Sunday, June 19, 2011

All the Rawness of a Sushi Burger...

At the other end of the spectrum, there is the super-casual Sushi Burger, which is fun and gimmicky, although the idea was not totally new to me (I once dined at a sushi bar that served what they called a "Sushi Sandwich"sushi rice shaped into bread slices with a filling of imitation crab, avocado and smelt fish eggs).

Sushi Burger, however, has apparently expanded that idea into a restaurant. The menu is easy to read, with pictures that show what you're getting; the prices are either A$5.50 or A$6.50, with an extra dollar charged if you prefer the "dine in" option as opposed to "take away." And except for their fillingschoose from deep-fried fish, teriyaki chicken, crab croquette, ebi mayo and even softshell crab, to name a feweach "burger" looks exactly the same, with two slabs of sushi rice and a sheet of seaweed wrapped around it all as if it were a pita-pocket. Most of these come with leafy green lettuce, which add to the "burger" effect. But thankfully, no tomato is usedthat probably wouldn't go very well with any of their ingredients.

I ordered a spicy raw salmon sushi burger, partly because it was late by Melbourne's standards (most places close early in this backwards city that has the strangest trading hours) and that was one of the few that were still available. It was decent enough for only a few dollars. The fish was fresh but I thought the sushi rice could have been better seasoned. The cold, spicy fish chunks were actually well-matched with the glob of Japanese mayonnaise smeared inside, and the bed of lettuce that was tucked between the rice buns.

The atmosphere does indeed have a fast-food feel. Through the front window, plastic models of various sushi burgers can even be seen on a display shelf, adding to the kitschy fun of this off-the-wall joint.

Sushi Burger
167 Exhibition St., Melbourne

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