Eat, Tray, Love

Published July 9, 2020, 10:31 AM

by Jules Vivas

By Madam Rose marries good taste and style in what could be one of the best sushi bakes in the local market right now

Love and sushi are a lot alike. You can never have too much of either. Among the latest quarantine food trends, aside from the ready-to-cook kits, ube pandesal, and dalgona coffee, is the sushi bake that has taken over social media today. In a nutshell, or rather, nori wrap, it is deconstructed aburi style—partially grilled top side—sushi made like a casserole. The popular variant for the baked sushi is the California roll, containing cucumber, crab stick or salad, and avocado.

Our feeds are filled with the torched bright-orange treat for very good reasons. But if you’re a sushi purist, chances are you’re not sold on the idea of cooking the Japanese cuisine. Beyond the unorthodox preparation of the dish, however, the sheer novelty, visual aesthetics, and likeable flavors have everyone going all over this sushi like white on rice.

Sushi GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Foreign websites reveal that this unique dish first became a trend in 2015. As to who exactly created the sushi bake is unclear. On the same year, it was celebrity nail artist Mimi Qui Reyes who sparked the craze here in the country, delivering her original baked California roll to friends. The sushi bake mania was brought back to life at the height of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) some time in the middle of April to May. People needed “help,” something that would lift their spirits during the pandemic, and it just so happens sushi is way cheaper than therapy.

Japanese restaurants, home businesses, and startups are certainly not doing the trend half-baked, as a matter of fact, there are so many online stores offering the reinvented sushi, one would be hard pressed to choose which brands are the most value for money. In the sea of sushi, we discovered By Madam Rose, an online shop that whips up a mean California baked roll.

Flat-out gorgeous and delicious

We tried By Madam Rose’s California baked roll, and found ourselves easily charmed by the product. The packaging was impressive. Our order came in a white box, similar to a cake. The tray and the content are very neat; you can tell how the store takes high regard in food preparation and presentation. It comes with a wooden spoon, and nori sheets. The surface of the sushi bake is enchanting, especially in its symmetry. One can even liken the design to art nouveau patterns of Koloman Moser. Colorful and immaculate, the pink exterior is dabbed with Japanese mayonnaise in a crisscross fashion, sprinkled with nori powder.

We highly recommend customers to purchase their sliced mango add-on since, the sweet and tart taste of the fruit enhances the overall flavor of the sushi bake. The layer of fluffy Japanese rice is baked just right, topped with shredded fish, and an abundance of Japanese mayo. You eat like tacos. Scoop a spoonful of the sushi, add a slice or two of the fresh mango then wrap in nori sheet. Again, don’t forget to order the mango slices that sell for ₱50 per small tray. It makes a world of difference, and adds the slight tang needed to complete the creamy, savory burst of flavors in the rice-stuffed bite. Sizes come in small (1-2 pax), medium (3-4 pax), large (5-6 pax), and extra large (10-12 pax).

Who is Madam Rose?

Josie Joya Baldovino and Alyssa Rose Baldovino

The granddaughter of the late national artist Jose Joya’s sister and estate keeper Josie Joya Baldovino, Alyssa Rose Baldovino, is responsible for establishing By Madam Rose, named after her but with the addition of the honorific friends would tease and call her. “Since I was a kid, I was used to watching lola cook meals or ulam for the family. With this, I became greatly fond of cooking. I was inspired by my lola’s delicious home cooked dishes,” Alyssa intimates what prompted her to try her hand at culinary. “With the community quarantine implemented for a few months, it gave me an opportunity to strengthen my skills in cooking. I saw how sushi bake was emerging as one of the trends. This became the reason I wanted to try creating the same product but with my own signature taste,” beams Alyssa. “Subsequently, I’ve shared what I have created to some of the people I am close to. In return, I received good feedback that led to the foundation of our business product, the California sushi bake.”

Alyssa goes on citing, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and points out that while the brand may be named after her, a number of people helped in creating the business product. “Without the assistance of my sister, Arianna Baldovino, in marketing the product, without my fiancé Carlo Garcia and my brother Aldrich Baldovino, both of whom also assisted me in operating the business, By Madam Rose wouldn’t be able to arrive to where it is now,” said Alyssa.

“We are astonished as to how By Madam Rose came out, especially that we have just founded the business a month ago. It might have started with baked sushi but we truly are aspiring to build a brand that can endear the hearts of Filipino families by creating a variety of dishes,” Alyssa mentioned, discussing the possibility of future expansion.

The process of ordering is simple. Buyers need only send a direct message on Instagram and Facebook @bymadamrose. Customers will be asked to fill up an order form indicating significant details for smooth transaction and delivery. Customers will handle the booking to avoid any error in the pick-up and drop-off points. Delivery times are held from nine to 11 in the
morning and one 1-5 p.m. Ideally, ordering must be made at least a day before.