I am about to share with you one of the most amazing culinary experiences New York has to offer: Sushi, like you have never experienced, seen, or tasted before. And yes, it’s vegan.
Beyond Sushi in NYC offers a dazzling experience that enchants your senses from the moment you enter the premises. From the beautiful, unique and mouthwatering presentation, to surprising and delicious flavors that simply explode in your mouth – this is one sushi experience that you are bound to remember (and probably fantasize about!) long after you’ve made it back home and unpacked your suitcase.
I had the extraordinary pleasure of visiting Beyond Sushi with hubby Scott and our friend Jason on my last visit to NYC. Located on 229 East 14th Street in Manhattan, this small vegan sushi bar was packed with people who were enjoying their vegan rolls, some relaxing at one of their three tables, others waiting eagerly for their take-away parcel to come out.
We were fortunate enough to have Guy Vaknin, the co-owner and head chef of Beyond Sushi, order for us – and boy did he choose well!
To start, we shared two delicious rice and lettuce wraps, out of the three wraps that were on offer:
The Nutty Buddy, with buckwheat noodles, cashews, carrots, cilantro, Jalapeño, peanut butter, avocado, sesame oil and tofu, with a sweet soy Mirin sauce.
And The Spicy Shroom, with buckwheat noodles, Enoki mushrooms, Teriyaki braised shiitake, grilled portabella, pickled ginger and cashews, with a Shiitake Teriyaki sauce.
Both wraps were a good size (two large pieces), super delicious and refreshing. The peanut butter hints in the Nutty Buddy complimented the flavors of the wrap and made it super “moreish”, and the Spicy Shroom wrap had the lovely mushroomy flavor and “meaty” texture that all mushroom lovers crave.
In the sushi department, we were presented with two breathtaking plates.
Plate one, with four vegan sushi rolls (eight pieces each):
The Spicy Mang: with black rice, avocado, mango, cucumber, spicy veggies and toasted cayenne.
The mighty Mushroom: with six-grain rice, Enoki, tofu, Shiitake, and micro arugula, topped with a super-rich and creamy Shiitake Teriyaki sauce (My favorite roll!).
The Roll of the Month: with black rice, chayote, avocado, roasted balsamic marinated beets and lemon infused beluga lentils, topped with a curried cauliflower puree.
And The Pickle Me roll: with six-grain rice, gobo, carrot, and pickled daikon, topped with avocado and a refreshing carrot-ginger sauce.
And plate two, with three unique one piece sushi creations which included the Enoki Piece, the Tofu Piece and the Seaweed Piece. Scott and Jason also ordered the special Piece of the Month, which they claim managed to somehow even top all the others.
Both plates were gone in no time as the three of us devoured every bite. The flavors were refreshing, surprising and harmonious, cleverly balancing mild sweetness with unexpected tanginess or a spicy kick. The presentation was magical; a rainbow of color and an artistic layout which would enchant even the most cynical of critics.
Vegan, ecological, and artistic sushi
Beyond Sushi, owned by plant-based power-couple Guy and Tali Vaknin, was established in 2012, when caterer Guy was overwhelmed by the demand for his vegan take on traditional Japanese sushi rolls. The growing popularity of his sushi at events, prompted him to dedicate himself to his love of creative and artistic sushi.
The sushi Guy and Tali offer promotes all-natural, locally-grown, fresh ingredients that are sustainable and cruelty-free. Their ecological awareness is carried through to other parts of their business too, including the use of reclaimed and recycled materials in the design of their eateries.
The couple now has two Manhattan locations: “Beyond Sushi”, reviewed here, close to Union Square, and “The Green Roll” which is more of a “take away” stall located in Chelsea Market. In addition to these, Guy and Tali also offer sushi making workshops and catering services, and hope to open more branches either in NYC or the West Coast.
It looks like I’ll need to dust off my passport again…
We are happy to award Beyond Sushi with The Vegan Woman’s recommendation label.