with a yuzu ponzu gelée, and juicy trout roe. A dish to savor and remember ($34).

The Yellowtail sashimi was served with ikura, citrus and sorrel. Another fresh dish with perfect enhancements ($31).

The King Prawn from the Grill list were simply prepared yet exquisite. They were succulent with a charred edge ($39).

The Black Cod Clay Pot selection which is the most generous portion on the menu was outstanding with jalapeno miso, ginger, cilantro and crispy rice ($47).

Dessert was a refreshing Watermelon Granita with strawberry, kinako rice, yuzu crème fraîche sorbet ($19).

The contemporary Asian spot from the Marea team raises the bar for restaurant design in NYC.

Aside from being a thrill for the palette, 53 stimulates the senses with an art programme curated in partnership with Petzel Gallery, which rotates every four to six months.

If you are into unique surroundings, amazing Asian and seafood cuisine, then head to 53.

Beyond Sixty Three Clinton Street it is the most outstanding restaurant I have been to in New York City in recent memory.

53. 53 West 53rd Street New York City. Lunch Tuesday-Thursday 12-2:30pm. Dinner Sunday-Wednesday 5-10:30pm Thursday-Saturday 5-11pm. Reservations on Resy.


  1. Melissa Tufeld says:

    Wow!! What a lovely review. So exciting. Can’t wait to try it next time I am in NY!! Thanks for keeping us informed Toby.. Those photos are spectacular as well.

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