We have investigated the influence of the interface quality on the spin Seebeck effect (SSE) of the bilayer system yttrium iron garnet (YIG)-platinum (Pt). The magnitude and shape of the SSE is strongly influenced by mechanical treatment of the YIG single crystal surface. We observe that the saturation magnetic field (H-sat(SSE)) for the SSE signal increases from 55.3 mT to 72.8 mT with mechanical treatment. The change in the magnitude of H-sat(SSE) can be attributed to the presence of a perpendicular magnetic anisotropy due to the treatment induced surface strain or shape anisotropy in the Pt/YIG system. Our results show that the SSE is a powerful tool to investigate magnetic anisotropy at the interface.