Doesn’t everyone love sushi? Well, most of us, I’m sure. I totally do! I’ve been eating sushi since the 80’s, gingerly at first, and over time I got a little more adventurous. At this point I’ll try anything sushi. And then there are hand rolls. How on God’s sweet earth did I miss those? I just found out about these pretty much a year ago. Hand rolls basically have the same fillings a regular sushi does, however, they are not cut into pieces, but rather stay in a long roll. The nori, which is the outer part of sushi (tucked between the rice and the sushi ingredients), is thin enough to bite right through it, therefore you can pick it up with your hands, and eat it like a tiny sandwich. It’s super fun and different, and just as delicious as ordinary sushi. Below are three New York City spots that serve these delicious rolls, and I highly recommend them. Go get some.
It’s been said that KazuNori is officially the first restaurant in the Big Apple to serve hand rolls, and with that they started a great new trend. The restaurant itself consists of a long bar, first come, first serve, no reservations are taken. However, the wait isn’t too long, unless of course you go on a Saturday night, I assume. The rice in the rolls is warm, as opposed to the cold one in most sushi I have had, and I don’t hate it. You can pick from sets between three to six pieces, and you are welcome to order more, or purely, à la carte. The sushi is made right in front of you, it’s fast, efficient, fun and clean.
I chose five rolls, consisting of a Toro Hand Roll, Yellowtail, Baby Scallop, Crab and Lobster. My favorite? Lobster of course. So delicious. Everything tasted super fresh, I absolutely loved the food and the minimalist ambiance!
Temakase is located in the East Village, one of my favorite areas of the city. It’s a Japanese restaurant that specializes in hand rolls. I was seated at the bar, although there were plenty of tables available. It’s a pretty fun experience to have your sushi rolls handed to you by the chef for immediate consumption. It just doesn’t get fresher than that. I really liked this place with its dim lighting, friendly atmosphere and fresh food.
My choice here was a set of five rolls, consisting of Salmon with Yuzu Dressing, Spicy Scallop, a Lobster Hand Roll, Truffle Grouper, and Tuna Belly with Scallions. I loved the creative twists on the rolls. And if you’re in the mood for a little extra bite, please do yourself a favor, and order the Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice, it’s figgin amazing.
In the West Village, good food is plentiful. On Carmine Street you will find Nami Nori, and if you can find a seat, please take it. If you love sushi, especially hand rolls, this is a must-try. The rolls are the most creative and off the beaten path. You can order them in sets of five (Signature Set or Vegan Set), create your own set, or order à la carte.
I ordered the Signature Set consisting of Tuna Poke with crispy shallots, X.O. Scallop with tobiko and lemon, Spicy Sea Bass with daikon, perilla and chojang, Coconut Shrimp with green curry, lime and cilantro and Cucumber Black Sesame with shiso and plum. Here you weren’t getting them served one by one, but all at once in something like a sushi holder.These rolls were stunning and absolutely delicious.