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whole foods sushi

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  • pickled garlic Oct 18, 2004 04:25 PM
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I've never tried any of "made in supermarket" Sushi before.
Are they as good/fresh as restaurant's?
If so, want to know your suggestions...
Thanks,

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  1. Most of them are as fresh at a restaurants, anyway; they use seperate fish from the seafood dept. of the store.
    All the store sushis seem to vary depending on store; some just have better rice than others, which seems to make it for me...I really like the rainbow roll at the Shaw's at Packard's Corner (Allston), but the one in Fenway s**ks...

    I think Whole Foods is a little expensive; you may as well go to a restaurant, and I find their rice strangely flavorless, as tho it's straight unseasoned rice...This is true of the Brookline one, Newton is marginally better...They're also really skimpy on fish....and the hamachi is always flavorless...

    Don't bother with any of the Stop and Shops. Ever...Theirs is the only exception to the rule I've found. It's not made in store, and it's never fresh. Ugh.

    Link: http://www.bistrodraw.com

    4 Replies
    1. re: galleygirl

      I've been eating theirs for years and while it is not restaurant-quality, it's not bad... in comparison to what I can get here at college (BU, GSU food court sushi is really awful)

      1. re: galleygirl

        Never had stop and shop sushi and I dont doubt its not fresh. But every stop and shop I have been in has a seperate section where the guys make it. i have seen them make both rice and cut fish, etc.

        That little personal touch still is not enough to make me try it.

        I have had supermarket sushi from Whole Foods. Its not bad, and hits the spot sometimes. Sometimes life is too busy or you just feel like getting your groceries and some sushi all in one place. But its no substitute for going out for sushi.

        1. re: baruch

          Let's say the several Stop and Shops I've tried, most noticeably the one on Hardvard Ave, does not make thieirs in-house; they keep it around so long you have to check the date...YMMV

          Link: http://www.bistrodraw.com

          1. re: galleygirl

            so long you have to check the date...which they probably change anyway as it suits them.

      2. The short answer is no.

        The long answer is that supermarket sushi is generally not bad. It is refrigerated after being made (to preserve freshness) which generally makes the rice drier and firmer, not to mention colder than you would expect in a restaurant. This changes the texture of the sushi and gives it a chewier, firmer mouth feel.

        IMHO the fish quality is generally not as good as in a restaurant.

        That being said, I must admit (as you may have guessed from the fact that I am replying to your question) that I do occasionally indulge in supermarket sushi. I find it a nice appetizer to indulge in when I am going to go staight from the supermarket to home to cook dinner, especially if I am hungry. It is also nice for picnics when you are going to refrigerate the sushi anyway and it comes nicely packaged for travel. Sushi, BTW, makes a great picnic item - delicious, self contained, easy to get and little mess.

        1. Supermarket sushi is to real sushi as:

          a) A bottle of Ragu and a box of Prince's spaghetti is to home-made bolognese on fresh pasta

          b) A bottle of Kraft Caesar's dressing poured on a head of romaine is to a Caesar's salad at Cardini's

          c) A steak at Longhorn is to a steak at Peter Luger's

          d) All of above

          e) I don't know - This is a chowhound quiz, and chowhounds are too busy finding really amazing places to eat and the most unique foods around to waste time and calories on sushi made by people who can't speak two words of Japanese and were busy, just yesterday, wokking General Tso!

          I don't know why I bothered - I guess just because they're Whole Foods - I went up to the counter and spoke some Japanese - I just got some empty and some guilty looks back... I bought a tray of salmon and tuna nigiri anyway, and blechhh... hardly any seasoning in the rice, which wasn't formed right - too loose (not enough vinegar or letting it cool too much before putting vinegar on will do that) - and the fish was certainly fresh, but just not of a good quality, nor very tasty. The tuna was probably not blue fin.

          1. Only the Fresh Pond Whole Foods has ever had (raw) sushi I enjoyed and it seems to have changed in the past couple of years. I think like most of WF prepared foods, everything is plenty fresh (little risk of getting ill, at least), but most of it is also flavorless and unseasoned, especially the sad, sad rice. I will pick up their sushi for a quick snack or healthy-seeming nourishment, but I do not enjoy eating it - and I agree that 's gotten completely overpriced as well.

            I would never buy (raw) sushi from Shaw's, Stop n Shop, and even Trader Joe's - I am never sure just how long ago it was made and how much preservative chemical is in it and around it (in the packaging and on those green plastic films) to keep it from smelling off as it probably should.

            10 Replies
            1. re: rlh

              I work across the street from the Fresh Pond Whole Foods and bought some salmon sashimi recently that was terrible. So 'fishy' I couldn't even finish it. I learned my lesson - next time spring for Genki-Ya.

              1. re: nyc_to_ma

                I've gotten similarly poor quality fish from Genki blah. Next time go 5 min down the road for Gen Sushi if you have time.

              2. re: rlh

                Most of the MA Whole Foods get their sushi thru the same company, a Chinese-run co. called Genji. It's all the same, and their rice is less than tender and delicious...
                The only independently owned sushi bar is in Newtnville; FABULOUS! Great fish, and delicious rice, as well as some creative, non-rice rolls (cucumber wrapped, etc.) for the no-carb gang..
                Interestingly, the new WF's that are opening are using a Hawaiian/California based sushi company called Hakku(?), or something similar to that. Made in-house, like the Genji ones, but the rice is miles better, the choices are more interesting, and the flavor is better...I've tried them 4 times so far...

                1. re: galleygirl

                  gg, good to know. Which new WF have you tried ?

                  fwiw, i have had many decent salmon sushi trays from FrPond WF with decent textured (though non vinegared) rice.
                  Not 100% but pretty darn reliably good IME.

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    S.Weymouth, (I know, a long way to go), Charlestown, Somerville, Lynnfield and Melrose...
                    The S.Weymouth and Somerville stores may be a little on the slow side, so it wouldn't surprise me if they had less of a selection...

                  2. re: galleygirl

                    I recall watching them make fresh rolls at the 4 corners Newton WF as well

                    1. re: Science Chick

                      They do, but it's the Genji people there...They all follow their corporate list of items...

                      1. re: galleygirl

                        Ahh.....I see. I misunderstood your post..."all WF get their sushi from...". I read that as the sushi being prepared off-site and sent to the WF stores, rather than being prepped on-site by Genji people.

                        1. re: Science Chick

                          A few of them ARE so small that it's prepared off-site, stores like JP and Wellesley...

                          1. re: galleygirl

                            Gotcha! I wonder if there is much of a difference in quality? I guess it all comes down to turnover time.

                2. I find that Whole Foods sushi tends to be right in line with the quality you'd get at a Japanese restaurant.

                  Next, is the Chelmsford Stop and Shop (and only this S&S location as they sell different sushi than other stores as it is freshly made by a vendor!). The S&S sushi actually is the best thing going for them in prepared foods and I am surprised they haven't rolled this particular sushi out to other stores. And yes, they do beat their competitor's quality out!

                  And then I would go for MB, Shaw's, TJ's, Hannaford, and other S&S's sushi.

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: kreptol

                    You might want to check out the new Walgreen's in DTX.

                    They make their ow sushi in house.

                    1. re: 9lives

                      Does anyone know if there is a CVS with sushi? I can't go to Walgreen's (long story). Really want to try some drug store sushi.

                      1. re: Alcachofa

                        ...we've got time.

                        1. re: Alcachofa

                          I think there are two stories here...

                          A) Can't go to Walgreen's
                          B) Really want to try some drug store sushi

                          Do you *really* want us guessing on these things?

                          1. re: davis_sq_pro

                            I think drugstore sushi is really convenient. Buy iffy sushi, pick up some meds and/or medical tools that may be needed for recovery...one trip.

                            1. re: kobuta

                              :0

                      2. re: kreptol

                        If you think WF sushi is "in line" with the quality at a restaurant, you're going to the wrong restaurants.
                        The rice in supermarket sushi (as noted above) is always chilled, hard and dry, unless you happen to get it just made, and even then it's usually inferior to that of any half decent restaurant. Since the rice makes the nigiri (at least for me), no quality of fish can compensate for that, and the fish quality is usually not so high either.
                        Does that stop me from having a spicy tuna roll once in a while... no

                        1. re: justbeingpolite

                          justbeingpolite: Just say that you would rather have your roll prepared fresh and request what you want. I do this a lot myself.

                          1. re: kreptol

                            I have. I still think the rice is inferior to any decent restaurant, and I feel the rice is a very important component of good nigiri.

                            1. re: justbeingpolite

                              Absolutely agree. I have often had freshly made sushi at a variety of supermarkets and not once have any approximated what I get at even average Japanese restaurants. Both the rice and the fish are not up to snuff.

                          2. re: justbeingpolite

                            I think there are better and worse WFs in terms of sushi. For example the quality at the one in Medford is, in my experience, far superior to the quality at the one that recently opened in Melrose.

                            Agreed that both are still lower quality than most restaurants, but I think the better experiences get close enough for an average craving at 11:00 a.m. on a Tuesday or whatever :-)

                        2. I really enjoy the sushi at whole foods brighton, and tend to find that they have good tasty rolls-and every few weeks they add a new one. it's not as pure as some people like it, but i enjoy the spicy sauces or a new kind of rice etc.
                          someone just posted they loved newtonville WF, that is my least favorite :( i always find the veggie "sushi" and veggies in the sushi to be mushy-I've even gone as far as not finishing it.
                          i always tell my SO who loves it, "they need to step it up like Brighton".
                          eh to each their own.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: cookfood

                            Well, I guess if you're happy with the ones from Brighton, you've saved yourself a trip to Newtonville!

                            1. re: galleygirl

                              Last week, I made a special trip to the one in Newtonville because I was in the area. I didn't find the sushi any different than the sushi I get at the other Whole foods.

                              1. re: catsmeow

                                Really? You didn't notice tuna handrolls, and sushi rolls made w/out rice, but wrapped in layers of cucumber instead, and filled with lots of fish? Maybe not authentic, but good. I also find the quality of their fish much tastier...But hey, that's me...

                                1. re: galleygirl

                                  I actually thought their maki looked skimpy. Very small pieces of fish and tiny pieces of avocado. They were mostly rice. The sashimi, which is what I usually get and got that day, was cut thick like at the other WF stores (too thick for my taste)and the quality was the same.

                          2. I think it's best to understand that sushi is best eaten fresh. The quality of the rice deteriorates as it sits refrigerated and dries out. That said, I think WF does a decent job if you are looking to satisfy a craving immediately.

                            I'd compare it to the premade and wrapped sandwiches in the refrigerated section. The bread is often slightly stale, the lettuce limp, and it's definitely not as good as going to a great sandwich place and getting a freshly made sandwich, but in a pinch, it's just fine.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Klunco

                              not a bad description but i remember the old monty python sketch about Australian table wines, best laid down and avoided.

                              1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                "For real emetic fans there's a 1967 Coq d'Rod Laver, with a bouquet like an Aborigine's armpit."