With the ridiculously rapid turnover of restaurants in Hong Kong, I can’t imagine anyone actually getting tired of their lunch choices in Central. But if you’re looking for another cool new eaterie to grab some grub, I’ve got just the place.
Sugo Sushi has just opened their first store on Gilman’s Bazaar, bringing a casual sushi-to-go option to Central’s lunch rush. It’s a cute little storefront with a positive vibe and friendly staff; the store is well lit with a clean white-and-green decor – a reflection of Sugo Sushi’s commitment to feeding people healthy food and using environmentally-friendly packaging. Although it’s not the most leisurely dine-in destination, there are a few comfy bar stools at the counter with hooks for your bag, and, much to my 4G-less delight, Wifi!
Sugo Sushi is not the place to go if you’re looking for the highest quality fish or an authentic Japanese experience. But what Sugo lacks in tradition, it makes up for with fun, innovation and a different, refreshing take on sushi. The menu is currently minimalist and straightforward, offering 13 types of sushi and miso soup, but with a focus on quality rather than quantity. About half the rolls here are seafood-based, while the other half feature meat and vegetarian options, all with tongue-in-cheek names like “Jay-Lo” and “P.H.A.T. Tuna”.
I tried the “Spy-Da” roll, filled with soft shell crab, cucumber and lettuce, and topped with Sugo’s own special, secret sauce. With crab legs hanging out from the top of my roll, and dusted with vibrant red spice, the Spy-Da is very aesthetically pleasing for a take-out meal!
Meanwhile, the “Gangnam” is described as Korean Bibimbap in a sushi roll. This girl LOVES Bibimbap so I wouldn’t go so far as to call it that, but I did enjoy this flavourful beef roll, thanks to its spicy kochujang (hot red pepper) sauce.
I also had to try the “No Way Jose”. Beef taco in a roll? That I’ve definitely never seen! After a brief moment of sadness where I was reminded how hard it is to get good Mexican food in Hong Kong, I enjoyed its spicy Mexican kick, and decided to award it brownie points for originality.
However, the “S.C.B.” might have just been my favourite; it’s a great example of how vegetarian food can be just as exciting as meat and seafood. Standing for “San Choi Bau”, this is basically a vegetarian sushi roll version of the classic Chinese dish of minced pork in lettuce leafs, but done with a Japanese twist. The “S.C.B” is a unique blend of traditional Chinese ingredients like lotus roots, mushrooms, carrots and bean curd, and Japanese Chirashi flavours.
While the creative sushi is definitely the main draw, it’s also worth trying Sugo’s “Miso Soup with the Works”. I enquired what exactly was included in “the works”, thinking this meant it had all kinds of unexpected ingredients in the mix, in line with the rest of the restaurant’s concept. At first, I was disappointed to hear it equated to two types of tofu, scallions and seaweed, which isn’t too far from regular miso soup, but I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted it – I loved the fact that there were two different textures of tofu, and lots of it! You could almost make a whole meal out of a big bowl of this stuff.
While Sugo Sushi would be great for take-out dinner when you’re too lazy to cook, or for catering parties if you’re looking for fun food to serve a crowd, it’s real forte is in delivering a quick, convenient and tasty weekday lunch. The sushi rolls here are served whole, like non-conical hand rolls – so if you’re a workaholic you can update Excel spreadsheets with one hand and munch on a roll with the other! For the rest of us (sane people) who enjoy savouring our meals, you can request to have your rolls cut up and eat your sushi with chopsticks instead.
Sugo is also a very economical choice. There’s a rotating lunch menu so you can get a good deal and switch it up often enough that you don’t get bored. A la carte, each roll ranges from $22-26, and the Miso Soup is $10, with a $5 discount if you order two or more rolls. You can also order for delivery or pick-up, with free delivery on orders over $80.
Sugo Sushi is fresh, convenient, tasty and easy on the wallet. Even if you do choose a roll with meat, I still think it makes for a satisfying, healthy meal, but one light enough that you won’t suffer a post-lunch food coma at your desk. Sounds like a win-win situation and an ideal workday lunch in Central to me! I will definitely be back at Sugo very soon for more “S.C.B.” and to try the rest of their other fun rolls.
Sugo Sushi G/F., Hop Hing Building, 30 Gilmans Bazaar Central
2259 5151 www.sugosushi.com.hk
Iris blogs about clean living and her cooking adventures figuring out a HK-sized kitchen at Eating Clean In The Dirty City