Dundee’s first ever sushi restaurant is set to open in the city.
Oshibori could be serving sushi and sashimi as soon as the middle of May and has already installed a kitchen in its new Nethergate premises.
Last year a Facebook campaign entitled ‘Dundee Loves Sushi’ earned more than 800 ‘likes’ as part of an effort to encourage Japanese cuisine to be provided in the city.
Artist and chef Usman Malik, 23, has now answered that call. He said: “Students are craving sushi. There’s no place you can get sushi here, not even something like a bento box.”
Malik graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design with an MA in Fine Art in 2011.
He explained that as a student in Dundee he found there were not many options available for dining out.
“I’m a Japanese food lover as well,” he said. “Students, international ones especially, are surprised that there isn’t a sushi restaurant here when there are so many in London and Glasgow.”
So, with the support of the Princes Trust and Business Gateway, he decided to launch Oshibori. The premises are downstairs from the Ashiana restaurant, but the businesses are not connected.
He also visited Japan in order to learn more about the culture surrounding their world famous cuisine.
As part of his efforts to provide an authentic experience, Malik is intending to use ingredients shipped in from Japan, as well as a specially-built sushi robot to ensure that the typical fare of seaweed-wrapped rice rolls can be produced quickly.
“The ingredients are all from Japan, so they are quite expensive,” Malik explains.
“But we are also trying to get sushi robots. They have amazing rolling machines. You put the ingredients on the tray and the robot rolls your sushi.”
As a fine artist Malik also intends to create a beautiful environment for diners.
He said: “I’m trying to make it quite attractive, but the paintings I do are not very Japanese. So I have got into Japanese art and I’m mixing them with a more contemporary style.”
Oshibori will also feature a beer garden, though Malik is keen to put the emphasis on the food. “Obviously the alcohol is a compliment to the food,” he said.
Dish prices will vary between 6 and 12, including a take-away option.