Just when we think sushi bake has become a thing of the past, Quisine innovates the tray and revives the trend
Photos by Joshua Tan
It’s not a sushi roll, and it’s not casserole either. The sushi bake is the creamy, nori-wrapped, rice-stuffed bite that re-emerged and became a food trend due to this year’s unforeseen health crisis. Many owners and businesses have latched on to the deconstructed sushi roll craze, and while there are numerous shops currently offering the dish adding different twists to it, from a California Maki style that has extra kani, mango, and roe to the Salmon Teriyaki with torched salmon and cream cheese, the sushi bake is slowly losing hype. Except, the trend is not entirely lost as a young brand consisting of friends from rival universities has just created two new variants that are unique and definitely worth the try.
The best things in life happen unexpectedly. This has been the mantra that the owners of Quisine collectively believe in since they first came together to set up the brand. The group is composed of fresh graduates from LaSalle and Ateneo, who share the same eagerness in striving for excellence.
“This pandemic has obstructed the plans we had for ourselves and for our careers. We all had the same frustration and eventually decided to come together to make something good out of the bad and translate negativity to productivity,” said Pierce Joshua Ongchan, the sales and customer relations head of Quisine.
Props to La Sallians Adrianne Gail Solis, the marketing and public relations head, Giann Aaron Solis, the purchasing and logistics head, as well as the Atenistas Rhea Cathleen Chong, operations head, and Trina Veronica Liu, research and development head, the young and picky eaters who gave life to the brand! “We love to try out various dishes from different cuisines, which is why we appreciate quality dishes when we encounter them. This hobby of ours was obstructed by the pandemic, and we ultimately became a fan of the sushi bake trend, which prompted us to start our own,” Pierce explains.
Pierce admits that initially there had logistical concerns such as physically working on the setup given the quarantine restrictions still imposed. Add to this the challenge of the sushi bake industry having become too saturated. “These concerns have prompted us to ensure that we maintain our promise to be constantly curating culinary innovations. As we understood that merely following the trend wouldn’t cut it in this industry, we made sure to set ourselves to be a cut above the rest,” the 22-year-old Atenista elaborates. “Furthermore, we took the necessary time and effort to craft our dishes in such a way that they live up to the standard we’ve set for ourselves and for our customers. Some would even call it a work of art, with the amount of research and development that have gone into the dishes.”
Trust us when we say, the Flamin’ Hot Aburi could be the best sushi bake that exists locally.
True to Pierce’s own description of their sushi bakes, they are works of art. And if it were an artwork, Quisine’s dishes would be contemporary art—out-of-the-box, forward thinking, revolutionary. It can even be haute cuisine, too, judging from the concept and presentation.
The two variants are the Cereal Shrimps with Salted Egg Aburi, and the Flamin’ Hot Aburi. The former is a luscious concoction of shrimps, salted egg, tobiko, coated and torched in Quisine’s special sauce and topped with cereals for that delectable crunch. Its mellow, salty-creamy flavor, along with the contrasting textures of soft, sticky rice and crunchy cereal, should give competitors a run for their money.
“As we crafted our signature dish, we decided we wanted to bring in salted egg as a valuable ingredient to attract numerous salted egg lovers as well as support locals! Having our salted egg sourced directly from local merchants assists their livelihood in these trying times,” Pierce muses.
Meanwhile, the latter, Flamin’ Hot Aburi, is a tray of spicy goodness. The fiery fusion of premium kani, tobiko, and samyang, glazed in yet another Quisine special sauce, torched, then topped with Cheetos for a crackling finish, is so addictive. Incorporating the famous Korean samyang sauce brings in a different type of hotness. The initial sweet and creamy flavor is immediately followed by a burning heat that one we would want more and more of. Trust us when we say, the Flamin’ Hot Aburi could be the best sushi bake that exists locally.
These dishes are known for having that extra layer of crunch and perfectly balanced texture. Although there are numerous ingredients involved in each of them, the Quisine team ensures that everything is done in perfect ratio and proportion, and with all the time and effort necessary for a flawless and unique experience.
Aside from the sushi bakes, Quisine has also recently released a line of tea called TEAfreshing collection, a collaborative effort among its owners to complement their dishes. We were able to try the winter melon tea, a fresh home brewed beverage, which had a mild, fresh, and refreshing taste.
“Our team has been tirelessly working on innovating new variants to release as we try our best to curate the best version of our next flavors,” Pierce says. “We have a coming new flavor. We have yet to finalize the details but,with hope, everyone will stay tuned for this newest addition as it could be the best one yet,” he promises.