The rise of the Sushirrito in the West has inspired many local restaurants to create their very own version of the famous dish. After all, combining the sushi and the burrito, just two of our favorite dishes ever — no one can possibly mess that up, right?
So after months of being on the receiving end of expertly-targeted Facebook ads as well as various recommendations from blogger friends, I decided one day to give into the craving and drop by Nori for my first ever Sushirrito experience. Here’s what I found out.
Location: The place was easy enough to find, as with most restaurants in the Kapitolyo area. Once you enter the village proper, just turn right at San Rafael street, then turn left at 1st street. If you’re familiar with Kanto Freestyle at Kapitolyo, Nori is located just across Kanto Freestyle.
Ambience: I have heard horror stories from co-Yelpers about the restaurant having a pest control issues, so I was pretty vigilant for any running around or making its way anywhere near our table. Fortunately, the place seemed clean enough. Pages of newspaper were plastered against the wall, giving the restaurant a shabby, yet unique, look. It has two floors, but we took a table on the first floor since the place wasn’t packed when we visited on a Sunday afternoon.
Prior to my visit, I had already made up my mind to get the sushirrito variant with sashimi. We ordered the Poke Tuna Sashimi (Php 280) and the Sake Unagi Sauce (Php 295).
Every sushi burrito order at Nori comes with your choice of 2 dips. You can choose from the following flavors: Eel Sauce, Kimchi Aioli, Wasabi Tartar, Roasted Sesame, Japanese Mayo, and Teriyaki. It made sense to get the Japanese Mayo in a heartbeat, so we did, aside from Eel Sauce, Roasted Sesame, and Teriyaki sauce.
After the excitement died down following my first few bites into the sushirrito, I realized why sushi is always made bite-sized. The nori that wrapped the rice and kept it in place is so difficulty to cut into with your teeth. It takes a considerable amount of effort to properly chew it, which makes it messy to eat, too. The sauces did their magic at first, but the flavor eventually overpowered the main dish, resulting in what we Filipinos normally call, “umay” (not to be mistaken for umami, which is a Japanese term which translates to “A pleasant savory taste”).
The Eel sauce, which is akin to sweet soy sauce, was my favorite sauce out of all the dips. It was the only dip that I kept using until the last bite. All the other dips I tried were too overwhelming to the taste buds.
As for the two sushi burrito variants I tried, I was expecting to like the Sake with Unagi Sauce better than the Poke Tuna Sashimi (because salmon is almost always better than tuna!) To my surprise, I actually enjoyed the Poke Tuna Sashimi better for reasons I cannot really put into words. The mix of ingredients, and probably the sauce used for this variant, stood out better for me than its salmon sushi burrito counterpart.
The advantage of Nori is that they provide other dishes aside from the Sushirrito. There’s more to taste and see, even if I’m sure I won’t be coming back for another round of their primary offering.
Will I be coming back? No — not because it didn’t taste good, but because I don’t feel it’s sulit for a little less than Php 300. For a hundred pesos more, I can buy a bilao of sushi from Gryn Wasabi, and still have enough for a second meal. This one barely satisfied my Japanese food cravings, and more tummy space than desired.
How about you? How was your experience at Nori? Feel free to recommend other restaurants in Manila serving sushi burrito as well!-HANA