I am strangely obsessed with sushi. It’s a wonderful addiction. Pre-covid times, you were likely to find me stuffing my face (in an elegant, lady-like sort of way, of course) a couple of times a week at a buffet spot down the road from where I live. But now, when I’m spending most of my time at home, I get my sushi fix through deliveries. And my latest obsession? Shibui Sushi!

If you haven’t come across Shibui Sushi, then it’s likely that you’ve been browsing the wrong food delivery platforms. Like Monks, their sister company, this spot doesn’t have an actual sit-down restaurant and functions purely as a delivery establishment. I ordered a massive Shibui Sushi feast via a new food delivery platform called DigiEats. They’re offering 25% off your first order of Shibui Sushi. In my mind, that’s like a golden crown served on a platter of heaven.

What I loved most about DigiEats is that they give you handy pictures of each item, so you know exactly what you’ll be getting. I’m very much a visual eater, and it’s an absolute joy to be able to browse through an online sushi menu and be able to pick and choose what you want according to a picture. It helps that the Shibui Sushi dishes are absolutely gorgeous. They also have some spectacular options that I’ve never come across before.

Selection of Shibui Sushi, including rice-free rolls and a salmon sushi salad

Beautiful packaging

Selection of Shibui Sushi - seared salmon, rice free rolls, and more

The plastic packaging ensures that your sushi rolls don’t get tossed around during delivery

My Shibui Sushi Feast

So what does an I Love Foodies x Shibui Sushi feast include? Brace yourself. I’ve included descriptions of the more unusual items:

  • Crystal roll (R65): Rice paper wrap with lettuce, coriander, cucumber, avo, and pickled carrots
  • Cucumber roll (R80): Salmon, tuna, avo, pickled carrots, and red pepper wrapped in cucumber and topped with mayo, sesame seeds, and caviar
  • Salmon seaweed handroll (R50)
  • Rainbow reloaded (R65)
  • Salmon roses (R70)
  • Catch mayo if you can (R85): Seared salmon (or tuna) sandwich with avo, topped with 7 spice, sesame seeds, sesame oil, spring onion, and chilli mayo on the side
  • Prawn cucumber roll (R75): Salmon, prawn, and avocado wrapped in cucumber, topped with mayo, sesame seeds, and caviar
  • Do the salmon salsa (R95): mixed vegetable salsa, topped with salmon sashimi, avo, pickled ginger, cherry tomatoes, 7 spice, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and jalapeño dressing
  • Hot rainbow roll (R75): Salmon (or tuna) tartar California roll, wrapped with salmon (or tuna) and topped with 7 spice, sesame seeds, spring onions, dried seaweed, and drizzled with sesame oil and sriracha

Unusual Items: Exciting, Yet Accessible

Reading the above, the first thing you’ll probably notice is that Shibui Sushi offers a range of sushi that’s unusual and superbly exciting. Usually, I’m not a fan of the extravagant. Give me salmon roses, rainbow rolls, and salmon hand rolls and I’m one happy girl. But the extravagance Shibui offers is not so far-fetched that it seems ‘un-sushi-like’. Unusual items like the Hot Rainbow Roll and the Do The Salmon Salsa were still ‘normal’ enough to be accessible to someone like me and yet still unusual enough to be new and exciting.

"Do the salmon salsa" - sushi salmon salad with salsa

Do you want to do the salmon salsa?

Crystal rolls

Crystal rolls – or summer rolls – are always delicious

Rice-Free Sushi Rolls

Of all the weird and wonderful items Shibui Sushi offers, I was probably most impressed by their rice-free rolls. I tried two different versions, the cucumber roll and the prawn cucumber roll. Similar because they’re both rice-free rolls with a salmon base and wrapped in cucumber, but still offering two very different flavour profiles. I’ve tried rice-free sushi rolls at numerous establishments before and am usually sorely disappointed. In my experience, they’re flavourless at best and often simply downright awful. You eat sushi to eat sushi – not to munch on a bunch of coriander and other greens like a bunny.

Shibui, though, gets these rice-less rolls right. Full of flavour and, most importantly, full of fish — and absolutely divine. They are a little more difficult to eat and I’ll revert to my favourite comical food description of all time — slimy, yet satisfying. This Lion King phrase has been stuck in my head since eating something slimy yet satisfying at Royal China Queensway in London last year. It can really best describe most slimy yet satisfying dishes if you take the phrase with a pinch of salt and some added giggles.

Selection of Shibui Sushi, including the cucumber rolls and prawn cucumber rolls

Prawn cucumber rolls on the left and regular cucumber rolls on the right. The prawn versions are slightly smaller and easier to pick up.

Prawn cucumber rolls

These rice-free prawn cucumber rolls are really amazing!!!!

Sushi Staples

Of course, I order my favourite sushi staples everywhere I go as a measure of quality. Notably, if the salmon handroll impresses me, then I’m bound to like everything else a sushi spot offers. Shibui gets their basics right as well, and the salmon hand roll, salmon roses, and rainbow rolls were divine. Actually, these salmon roses are more than divine. If you eat sushi a lot, you’ll quickly realise that some places give you a ton of rice and very little salmon. But there are a select few where you really get bang for your buck – especially when it comes to salmon roses. The Shibui Sushi salmon roses were certainly some of the best I’ve ever had, with a small portion of rice wrapped in deliciously thick salmon.

(As an aside, you’ll also find amazing salmon roses at Minato Sushi Bar – but I would not recommend their hand rolls. Like Obi, they serve ehomaki sushi rolls (uncut regular maki rolls) instead of temaki as their hand roll options, which I find wholly unsatisfying. While the temaki we’ve come to know and love may be considered too Westernised by some, the uncut regular rolls really need to be served super fresh so that the nori remains crispy. But, instead, every time I’ve had these, they’ve turned into soggy, spongy, and flavourless rolls that really aren’t worth having. Slimy and not satisfying, it seems).

Shibui Sushi selection - salmon hand roll, salmon roses, sushi salad, rice-free rolls, salmon california rolls

A beautiful mix of exciting and staple sushi rolls

Salmon roses

How beautiful are these salmon roses?

Close up of one salmon rose

Let me give you an insight into the taking of this picture: I had to balance this very slimy sushi roll on my very smooth chopsticks, while holding my camera in my left hand, focusing, and then taking the photo. I’m surprised I got the shot.

Shibui Sushi

It really was a gorgeous feast!

Try Shibui Sushi

Back to Shibui Sushi where the sushi is not soggy, spongy, or flavourless. Even with delivery – and the 2 hours it took me to photograph through everything in detail – the sushi was still fresh and delicious. I’d hands down name this as one of the best – if not the best – takeaway sushi I’ve ever had in Cape Town.

I can highly, highly, highly recommend Shibui Sushi. Check it out via DigiEats, where you get 25% off your first order! Simply download the app via your app store. You’ll find the links to the correct app stores on their website – www.digieats.co.za. You’ll also find more info about Shibui Sushi on Facebook and Instagram. And if you try it, please tag us in your photos – we’d love to see. Our Instagram handle is @ilovefoodiesct.

Written by Benike Palfi
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Article Date: August 2020

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