Bento serves up sushi burritos

Handheld sushi rolls offer convenience for HMR shoppers

Sushi-to-go just got a lot more convenient.

Bento Sushi has launched three varieties of sushi burritos—basically giant sushi rolls—at all of its 450 locations, including grocery chains such as Metro and Loblaws.

Each variety contains a different version of Hawaiian poké (marinated raw fish salad) wrapped in sushi rice and nori.

The Colossal Cali Burrito features spicy imitation crab, seaweed salad, crispy onion and spicy mayo; the Big Katuna Burrito contains tuna, mango, sesame seeds and teriyaki sauce; and the Salmon Tsunami Burrito features salmon, crispy onion, sesame seeds and spicy mayo. All three varieties also contain avocado, cucumber, carrot and lettuce.

The burritos retail for $9.99.

A growing trend in the foodservice world, sushi burritos first gained traction on the west coast in 2011. Today, sushi burrito chains and independent restaurants are growing across the United States and Canada.

“We’ve been following the trends over the years from California to New York to Toronto,” says John Hashimoto, executive chef at Bento Sushi. “In the last year in Toronto, we’ve seen food trucks and even restaurants opening up doing specifically sushi burritos or poké bowls. So, we took those ideas and thought it’s time for us to bring it to the masses as well.”

While sushi counters have long been a staple at major grocery chains, the new sushi burritos offer greater convenience for sushi lovers.

With typical sushi trays, “you have to add soy sauce and you need some kind of table to sit at,” says Hashimoto. “The great thing about these burritos is you can just grab it with your hands and they don’t require any additional sauces.”

Another bonus is accessibility. “A lot of these burrito places are in the downtown core only, so it’s hard if you’re out in a more rural area or a smaller town—you might not have access to it,” says Hashimoto. “But, we wanted to make sure everyone had access to it.”

Bento Sushi is promoting the sushi burritos with signage and $1 off coupons at store level.

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