South Asian Food Review #1 - Semma NYC (South Indian Cuisine)

As South Asians who were raised with these exquisite flavors, we’re here to spill the beans and give you the inside scoop. We have made it our promise to give you the most honest South Asian food review ever.

Semma NYC - 60 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011

A Michelin-starred South Indian sensation nestled in Greenwich Village, NYC. The name Semma itself means “Superb” in Tamil language, but does it truly live up to its reputation?

1. Reservations

The only way to book your spot is through Resy. If you’re planning to dine with a group of four or more, brace yourself for a challenge. We had to secure our spot a whopping month and a half in advance! That’s how high the demand is for this hotspot. So, plan ahead and mark your calendars accordingly!

Semma reservations

2. Ambience

Picture this: South Asian melodies filling the air, creating an electric vibe that transports you straight to the heart of the Indian subcontinent. The familiar tunes of Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam will have you swaying to the rhythm while you indulge in the culinary delights before you. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

3. Seating

Semma seating - a tad cramped up

Here’s the honest truth: it’s a tad cramped, reminiscent of the cozy hotels you’d find in South India. Imagine a table squeezed right next to the waiting area and bar. We’d personally request them to lose that table to enhance the overall comfort of the dining experience. After all, a little extra space never hurt anyone, right?

4. Food & Drinks

Let’s move on to the main attraction: the food and drinks. The menu at Semma NYC is concise yet tantalizing, with 5-6 options in each category. From flavorful starters to mouthwatering mains, and delectable sides like dosa, parotta, or rice, your taste buds are in for a treat. Don’t forget to indulge in their specialty cocktails, such as the refreshing Koyya Paanam (Guava + Bacardi) or the zesty Pondicherry Sarakku (Hennesey + Ginger, Lemon). Trust us, they stole the show with their exquisite flavors!

5. Service

When it comes to service, be prepared for a bustling atmosphere. The staff prefers you to order starters and mains together due to a strict 1 and a half hour time limit. While the service was decent overall, we didn’t find anything particularly extraordinary to rave about.

6. Price

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: price. Brace yourselves, fellow foodies.

  • Cocktails average around $20
  • Starters average around $20
  • Main Course average around $45
  • Sides average around $6

which may feel a bit steep considering the quantity.

But here’s the kicker: where’s the gravy? How can we truly savor dosa, parotta, or rice without enough gravy to complement them? It’s a question worth pondering.

7. Authenticity (Is it really worth it?)

So, to answer the burning question, “Is it really worth it?” Regrettably, the answer is NO. As much as we appreciate Semma NYC’s culinary offerings, the exorbitant prices don’t align with our expectations of authenticity and quantity. We firmly believe that South Indian food can reach even greater heights of flavor and satisfaction. 

However, if you happen to be in the area and find yourself craving spicy South Indian delicacies, it's still worth giving Semma NYC a try. Who knows, you might discover a new favorite dish!