Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Heeeeere fishy, fishy, fishy!

I've spent four and a half years griping about not finding good, affordable sushi in Brussels. I've had good, expensive sushi; mediocre, expensive sushi; bad, expensive sushi; and occasionally, just for fun, bad moderately-priced sushi.

Back in my Boston days, I hit a nearby sushi bar once or twice a week and filled up on miso soup, edamame, and perfectly fine sushi for $10 - it wasn't the best sushi on the planet, but it was tasty, and let me repeat: $10.

While I will never, ever hit the $10 mark in Brussels, I have at least finally found a sushi restaurant where I didn't walk out feeling like I had spent 13 times what the meal was worth: Sushishop.

I doubt I'm presenting breaking news here - not only are they franchised across France and into other neighboring countries, but here they have prime real estate on Avenue Louise, and they deliver, so they are certainly well known. But for the few of you out there who are new to town or who haven't tried it out yet, I recommend it (although anyone out there with other recommendations - bring 'em on!).

Admittedly, sushi is infinitely more attractive if you are a fish-eating vegetarian (like me). For the true veggies, you can definitely find a meal at Sushishop but you won't have the vast selection on offer to the pescatarians.

We sampled a variety of their offerings (after the requisite miso soup and some really excellent spicy algae salad - edamame was sold out by the time we sat down to eat at 10pm). The more classic-style rolls (i.e. flavors you've heard of) were nothing to write home about, and I suspect that they only appeared so un-special in light of their neighbors on the plate. Sushishop offers some intriguing flavor combinations, as well as some unusual wrappers: in place of the usual seaweed, some rolls are wrapped in cabbage, soya, salmon or avocado.

The fillings can be equally special - we were torn between a spicy-tuna-avocado concoction; a tuna-grapefruit roll; and a vegetarian maki with the enlightening addition of mint. The list of choices is downright overwhelming, which means a return visit is definitely in the planning stages.

With dessert (fine but not amazing) and drinks thrown in, we were hovering around 25 Euros a head. All in all, worth it for the fine sushi and chic, modern setting.

(Photo by photovaco.com)

144 Avenue Louise
1050 Ixelles
Tel. 02 613 2000
Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner (except Sunday lunch)


Lydia said...

We discovered excellent non-fish vege sushi in Seattle, and I have been keeping an eye out for a good place since moving to Belgium. Thanks for the tip - we shall check it out next time we're in the area.

Denis Libouton said...

have you tried yamayu santatsu? on chaussée d'ixelles
good and not that expensive