You can walk down almost any street in New York City and find a sushi bar. From the high-end restaurants to your run-of-the-mill chain stores, it seems our love affair with sushi is still going strong. It is rare, therefore, when something different comes along in the sushi sphere. Beyond Sushi is that something, offering a fresh, healthy and modern take on the original Japanese classic.
Tucked away in Chelsea Market, this small store is a gem of a find. To the untrained eye, Beyond Sushi may look like your normal sushi outlet, but walk inside the small space and the customer is greeted with a wall of options that are anything but usual. As described on their website, each fruit and vegetable sushi is wrapped in either black forbidden rice or a customised six-grain rice blend. Black rice is a gluten free grain that contains 18 amino acids and has a natural black hue. The six-grain rice is described as “iron-filled” and is a combination of rye berries, hulless barley, pearl barley, brown, red and black rice.
The quirks of this place don’t end at its choice of rice however. Recognising how bad soy sauce is, given its high level of sodium, Beyond Sushi’s rolls are accompanied with an array of tofu and vegetable blends, examples of which include jalapeno wasabi, toasted cayenne, carrot ginger and shiitake teriyaki. Arriving in little test tube-like carriers, the flavours in these sauces works delightfully well with the rolls, and are the perfect substitute for the sodium heavy soy.
The fillings themselves are a delight – think marinated vegetables with fresh basil, Enoki and Shiitake mushrooms, sweet potato, charred carrots and lemon zest. All rolls are vegetarian/vegan and there is no tempura batter in sight.
Even the store itself has something special to offer. Here, recycled materials from the pre-existing 200 year-old building were used to construct the inside of the store, meaning the vibe is less Japanese-y and more rustic and wholesome. There is no seating however, so be prepared to order your rolls to go. Cooking classes are also available for those wanting to replicate the magnificent pieces at home.
Recommended: ‘Pickle Me’ roll with carrot ginger sauce; ‘Green Machine’ roll with jalapeno wasabi sauce; seaweed salad; kimchee
Best for: Lunch on the go
Chelsea Market, 75 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
(212) 929 2899