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Sum like it hot

Grub Spy Alan Kelly dishes the goods on Ireland’s tastiest dining destinations


The delicious burritos from Sumaki.

The delicious burritos from Sumaki.

The delicious dishes from Sumaki.

The delicious dishes from Sumaki.

The delicious dishes from Sumaki.

The delicious dishes from Sumaki.


The delicious burritos from Sumaki.

Regardless of any grand claims made by creators and purveyors of fusion food, it’s very often a hit-or-miss affair with diners. Sometimes it’s hard to see the taste benefits of raiding the global larder and mixing it all up.

36 Parliament Street, Dublin 2
4.5 Stars
Food €9.95; Drinks €1.60

Blending Asian traditions can and do work, and the mingling of Mediterranean traditions can also be fun. And for me that is what makes the difference – the ‘fun’ element. I mean think of what we do with burgers, sandwiches, pasta and pizza toppings. And provided you’re not too much of a purist, adding fun to a dish is so often the best ingredient. I remember having Korean tacos in London once and they were great craic – it was like they were meant to happen.

But what about Mexican Japanese? If you asked me last week to imagine a Mexican-Japanese-fusion dish I might have said its what would happen if Speedy Gonzales and Godzilla spent a night of passion together. And for readers too young to remember, Speedy Gonzales was a cartoon mouse.

All that brings me to Sumaki burrito counter on Parliament Street. Imagine a green norimaki before being sliced into those heavenly little sushi bites. Now imagine a giant green unsliced norimaki the size of a burrito – and that’s what these guys are getting up to.

Like any burrito counter, you decide what you want – a Poké Bowl, a Salad Bowl, or a Sushi Burrito (go sushi, you won’t regret it)

Next up is your protein: salmon, beef, grilled chicken (my choice) tempura shrimp, boiled shrimp or tofu. Veg then: I have purple spuds, jalapeño and spinach. Kimchi and diced mango is my toppings, and some garlic crisps for the ‘crunchie’ effect. Finally there’s the sauce: I decide on the fiery sounding wasabi mayo.

Fully tooled-up with my hybrid Burrito I head out back to Sumaki’s tiny eating space.

Me, I’ve always loved sushi. I could spend all day grazing at a sushi conveyor belt. Besides being healthy it’s also a great way to soak-up a night’s drinking. And along come’s this fusion jobbie. I have to say the flavour combinations are unabashed in-yur-face gorgeous. There’s that proper vinegary wallop from the sushi rice, a hint of the sea with the crispy nori, and the jalapeño-kimchi-wasabi-mayo combo providing a wonderful chili kick: all agreeably evened-out by the sweet mango. It’s almost impossible to resist. A word of warning though – nori is not as secure as corn tortillas, so handle with care or risk a severe (but delicious) leakage problem. Also, if I’m being honest, in future I would omit the purple spuds – really doesn’t get along with the rice.

Still, I could eat a ton of the rest. It’s like the ultimate fusion snack. Who knew that spicing-up and bigging-up a norimaki could result in such a winner. I went from a doubting Thomas to being bowled-over by this scene-stealer of a dish. Fans of Japanese-y fusion food will be titillated by the very idea of a sushi burrito – as will old-school fans of rudimentary Tex-Mex burritos. For me, burritos were always a culinary game of chance. This crossover is the perfect fusion compromise.

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