If ever there were a dish made for Instagram, mosaic sushi is it. Arranged in a perfect square, each cube of pressed sushi becomes its own distinct tile — colorful, festive, intricately detailed with feathery herbs and delicate garnishes.
The mosaics have been a thing in Japan for a few years, and now they have arrived in Dallas, courtesy of Sushi de Handroll, a sunny Japanese restaurant specializing in temaki and tempura at 8041 Walnut Hill Lane at The Hill development.
Owner and chef Mai Takase offers two versions. One focuses on seafood, such as a salmon with pickled relish and dill, broiled eel with sesame, and hamachi with jalapeño. The other version is vegan, but unlike much vegan sushi, Takase’s version avoids manufactured seafood substitutes in favor of tangy and umami-rich vegetables that have been cured, pickled, grilled, and braised.
Her shibazuke sushi, made with cucumber and eggplant marinated in plum vinegar with purple shiso, is a flavor bomb, and shiitake braised in soy and mirin with sliver of carrot packs its own soothing punch. Both the vegan and fish mosaics are a delight to behold, and to eat — and, yes, Takase will mix the styles for omnivores.
“I first saw mosaic sushi online,” says Takase, who was born and raised in Japan. “It was springtime, there were cherry blossoms, and it was packed into a bento box for a party.” And perhaps, to inspire a moment of FOMO.