A Random Lunch Review

What: Boots Shapers Fish Sushi Selection

How much: £2.80

Contents: 1 tuna mayonnaise and red pepper Californian roll with white sesame seeds, 1 smoked salmon nigiri, 1 prawn mayonnaise and red pepper Californian roll with black sesame seeds, 1 smoked salmon and dill mixed nigiri, 1 smoked salmon hosomaki, 1 tuna mayonnaise hosomaki, 1 pickled ginger sachet, 1 wasabi sachet, 1 bottle low salt soy sauce.

First of all, what kind of dewy-eyed tree-hugger decided that eliminating the chopsticks from this pack was a good idea? I ended up eating with my fingers because frankly, if I’m going to eat sushi with a fork, I might as well grate some cheddar over it and bung it under the grill. To this end, the only other thing missing from the pack is a wet wipe. Well, that and decent sushi.

Overall it’s an unimpressive offering. Sushi rice shouldn’t be refrigerated but obviously as this pack is designed to sit on the shelf for a day, it must be. This turns the rice into a rather unpleasant, crumbly lump. The salmon and dill mixed nigiri managed to remain fairly pliant but is slightly sour and reminiscent of the kind of dill sauce you find on the shelf of a Cost Cutter store next to the Sandwich Spread.

The California rolls (along with the mayonnaise inside them) are a Western development in the world of sushi, taking the high street sushi range even further away from the traditional sushi and sashimi; much like the relationship a packet of prawn cocktail crisps has with an actual prawn cocktail. The ones in this pack were like two seed-covered boulders. Rock hard rice and slimy nori were wrapped around red pepper and prawn mayonnaise and yellow pepper and tuna mayonnaise. The prawn version was as bland as Lembit Opik in a beige tracksuit doing long division. Its tuna-based brother was almost artificially fishy; the pungent tang of the tuna together with the solid block of rice made it feel as though I was eating fish paste on a chunk of polystyrene.

The hosomaki, bless them, are barely worth mentioning. Suffice to say, without a good glug of soy sauce they would probably have passed unnoticed into my digestive tract, save for the five seconds of chewing.

The wasabi sachet is a blessing as one of the only two sources of flavour in this pack. It’s not as punchy as it could be, but it is at least plentiful. The pickled ginger however, is revolting; all pickle and no ginger.

Overall, the time spent picking black sesame seeds out of my teeth and wishing I’d chosen a salad or sandwich overrides any warm feelings I may have had towards this disappointingly insipid selection.

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