Sushi has made its way around the world, from Cuba to Kenya, but what do our Japanese writers think of the international twists on their country’s signature food?
Did you know that June 18 is International Sushi Day? Don’t worry, I didn’t either, but thankfully our Japanese-language writer Ahiru Neko did, and to celebrate created a list of sushi experiences he and our other writers have had all over the world. The first stop on our international sushi adventure is…
Hong Kong – Akimasa Sushi
This sushi restaurant in Hong Kong was visited by Japanese writer Meg. While the expectation was that a nation so close to Japan would serve sushi similar in style to what’s available in Japan, Akimasa Sushi did just the opposite with toppings like red bean and mayo or cola gelatin. But because of the generous servings and low cost, it appears to be quite popular with the younger generation, with people lining up even when Meg went to check it out.
Australia – Oishii Sushi
Our writer P.K. Sanjun was quite surprised to see sushi places in just about every shopping mall and almost everywhere he went in Australia. While he wasn’t blown away by the quality, he agreed that what he tried was still tasty – comparable to the pre-made sushi you would find in grocery stores in Japan.
China – Genki Sushi
Everything writer Ahiru Neko had heard and been expecting about sushi in China was proven wrong by Genki Sushi. No matter what he ordered, it was one delicious, high-quality dish after the other, including the fatty salmon.
Cuba – Bella Cubana
Unfortunately, our writer Yuichiro Wasai‘s foreign sushi experience was the complete opposite of Ahiru Neko’s. While sushi is rare enough in Cuba it is said that most will go their whole life without trying it once, Yuuichiro informs us that sushi restaurants do exist there, mostly in expensive hotels. In his own words, “if the sushi he tried there had been served in Japanese prisons it would be considered a human rights violation.” The fish both smelled and tasted bad, the sushi rice was soggy, and it took him an hour to eat the four pieces he had ordered. “It was painful,” he recalled.
France – Planet Sushi
Thankfully, Yuichiro’s next experience was much better at popular sushi chain Planet Sushi in France. While at first skeptical about some of the combinations, like the strawberry jam and rice-filled crepe sushi roll, he was pleasantly surprised at how good of a combination it actually was. With other unorthodox rolls and sushi neta, he described the experience as “a way to enjoy sushi that even Japanese people do not know”. That’s quite a compliment!
Kenya – Haru
While our writer Go’s sushi experiences in Kenya were poor, to say the least, he did find one gem in the outskirts of Nairobi, called Haru. The sushi was fresh, the tempura was excellent, and so was the service. Go left feeling quite satisfied with the level of quality of the food served there.
All experiences, both good and bad, considered, our writers still prefer the sushi of their homeland. And considering Japan did it first and has continued doing it for centuries, that’s a fair enough decision.
[ Read in Japanese ]