Next up in my mini series of posts on healthy things I found in Sydney is my trip to a fantastic foodery called Superfood Sushi in Sydney’s Newtown. The reason I chose them, out of all of the eating joints in that area, was that their USP is that all their sushi fillings and toppings were vegan – and one of them particularly had caught my eye. Let’s play a little game before I reveal why to you….what do you think the nigiri on the top left of this selection below is topped with? The red one.
Now your immediate reaction, considering it’s sushi is probably tuna, maybe carpaccio of beef – but remember the whole vegan thing – that means no meat, no fish, no dairy…….Now perhaps you’re you’re putting your money on roasted red pepper….but no, the answer is watermelon. Watermelon…on sushi. I’ll just let that sink in for a minute.
Now, the idea of that was exciting enough to get me to schlep myself across Sydney to check them out, but what I found when I got there was even more exciting. It’s not just any ordinary watermelon, owner Penelope tells me it’s dehydrated and then marinated to give it that deep red look. That also gives it a truly unique texture – a bit like fruit roll ups, but softer (‘oh Helen, why don’t you review restaurants all the time’ I hear you cry ‘you have such a romantic turn of phrase’). It was divine. And that was just the start of the exciting toppings they brought out – roll after roll was full of surprises – with amazing textures, interesting flavour combinations, and lots of things that just made me ask ‘what’s the one made from? The answer of which always surprised me.
I asked Penelope what makes a good vegan topping or filling, and, the answer it seemed, was pretty much everything – her advice was to try flavour combinations you like in other foods and just put them in a sushi form but if you want a bit more inspiration – here’s some simple versions of the ideas that I thought worked brilliantly in the samples I tried…..
Top an inari boat with kimchi – like the one top right in the selection above. This one was my favourite
Tomato and basil and avocado rolls were another big winner for me.
Penelope particularly suggests experimenting with fruit – they top lots of their rolls with kiwi, but I really loved the papaya boat above.
And if you’re fed up with using your courgetti as a base for pasta sauce, instead, mix it with pesto. add it to the top of some rice and wrap it in seaweed, or a thin slice of courgette.
Sweet potato, finely milled nuts, marinated mushrooms – and of course tofu – also make an appearance on the menu. ‘Just experiment and have fun,’ says Penelope. If you’re not completely sure how to make your own sushi, check out my post on how to do it yourself. It’s actually a lot easier than you think and I actually make it quite regularly now.
However it’s not just the filings that make Superfood Sushi special – they serve the rolls not just with traditional wasabi and soy, but with special mayo like dressings which really add an extra flavour pop. Ingredients are also marinated adding another layer of taste – and they use black rice, green rice – and normal rice coloured with exciting things like beetroot powder to turn it purple, which means the presentation is absolutely gorgeous (hello instagram) so, if you’re in Sydney and want to try something truly innovative for lunch or dinner, pop along to Superfood Sushi – at 69-77 King Street. That’s the end closest toward Broadway (not the station end).
If you do pop in, tell them Health-e-Helen sent you – and try the eggplant dip for me will you. I didn’t have enough stomach room left after all the sushi rolls, but it looks great!