Before visiting &Sushi in Newmarket, the extent of my Japanese food knowledge was St. Pierre’s Sushi; A food chain that specialises in mediocre sushi. Thankfully, I am now enlightened.

My partner in crime for this experience was my flatmate. She is an unpaid &Sushi enthusiast and upon hearing of my desire to visit, she drove us straight there.

Although it was packed, we simply had to loiter around a few tables until a family of three sensed our hunger and left their empty plates. We took our seats and a nearby waiter began to serve us. I become very overwhelmed by good service because the student budget usually only allows for drive-throughs. Nevertheless, I kept myself together and searched through the menu.

‘Teriyaki Tofu Donburi’, ‘Eggplant Donburi’, ‘Teriyaki Tofu Yakisoba’, ‘Udon/Soba Inari’, ‘Charred Eggplant Soba Salad’, ‘Fresh Tofu Salad’, ‘Kimchi’, & ‘Edamame’… These are all of the vegan dishes available and that in itself makes the place a paradise. They also have a wide range of vegan sushi available and its presentation can only be described with a picture. Although I was tempted, I decided to expand my horizons and have something a bit different; the ‘Eggplant Donburi’.

A mere 15-minutes passed and our dishes were put before us. I still cannot fathom the beauty of this food. Although there is so much in the bowl, everything looks so delicate and at ease. I quickly took the picture for this review and proceeded to master the art of chopsticks. Each bite presented such a saturation of flavours but somehow everything was perfectly balanced. The tang of ginger, the tenderness of grilled egg-plant, the crunch of capsicum, the softness of rice… It all came together to create bliss.

As I have already mentioned, I am not an expert when it comes to Japanese cuisine. It will therefore come as no surprise when I state that this was my first Donburi. However, I truly believe that this is the best of the best. I used my chopsticks to lift and savour each last grain of rice. I have never done so at St. Pierre’s Sushi.

You must visit this place. The service is without fault, the premises is the epitome of hipster and the food brings enlightenment.

&Sushi has two branches; one is located in Newmarket at 10-12 Teed Street and the other is in the City Works Depot. Follow them on Instagram for a sample of their brilliance: @andsushinz.

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