Last week I was invited to Sabi Sushi’s Sushi + Blog Event at their new location in Forus. The event was held for local area bloggers to get a feel for Sabi’s new location in Forus and learn more about blogging in Norway. We started the night with a short introduction from Njål, Sabi Sushi owner, then had a presentation from journalist + fellow blogger Veronica Simone with more information + statistics about blogging in Norway. Then we moved on to the sushi + some networking.
Before we get into the sushi, lets talk a bit about blogging and more specifically about blogging in Norway.
Blogging in Norway has grown exponentially in the past years. Norwegian bloggers focus on everything from lifestyle to losing weight to food to beer making. While new blogs are started every day, some of the more famous blogs receive several tens of thousands (as in 50-60 000 or more) visitors a day. Bear in mind that the entire Norwegian population is just about 5 million people. The topic of blogging has become a hot topic in the media with several articles having been written about the topic as well as a tv presentation about blogging.
Here’s Njål introducing the evening to all of the local bloggers who attended.
Here I am with Veronica Simone from TV Vest and her blog Veronica Simone
Smile! You’re at Sushi + Blog!
Lonely langoustines – but not for long!
Lighting above one of the seating areas.
You can not image how cool the seats were in the Forus location. The restaurant design was quite stylish overall, but those bar stools were too cool for school.
Here they are again-aren’t they lovely?
Can you guess what this is?
Candles always help set the mood
The largest Nespresso machine I’ve ever seen with four flavours of coffee to keep the customers happy
Now, on to the sushi. I’m just going to come right out and say/write this before I get called out for it, so bear with me. Okay-here goes . . before last week, I’d never tried Sabi Sushi’s sushi before. Nope, not once. Why? Well, honestly, after hearing many friends & colleagues rave about the sushi at their first location, I got a little skeptical. I mean, really-could it be that good? That fresh? That ___________________? Well folks, I’m here to report back that indeed it was and I am ever so sorry that I waited MONTHS before trying it. It was that good. It was that fresh. It was that uniquely Japanese in several ways I wasn’t expecting without being pretentious. It was simply, the best sushi I’ve had in Norway-by a long shot.
I’m obviously no expert. I can’t tell you about the long standing history of sushi nor can I say I’ve made much of it in my life. But what I will say is this-I enjoy eating sushi. A lot. Always have. I’ve eaten a lot of it in my ____ number of years on planet earth and plan to continue to do so. Especially from Sabi. But let’s break down what made the sushi so noteworthy.
First of all, basic of the basic-the rice. I know most people get crazy stars in their eyes from all of the lovely things that sit on top of the rice and think of the rice as a sort of afterthought, but not me. The first thing I think of when I think of good sushi is the rice. I mean, seriously-doesn’t rice make up a fair part of what you are actually eating (excluding sashimi of course). That piece of maki you just popped into your mouth? RICE! Or that piece of nigiri? Boo ya-rice wins again. If the rice in the sushi you’ve had is in anyway soggy, mushy or is too sweet or too sour, the rest of it doesn’t matter. You’ve lost the taste battle before you’ve begun. Rice was definitely something Sabi got right. It wasn’t soggy, mushy or in any way over-cooked. It also didn’t taste crunchy like it had been sitting out exposed to air or anything of the sort.
Second thing I liked about Sabi’s approach to sushi? More traditional & modern flavor combinations. Like I said before, I’ve eaten my fair share of sushi in my life. I like the more traditional flavor combinations, such as my favorite – unagi nigiri (teriyaki-roasted freshwater eel) but am always open to trying something new. The chefs at Sabi whipped up a maki made of salmon wrapped rice balls with strawberry puree on top. Sounds modern, right? Just imagine how it tasted-firm but thoroughly cooked slightly sweet, slightly sour rice, supple salmon topped off with fresh strawberry puree.
Sabi also has seared whale steak on its menu. Now I know some of you are turning up your noses to whale meat, and while I can understand that, let me just say that if you ever do decide to turn your nose down and pick up your fork, Sabi is the right place to do that at. The whale meat was savory and topped with finely grated ginger and chopped spring onion.
Another thing Sabi also got right besides the rice and flavor combinations? The fish. When we walked in, I noticed one thing right away, it didn’t smell fishy! That’s usually a sign of fresh fish and sure enough, as they say, the truth is in the tasting. The fish wasn’t slimy, sticky or fishy-smelling.
The tempura pieces in the tempura rolls weren’t greasy either, which means that the batter was prepared properly and the tempura pieces were actually drained before they were placed in the sushi roll. Second worse thing to soggy or mushy sushi rice is greasy sushi rice. Sabi, thumbs up for getting this right.
Next thing I enjoyed was the seaweed salad which was not gummy or overly seasoned. It was the right mix of seaweed and sesame oil with added sesame seeds for texture.
nigiri heaven close up
Wasabi leaves? Um-k. That’s definitely how they “roll” at Sabi-all cool and what not.
Our sushi buffet in all of its glory!
I could have (and almost have before) eaten my weight in seaweed salad. This made me want to do it again.
Besides being delicious-it was beautiful.
The salmon rolls to the right were topped with a strawberry puree. I was skeptical at first but now I’m a believer.
Salmon with mango. Not my favorite, but still good.
Hand-rolls are just pretty in general but these were top-notch. I liked that they were more like salmon tartar wrapped in rice and nori (seaweed). A little something extra due to the spring onion.
Flowers made from scallops and other items.
Whale on the left and other various types of fish.
My fellow bloggers – eating with their eyes, not their hands just yet…
Myself, Veronica + another blogger. The look on my face says “who decided to pull out the camera as I put a piece of sushi in my mouth?”
Njål + myself (sans flash)
Njål + myself (with flash)
The back room – cosy with pillows, cool lamps and a door which can close guests off from the rest of the restaurant
The stars of the night! The kept us happy all night long. Thanks guys!
One thing is for sure, I’ll certainly be heading back to Sabi during my next visit to Forus.
Sabi Sushi Forus is located adjacent to the Tvedtsenteret shopping centre at Lagerveien 2, Forus and can be reached at 904 060 702 or online at www.sabi.no. Opening hours are 10-22:00, Mon-Sat and 13-22:00 on Sun.
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