A Japanese restaurant at a family home in Athlone
Nuri Sushi Factory in Cape Town
A new on-the-run addition to the Mother City’s burgeoning sushi scene
In the midst of Cape Town’s crowded and ever-growing sushiscape, Nuri Sushi Factory, a vibey eatery that opened its doors in the city centre in mid-March 2013, is devoted to being different.
The Vida or Kauai of sushi restaurants, as industrious co-owner Adam Bartal describes it, the cool, young spot has a grab-and-go takeaway focus (though, it does boast a wide selection of tables for those eager for a sit-down meal). And alongside the on-the-run concept, the CBD newcomer also offers great quality at almost unrivalled prices and claims a menu with a wide range of innovative speciality inclusions unlike anything available elsewhere.
“Sushi is generally very traditional,” says Adam, who worked with the owner of the Caviar Group, a collective that includes renowned Mother City restaurants like Beluga and Sevruga, for 11 years prior to launching his own place. “So, we’ve tried to go beyond the ordinary to create unique options.”
Thus, aside from the standard California rolls, hand rolls, maki, nigiri and sashimi, the hip self-service restaurant also treats diners to slightly out-there flavour explosions, like The Nuri Stack (eight triple-stacked fashion sandwiches topped with a homemade Asian peanut dressing and sprinkled with sesame oil, spring onion and crushed peanuts), and unconventional alternatives, like the Rothschild’s Special, an assorted platter that includes rice-free versions of typical sushi pieces conventionally made with rice.
Though, getting a little creative with the Japanese delicacy isn’t the only way the new fast food outlet plans to distinguish itself. Within six to eight months of its opening date, the eatery, which rests in an old heritage building, aims to become one of the nation’s first sushi spots to give the dish a distinctly (and deliciously) local twist.
“I want to South Africanise sushi,” asserts Adam, a driven entrepreneur who was inspired by UK-based company YO! Sushi, a business that’s also dreamed up its own distinct style.
Hence, in the near future, at Nuri – even the name is an Mzansi take on the pronunciation of the Japanese word for an edible seaweed species, ‘nori’– customers will be able to try out springbok and pineapple or boerewors and tomato relish California rolls, masala-flavoured ostrich fillet nigiri and much more. And in keeping with the SA emphasis, all these options will be expertly crafted by only experienced local chefs, not imported Asian cooks (job creation is high on Adam’s agenda).
What’s more, innovation doesn’t come at the expense of excellence. Though the phrase ‘sushi factory’ may suggest that the deli-like eatery is more focused on pumping out than putting in, it’s, in fact, intent on only offering fresh, first-class platters and pieces (interestingly, Adam only chose this name as he plans to ultimately act as a supplier for other restaurants, shops and outlets).
Thus, whether getting a Tuna Crunch Roll to go or settling in for an assorted Nuri platter shared amongst friends, guests are bound to be pleasantly surprised by the quality, affordability and sheer originality on display at this new CBD sushi hotspot.
Tip: As of April 2013, the eatery will be offering sushi-making classes every alternate Wednesday. The two-hour lesson, which starts at 7pm and takes place at the restaurant’s long central counter, will cover the basics of creating this tricky Japanese dish.
The Bill: Nuri Sushi Factory is a very affordable restaurant-cum-takeaway spot that boasts prices that are ideal for even struggling students. The speciality options range from R38 to R52, platters cost between R67 and R139 for a generous amount and the more standard alternatives – California rolls, fashion sandwiches, maki, nigiri, hand rolls and sashimi – are all priced very competitively. What’s more, there are also sushi-based salads for between R32 and R40 and fat-free fruit or coffee-based smoothies for R15 and R20 respectively.
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 12pm – 9pm
8 Parliament Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 461 8719
There is a new sushi oasis in the Deep South called Osetra in Kalk Bay.
Eager for info about other affordable eateries selling this popular Japanese cuisine? Read our overview of low-budget sushi restaurants in Cape Town.
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