Shizusan : Around the world with 9 sushi

06:28:00 Sudipti Singh 0 Comments

"When you travel find your way using food as a traveler would using stars" or so says Shizusan. Shizusan, the faceless, travelling boy, making his way though the gastronomical journey through the world decided to make a pit stop at Pune and gift us with an 'Asian Pop Bistro'- Shizusan. This mysterious boy makes his way through countries and lands, making friends and learning new things, and he always brings back something from his trip; something that you can taste and smell and see. It's a little bit of inspiration from the places he has been to that pops up at every dish at Shizusan. He takes traditional Asian dishes and adds a unique twist and makes it his own completely.

This unusual yet intriguing Shizusan and his equally beguiling menu has sure hit the right notes with Pune because the bistro has garnered steady stream of patrons already. Within 3 months of its inception Shizusan is now one of the top rated eateries in the city. It was already high on the Kukkad Diaries' list of places yet to visit when Shizusan came back home from his world travels and brought along 9 exciting sushi to celebrate the upcoming International Sushi Day on June 18th and invited us for a taste. How do you say no to that?

So midweek we found ourselves at Phoenix MarketCity, Viman Nagar making a beeline to Shizusan for the special menu for the month- "Around the world with 9 sushi". And though we usually champion the cause of non-vegetarians across the land, but this time around the vegetarians can rejoice too! Because inspite of it being a sushi-specific menu, there are equal options for vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians; and surprisingly we more often than not liked a vegetarian sushi more (*gasp*).

The sushi are interestingly named after the country it's inspired from like The Korean with its kimchi and gochuchang, The Chinaman with peking duck and  The Saigon with its raw papaya, carrots and unmistakable Vietnamese flavors. The sushi not only sounded good on the paper but tasted like heaven, thanks to Chef Paul Kinny spearheading his team at the live sushi bar. He made the dishes look exquisite that we almost fell bad eating it. Almost. We polished off every dish he sent our way nonetheless.

Chef Paul Kinny

Chef Paul Kinny

The bistro has an endearing, minimalistic decor and has asian accents to its interiors. There is a live bar where you can enjoy a drink as you watch the chef roll perfect sushi. There is also an adorable al fresco dining area that overlooks the courtyard beyond and has a great view of fountains and cafes across.

We first started off with the vegetarian sushi and being meat-eaters we couldn't have been less enthusiastic about the news but we were in for a surprise. THE SAIGON was a Vietnamese take on the sushi with a filling of crunchy veggies in a creamy curry. The sushi was packed with flavors and we could taste peanuts and mint. It definitely made us see vegetarian food in new light.

The Saigon

THE KOREAN was another revelation. This maki had a filling of kimchi, asparagus tempura, mushrooms mixed in creamy and spicy gochuchang and seasame. Oh boy, would The Kukkad Diaries be in trouble for loving vegetarian so damn much?!

The Korean

THE MONSIEUR MAKI cheekily named after it's French inspiration had brie cheese, enoki mushrooms, ponzu mayo with a drizzle of truffle oil. Once again the different flavors, the crunchiness of the enoki tempura with the sushi made this a really great dish.

The Monsieur Maki

The Monsieur Maki

The 'NO'ri Maki is yet another brainchild of Chef Paul Kinny. It's a maki roll but a non-nori version. So if you are like me and find smell of the nori overwhelming or can't appreciate the fishy, sea-weedy flavor of this ubiquitous sushi supplement, then rejoice! Because the 'No'ri Maki comes wrapped with spinach leaves instead of nori, which I must say is brilliant. The insides are asparagus, carrots, cucumber and cream cheese. This sushi didn't have any crunchy textures to it but we found it quite wholesome. Almost flawless with a touch of wasabi.

The 'No'ri Maki

The 'No'ri Maki

We then moved on to the non-vegetarian selection of sushi wondering how the brilliance of the vegetarian sushi could possibly be matched and then we were served THE NORWEGIAN. This had smoked salmon flavored with dill, crunchy kappa, mayo and roasted seasame and oh boy, were we hooked. The salmon was perfect with the smoky flavors and tenderness and single-handedly pulled back the carnivorous fare to our top favorites again.

The Norwegian

THE PERUVIAN straight up from the land of Machu-Picchu which had tuna ceviche as the hero which means it had citrusy flavors and had the fish cured in citrus juices. Since I'm not a big fan of tuna I didn't really favor this one but Mr. TKD couldn't get enough of it and requested for another dish of this.

The Peruvian

The Peruvian

I was personally waiting for THE CHINAMAN wanting to taste the twist of Peking Duck in the sushi. And I was rewarded with faultless sushi with crisp slices of peking duck loaded on the sushi along with the heady mis of philly cream cheese, cucumber and spring onion. The chef had again added his signature by adding crispy pancake julienne on top of the sushi which gave it a unique sweet flavor and add a crunchy element to the dish. A plus for this one.

The Chinaman

The Chinaman

The chef definitely out-did himself with the presentation of the ALASKAN. It looked like a mini-alaska with snowy garnishing and generous sprinkling of tobiko (fish eggs). The dish looked beautiful and drew much admiration, but we did end up eating it up and we didn't regret it. It was delicious. It had filling of white crabmeat salad with avocado and ponzu mayo. Now, who says you can't eat art.

The Alaskan

There was also a surprise sushi in store. A dessert sushi! It was definitely my first. It was Thai inspired sushi and was basically sticky coconut rice with slices of sweet mangoes. It's my favorite fruit and I love sticky coconut milk rice and I loved this sushi too! Perfect dessert for a sushi dinner.

The Chaingmai Roll

There are also a range of asian inspired cocktails and drinks which were perfect for washing down the heat from the accidental dollop of wasabi you might have consumed. My favorites were Pink Ginger Magarita and the Watermelon Ginger Sakejito.


Our servers were cordial and attentive and quick to respond to our request. Chef Paul Kinny kept us oohing and aahing over his dishes the entire night. Our hostesses, Deepti from Phoenix Hospitality was warm, welcoming, a bubble of energy and fun to be around. Special thanks to the pretty girls over at Carpe Diem for having us over. Special shout out to Shivangi, Carina and Prancy.

We did go to meet the elusive, faceless boy with his love of food and travel only to realize that our love of good food and new places meant we were just as Shizusan as Shizusan was us. And finally Shizusan had a face.

Shizusan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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