My friends and I went to Shiki on a busy Saturday night. We ordered broiled black cod, broiled salmon, fried soft shell crab, avocado salad, ochazuke, nabeyaki udon and other dishes I cannot recall (unfortunately, I only remember the entrées that I actually ate.)
Good: 1) Excellent food quality, 2) great sake list, 3) moderate prices, 4) great opportunity to try other types of Japanese cuisine (since most of Japanese restaurants in Boston serve mainly sushi)
Bad: small portions
Ugly: 1) Rude and unfriendly wait staff – waitress demanded we order more food (we ordered at least 1 entrée per person – isn’t that usually enough? And, shouldn’t customers decide how much food to order? ), waited about 30 minutes for the bill to arrive (but manager was in a rush to make us pay) and our waitress was rarely around the restaurant.
2) No waiting area – if you arrive when the restaurant is full, you’ll have to either wait outside the restaurant or inside the restaurant. The restaurant is bit cramped; the tables located near front door will have to eat while waiting customers stand and look over the shoulders of seated customers. (We sat as far from the front door as possible, so this was not an issue. But, if I had to eat a meal while someone was standing behind me the entire time, I’d be irritated.)
Overall, food was good even though the portions were small. Service was inattentive and below average at best - maybe the waitstaff had an "off" night. The ambiance is ok, as long as you don’t sit near the front door. Location is bit odd and unexpected. I would cautiously recommend this restaurant based on my so-so experience. I probably won’t go back any time soon; I’ll just wait patiently until my next NYC visit. (I'd rather eat Matsugen or Yakitori Totto any day)