Seared Ahi Tuna Salad – Hillstone

“Am I eating chicken or tuna?”  Jessica Simpson

Eatery:   Hillstone, 378 Park Avenue, New York NY

You may recall some time ago my writing about the Hillstone Burger at this very establishment.  This restaurant is about a block away from my day job, so I visit fairly frequently.  On most trips, I have the Seared Ahi Tuna Salad, which I really enjoy – so I decided it was post-worthy.

Seared Ahi Tuna Salad at Hillstone (photo by MJ Byers)

The “salad” (in quotes because I struggle to label a dish without lettuce as a salad) consists of 6 or 7 reasonably chunky slices of seared Ahi lined up in a neat little row in front of the miso-dressed fruits & veggies (avocado, mango, cucumber, plum tomatoes, marinated red onion, jicama, and carrots – with a sprinkling of sesame seeds over top).  One of the things I like about this dish is that the tuna sits apart from the vegetables.  Though I am no longer 3 years old, I’m still a bit squeamish about various items on my plate touching each other.   So, I appreciate having the option of eating the fish separate from the salad-y part vs. smushing everything all together.  One day – just for an adventure – I will try smushing the food together to see if this changes the gestalt of the meal.

Another detail that’s pleasing about this dish is the presentation.  The variety of colors on the plate is delightful for the eye – the bright colors of the produce elements are a nice contrast to the brownish of the searing of the tuna.  Which, in turn, has that lovely red/brown contrast that is part and parcel of seared tuna.  The protein and produce sections are separated by a line of miso dressing (which my crap photography has failed to capture), and the tuna rests on a thicker miso paste.  The whole thing is served up on a nice white plate – I love the contrast of food colors on a white canvas which, for me, conveys freshness and taste.

The happy news is that the taste matches the good looks.  I have a particular hatred of fish that tastes “fishy” (the way tuna from a can does), and this doesn’t violate that particular sensibility – it’s got that great steak-like texture of tuna and a lovely fresh flavor.  The fish is served room temperature, which is perfectly fine, and perfectly seared with a bit of pepper on top for added flavor.  The “salad” part is great as well:  crunch cucumbers, juicy round tomatoes, tangy onion.  Marinated red onions are definitely the civilized way to eat this vegetable if you plan on speaking to (or kissing) anyone afterwards.

A word about the price:  I think $17 is a lot to pay for a small meal but this is, after all, New York City.  I struggle to find reasonably priced healthy fare that not’s soul-destroying in its lack of flavor, texture or personality, so I’m occasionally willing to suffer through this price/value disparity.

Price:  $17.00

Destination Meal:  No, but definitely a must if you’re at the restaurant and fancy something a bit light.

Healthy vs. Tasty:  Definitely a good choice for deliciousness despite the fact that it’s actually good for you.

Full-O-Meter:  You’ll find yourself longing for dessert.

Today’s Weigh In:  Plus 1 lb.  Truly going backwards now….but I have a plan.

TAGS: , , , , , ,

1 Comment

  1. Pengusaha says:

    tuna is good- but you have to be careful.its high in MERCURY.mercury is a type of poiosn, and considering the areas of the ocean where tunas live they actually ingest VERY small amounts of it. VERY VERY small amounts (this is for white tuna, yellow fin tuna is VERY high in mercury) so you really should watch your intake, maybe no mroe than 2-3 cans a week.try chicken breast, chicken thigh, tilapia, salmon, bass, cod, or lean ground meats as opposed to so much tuna.

Leave a Comment