I'm such a big fan of Japanese Rolls; those artfully presented, delicately tasteful, bite-size goodies! It is one of the non-Filipino dishes I can have on my plate for consecutive days! So, when an invitation to a sushi roll tutorial and sushi tasting session popped in my inbox, the maki monster in me excitedly said yes.
So, on a Friday afternoon, I learned the art of sushi-making and devoured freshly made rolls at Sushi Counter in Sheikh Zayed Road.
Sushi Counter is a casual dining venue with eight locations in Dubai and two in Abu Dhabi - the one in Al Raha beach is up and coming. It is where Japanese cuisine receives a distinct touch. The team's passion is to reinvent the traditional Japanese dishes by creatively infusing various cultures around the world. They launch new collections annually and introduce fresh creations based on current trends; hence diners discover something new to love each year!
|Sushi Counter in Sheikh Zayed Road|
A Charming Japanese Restaurant in SZR
Sushi Counter at Sheikh Zayed Road is an utterly charming Japanese restaurant. Minimalist decor and wooden furniture are drenched in natural lighting during the day which gives the restaurant a homey and relaxed ambiance. Sushi Counter is named as such because of its concept. Diners order in the counter where they can observe the Counter Chefs rolling, slicing, creating a masterpiece.
|watching a Counter Chef create a masterpiece at Sushi Counter|
|a display of drinks, salads and desserts|
|homey ambiance at Sushi Counter's SZR branch second level|
Sneak Peek on Sushi Counter's soon-to-be-launched Menu
During our visit, Ed and I received a wonderful opportunity to meet Chef Yannick Lohou. We listened in fascination as he explained Sushi Counter's concept and standards. There is a strict standard to be met; hence it was an assurance that patrons will get the same excellent quality in every Sushi Counter branch.
Chef Yannick also gave us a sneak peek on the creations that will be launched with Sushi Counter's new collection a few weeks from now. I must say, it's something to look forward to! We sampled the Mango Avocado Salmon California Rolls and the Crispy Salmon. I'm not fond of raw salmon, but that afternoon, I was tempted! I mean, who can resist vibrantly presented Japanese rolls!
The Salmon Avocado California Rolls is a pure delight. It has a perfect blend of flavors; light and buttery taste from the salmon, a hint of smooth and creamy flavor from the avocado and a touch of sweetness from the mango.
The Crispy Salmon is a winner with the right mix of textures! Crispy outside because of the rice crackers, deliciously smooth and savory inside because of the creamy spicy mayo and the salmon. The smoked salmon on top made the roll not just more enticing, but extra-tasteful as well.
|Mango Avocado Salmon California Roll|
Sushi Counter's Eccentric Japanese Rolls
We also had three kinds of Japanese Rolls that are on the current menu. From the California Rolls, we opted for Thai Crab. What I really love about this dish is that it is made of fresh crab meat! It's actually the first time that I had this kind as most sushi places in the city uses crab sticks. The crab meat made the taste very distinct. I really wish I'd still find it on the menu on my next visit.
From the Traditional Rolls, we had the Smoked Duck Green Apple Rolls. This kind looks very simple, but the taste... oh the taste is beyond special! I never thought the fruity flavor of green apple can go well with savory smoked duck meat and with the rice and nori!
From the Summer Rolls, we had the prawn variety. This kind of roll made a difference from the rest. It is not wrapped with nori, but rather with a thin rice paper roll. It's a cross between Japanese rolls and Vietnamese spring rolls. I love everything in it; from the smoothness of the wrap, to the crunch of the lettuce and cucumber, to the delicious prawn in the middle!
|Thai Crab California Rolls|
|Smoked Duck Green Apple traditional rolls|
Sushi Class with The Expert
Believe it or not, it was me who made those three Japanese rolls I have just mentioned! :)
Yes, ME! Well, of course with the guidance of Chef Yannick and the rest of the staff at Sushi Counter - Sheikh Zayed Road branch. Not bad for a first timer right? :) It was a wonderful experience to be behind the counter, making my own lunch. I have learned how to make Japanese rolls from the experts! It's not easy, but with the Chef's patience, I eventually learned the basics. I'm excited to recreate the easiest one at home soon. Watch our amateur video on YouTube below!
It was also a chance to see what's going on behind the scene. Rest assured, Sushi Counter delivers the best. As they believe "you'd rather wait a few minutes while your food is prepared than eat sushi that's been waiting for you to arrive."
|mastering the art of sushi-making with Chef Yannick Lohou of Sushi Counter|
|learning the basic from the expert|
* For the complete menu and prices, for food delivery and to find a branch near you, please check Sushi Counter's official website: www.sushicounter.com
Sheikh Zayed Road
Contact # 04 388 8065
nearest Metro Station: Emirates Towers (Red Line)
* Sushi-making Tutorial at Sushi Counter is currently NOT offered to customers. I was only invited to a special tutorial and tasting session. Although it was complimentary, this post is sincerely written and all opinions are my own.