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Sushi is without a doubt the most popular Japanese food in the world, and as such it’s found its way onto the menus of restaurants around the world. However, as we well know, different countries always like to add their own twists to imported cuisine. These countries sometimes have a special way of eating sushi beyond the imaginations of people in Japan. Our reporter Shogo, while out covering the situation in the Philippines following Super Typhoon Haiyan, had stumbled on some such sushi while visiting a Japanese restaurant there.

It’s called “Eel Mango Roll” and as the name vividly describes it’s a sushi roll combining the great taste of mango with the delicate texture of eel. It’s a mix of tastes that hasn’t been seen in Japan as far as our reporter is aware.  Apparently, this sushi is well established around these parts which suggests they’re on to something good.


Shogo ordered up a plate, and out came some grilled eel morsels covered in sushi rice. Draped over the top was a slice of mango and a dab of mayo, and on top of that was just a little scattering of salmon roe. The layering of eel, fruit and fish eggs was surprising.


Still it looked pretty appetizing, so… down the hatch!

Shogo was a little at a loss. This particular mixture of flavors was complicated and a little unsettling as it spread across his taste buds. It wasn’t bad though. In fact, it might be delicious… yes. Yes it was pretty good stuff. It tasted kind of like ehomaki, the uncut sushi roll often stuffed full of flavorful ingredients and eaten during setsubun. Ehomaki often has a sweet and somewhat tangy taste.

“Absolutely,” Shogo thought. “If you add some cucumber and seaweed this would be exactly like ehomaki. The mango brings a very similar sweet and juicy flavor to it.

Shogo was temped to find the lucky zodiac direction (south-by-southeast this year?) to quietly eat his ehomaki as is the custom during the spring celebration of setsubun. Then he remembered he was eating Eel Mango Rolls.

So while the Eel Mango Rolls were totally original, they coincidentally matched the taste of something more traditionally Japanese. Although they took a different way to get there, this sushi of the Philippines reached the destination of “delicious” just the same.
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■ Information
Japanese Restaurant NONKI(食事処 吞ん気)
SM City Cebu, Cebu City, Central Visayas, Philippines

Report:Sekai no Shogo

A look at the restaurant itself


And where to find it