Saturday 31 July 2021

Hand Rolls from Hello Nori are a Must Try

Vancouver is known for its sushi and it happens to be one of my favourite foods. Sushi and sashimi go hand in hand, but my favourite rolls are the vegetarian ones. Yam tempura with avocado for me please! Hello Nori is a fairly new addition to Vancouver and this Robson Street shop has been drawing in some serious crowds. 

What sets Hello Nori apart is their focus on ehomaki-style hand rolls. Ehomaki is like a sushi roll that has its ingredients and sushi rice wrapped in nori (dried seaweed) and served unsliced. Patrons are encouraged to forgo the chopsticks and simply eat the ehomaki with their hands. 

The 1,500 square-foot dining room has a 24-seat U-shaped bar where you can watch your order being prepared fresh by the chefs. The chefs prepare and present one Ehomaki roll at a time to you and pace subsequent rolls to how fast you eat. The chefs also try to serve the rolls in the order from lighter delicate flavours ending with the stronger meatier rolls. Making the experience feel all the more special and individualized to each diner. 

The menu is simple, a total of 13 hand rolls which include tuna, such as toro, yellowtail, and maguro; truffle lobster; ora king salmon; unagi (eel); Hokkaido scallop; and non-seafood options like avocado or cucumber.

You can already guess the rolls that I ordered: Avocado, Cucumber and Tomago! The cucumber was not special and I will not order again: thinly sliced cucumber wrapped in sushi rice and nori. The avocado and tamago were delicious! The egg was spongey and sweet. Sometimes simple is best - creamy perfectly ripe avocado rolled into rice and fresh crisp nori is wonderful. 

My friend ordered the seafood filling rolls and quite liked them. The seafood was fresh and the sauces/marinades really highlighted the flavours. I wish I was a more adventurous eater because the seafood based rolls looked delicious. I ended up ordering the spicy tuna roll and took a couple of bites. It was yummy!

What I was not expecting was Hello Nori having such spectacular cocktails. Practically every person seated around the bar table had ordered a cocktail or sake. The most popular being the pink-hued Lyche Berry Chu Hi. Fresh Raspberries are muddled into premium Japanese Haku Vodka with Moonlight Japanese Shochu Spirits and finished with lychee juice and sprite. 

Hello Nori is not your typical sushi place, but that is what makes it special. If it were not so expensive, I would frequent Hello Nori weekly. 


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