Specialty Rolls at Sushi Mazi

Chef Marc Suwansathien's specialty rolls at Sushi Mazi such as the Super Rock & Roll are an orgy of Japanese fusion techniques, showing off a fondness for whimsy and over-the-top presentation.

By Martha Calhoon September 10, 2009 Published in the October 2009 issue of Portland Monthly

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The Sunset Roll features tuna, salmon, caviar, and mango sauce.

When one of chef Marc Suwansathien’s specialty rolls arrives at your table, don’t be surprised if you take a moment to wonder at its bright hues or find yourself baffled as to how he sculpted the filling into the form of a yin-yang. You may even ask if those deep-fried grasshoppers perched atop the “grasshopper sushi” are real (they are). And then there is the matter of how to gracefully fit a roll of such circumference into your mouth. In short, Suwansathien’s evident fondness for whimsy and over-the-top presentation are sure to captivate even seasoned Portland sushi fanatics.

The Super Rock & Roll, like many of Suwansathien’s creations, is an orgy of Japanese fusion techniques. Filled with nori-wrapped shrimp tempura and topped with spicy tuna, fried orange mango, and wild pink-and-red shredded crab, it’s as colorful as a fireworks display and tastes pleasantly sweet and balanced. In the Y-Tail Lover Roll, delicate layers of fresh, pale-pink yellowtail, jalapeño, and crunchy tempura are accented with a playful swirl of wasabi sauce and dashes of honey mustard.

And while sushi-loving herbivores must usually make do with only a small handful of variations on themes of cucumber and avocado, vegetarian diners at Sushi Mazi can savor such imaginative options as the Shiitake Roll, stuffed with teriyaki-glazed grilled mushrooms, tofu, and avocado, or asparagus tempura rolls with seasoned seaweed salad and spicy sauce. Whether the fried grasshoppers can be considered vegetarian, however, is your call.

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